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The recent debacle at Reddit over a popular moderator's firing has claimed its casualties.
Site moderators and thousands of Reddit users called for the resignation of Ellen Pao's, Reddit's interim CEO since Victoria Taylor, a well-like employee, was fired. As a result of the fiasco, Ellen Pao has stepped down as interim CEO, although she claims it was for different reasons.
What can small business owners learn from Ellen Pao and Reddit's mistake?
Last week, Reddit fired Victoria Taylor, a very popular employee. The firing came as a surprise to Taylor with no explanation to the Reddit community, infuriating many of Reddit's volunteer moderators. In protest, the moderators closed many of the site's forums, loudly voiced their anger, and petitioned for Ellen Pao's firing.
Despite Pao's apology for the way Taylor was fired, Pao became the target of the users' anger. They sent her vitriolic comments and even death threats. This week, Pao resigned from her position as interim CEO. Pao claims that she resigned because of a disagreement with the board on the company's growth potential. However, many believe that she was forced to do so after users revolted.
Most small business will never have to deal with the same large scale public anger that Reddit had to deal with. However, small businesses are still susceptible to public opinion and customer discontent. Here are a few lessons small business owners should take away from the Reddit revolt:
Don't make the same mistake that Reddit did.