After a clampdown on offensive discussion boards and the firing of a high profile executive prompted backlash from Reddit users, the interim CEO of the so-called front page of the Internet issued an apology Monday.
"We have apologized and made promises to you, the moderators and the community, over many years, but time and again, we haven't delivered on them," Ellen Pao said, in the note. "Today, we acknowledge this long history of mistakes. We are grateful for all you do for reddit, and the buck stops with me." (Tweet This)
Pressure on Pao has risen lately. A Change.org petition calling for her to step down from her role as interim CEO was closing in on 200,000 signatures at the time of the company's apology. Many of the site's volunteer moderators blocked some access to popular pages in protest of the unexpected firing of Victoria Taylor, the executive who led the highly followed "Ask Me Anything" series of celebrity interviews where users posed questions in real time.
Reddit previously shut down some of its pages, including one titled "Fat People Hate," for violating its harassment rules. The company struggled to convince users it was merely "banning behavior, not ideas," as many viewed it as a step that crossed the censorship line.
"I mean it when I say we screwed up, and we want to have a meaningful ongoing discussion," Pao's apology continued. "I know we've drifted out of touch with the community as we've grown and added more people, and we want to connect more."
The apology closed with Pao saying, "I don't have all the answers, and it will take time for us to deliver concrete results."