As America readies for fireworks, Reddit is grappling with darkness.
Hundreds of Reddit's community forums—called subreddits—have been made inaccessible to the public in protest after the San Francisco-based company dismissed its director of talent, Victoria Taylor, who ran its Ask Me Anything (AMA) feature.
The extremely popular AMA subreddit has been temporarily shut down by its moderators, while the reasons for Taylor's exit haven't been revealed. According to Business Insider, Reddit user "Karmanaut" posted about Taylor's departure, stating: "We have been really blindsided by all of this. As a result, we will need to go through our processes and see what can be done without her."
The Business Insider story added that Taylor replied in a subbredit thread that she was "dazed" by the development but planned to stay in the public relations/communications field.
For the AMA program, she has been credited for booking everyone from Hollywood stars like Madonna and Will Ferrell to political players such as President Barack Obama and conservative commentator Ann Coulter. Taylor was widely beloved by Redditors for cultivating such an intriguing mix of content.
It's a remarkable turn of events for the site, accurately billed as "the front page of the Internet."
Reddit may be wise to shed more light on Taylor's departure sooner rather than later, otherwise the subject could continue to explode throughout the July 4 weekend. Already, many users are threatening to leave Reddit for good in an exodus similar to the user backlash that gutted competing site Digg in 2010.