Petition against Reddit CEO signed by 14,000

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A petition calling for Ellen Pao, Reddit's CEO, to step down has been signed by over 14,000 people who feel she is destroying the Reddit community.

According to the petition, Pao is responsible for "a new age of censorship" on the website. The petition began three weeks ago after five forums (known as subreddits) on the site were banned for breaking Reddit's anti-harassment policy.

"A vast majority of the Reddit community believes that Pao, "a manipulative individual who will sue her way to the top," has overstepped her boundaries and fears that she will run Reddit into the ground" the petition says.

At the same time, over 100 of Reddit's most popular forums have been set to "private," in effect locking them off, by their moderators in protest against the company's decision to dismiss Director of Talent Victoria Taylor.

The moderators (unpaid, voluntary web users who help to run the subreddits) relied on Taylor to help arrange Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, a highly popular feature where members of the public or celebrities could answer questions from Reddit users.

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"Victoria was important to AMAs for a number of major reasons: firstly, she provided concrete proof of the identity of a celebrity doing an AMA, and made sure that it was not a second party purporting to be the celebrity; she was also a direct line of contact to the admins, allowing the moderators of AMA to quickly resolve an issue encountered during an AMA," explained Reddit moderator Gilgamesh in an online post.

Taylor's dismissal is not the only reason moderators are unsatisfied. "There is a feeling among many of the moderators of reddit that the admins do not respect the work that is put in by the thousands of unpaid volunteers who maintain the communities of the 9,656 active subreddits," Gilgamesh added.

Pao joined Reddit in 2013 and was appointed CEO in November 2014. She recently lost a gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employers Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm.

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