Reddit Pulls Back Chat Rooms After Outcry From Moderators

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Yesterday, Reddit announced new chat rooms feature that creates small private chat rooms within the site’s subreddits. However, just after a day of launching this feature, Reddit has reversed the course pulled this feature back after an outcry from the site’s moderators. The company itself confirmed that this move in response to negative feedback from its users and moderators.

“Reddit’s users, moderators, and communities are at the core of every product decision we make, and our intention in rolling out ‘Start Chatting’ was to give Redditors a new avenue to connect with each other during these difficult times. Given the issues and concerns expressed by our users and moderators throughout the last 24 hours, we’ve made the decision to disable Start Chatting so we can reassess our rollout plan and evolve the product to meet the needs of our community.”

Reddit claimed that they received positive feedback on early tests of Start Chatting. However, soon after this feature went live on the server on Wednesday, Reddit moderators flooded the comments of the announcement post with confusion and frustration. 

There were many moderators who were worried that Start Chatting would draw the kind of abuse as they work hard to keep out of their online communities. This is because Start Chatting doesn’t give any control or visibility to the moderators. Other moderators overseeing subreddits that reach vulnerable groups, such as survivors of abuse, were concerned their groups would be targeted by trolls or scammers.

Looking forward to this, the company’s VP of Product, Alex Le, clarified that the feature had never been enabled for many of these groups, even though the option to join had appeared due to a “bug.”

“At this time, r/science would prefer to have this feature disabled in our subreddit because it undermines our goal of having serious, strongly-moderated discussions,” one moderator wrote in a comment.

Well, looking after the outrage from moderators, Reddit removed this feature. However, there is no word on whether this feature will return at a later date or not.

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