Reddit, a website where users can share and discover any type of internet content under the sun, seems to have hit another bump in the road. As first reported by TechCrunch, the company let go a handful of employees last week, including its vice president of marketing and its editorial director. In a statement to TC, Reddit attributed the layoffs to a reorganization of its communications, editorial, video and marketing teams.
Even if the moves are part of a corporate reshuffling and not a sign of larger issues, it's the latest development in what has been a rough couple of years for a startup that touts itself as “the front page of the internet.” Two years ago, Reddit was in the middle of a PR nightmare when compromising photos stolen from celebrities were circulated on the site. Although the company eventually deleted the pictures and banned the users who posted them, many believed Reddit took too long to act.
Then came the Ellen Pao kerfuffle, centered on her decision as CEO to ban some of the more controversial communities on the site that were deemed to be fostering harassment. Similar to Twitter's recent problems regarding free speech, some argued banning was a form of censorship—even if the speech for which the users were banned was widely regarded as offensive or hostile. After user outcry, Pao resigned and was replaced by Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman. Put within that context, news of more executives leaving doesn't instill confidence in a company still struggling to find its way.