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Reddit offers an olive branch to moderators: 'we apologize'

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Reddit didn't curry any favor with its legions of users when it sacked its much-admired director of communications, but it's at least trying to make amends. Company chief Ellen Pao has issued an apology that also includes changes that would accommodate moderators upset at losing one of their best allies. To start, it's promising renewed direct communications -- there's a new Moderator Advocate who'll serve as a point of contact for mods, and administrators (including Pao) plan to talk to the community more often. Reddit is also hoping to finally act on promises of delivering new tools, and it'll let mods revert to an old search format if it helps their workflows.

The gesture is an important one for Pao, who has been accused by the community of being out of touch. Some redditors interpreted her seeming dismissal of critics (she doesn't believe that most users care about the drama) as calling the community insignificant. That was taken out of context, Pao says, and Reddit knows that its business revolves around participation. However, there's no guarantee that this will placate users -- many of those responding to the apology see it as a "half-hearted" effort that's meant more to prevent a mass exodus than offer genuine reform. It'll take a while for many of the planned changes to kick in, so you might not learn who's right for quite some time.

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

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