Moderator shenanigans have once again enraged the userbase of one of Reddit’s largest communities, r/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu, also known as "F7U12."
The section, with nearly a quarter million readers, is the site’s home for rage comics, the crudely-drawn, meme-based comics that emerged from 4chan over three years ago and are now churned out en-masse (and many say ad-nauseam) by F7U12’s users.
It’s one of the more irreverent and free-wheeling communities on Reddit. But, recently, moderators have been taking that irreverence too far.
Last week, they replaced the subreddit’s homepage with a “Reddit is down” image. That resulted in a temporary ban and some harsh words from Reddit general manager Erik Martin (moderators on Reddit have the ability to change whatever they want in their own section’s CSS code, but doing anything to “confuse” readers is prohibited).
This time, F7U12 moderators made a series of changes that progressively enraged the subscribers yesterday, including temporarily switching upvotes and downvotes and superimposing an image over the comments, making the subreddit almost unusable.
Redditors rage was so intense the section’s creator, Poromenos, issued a formal apology late last night: “All of us agree that it wasn't in very good taste, and I'd like to apologize on behalf of all the f7u12 mods.”
But that apology hardly calmed the F7U12 masses seething at moderators whom they say took the jokes too far:
“F7U12 is a place to take a break from the day by looking at funny shit or comically vent your frustration with a series of crudely-drawn faces,” wrote redditor trout45. “ It's a break from the typical annoying bullshit.”
“If you guys were good moderators, i wouldn't even notice what you were doing,” wrote Rye631. “You'd be behind the curtain guiding things along so the community could create content and be entertaining.”
Observed one redditor: “This is reddit's way of rioting.”
Even the 17-strong moderator team itself seemed to be cracking under the controversy, with one posting private moderator messages that showed creator Poromenos claiming that angry users should just “fuck off of the subreddit even if they’re 90 percent of the users.”
In fact, if the trolling continues, members of the quarter million strong community really may just have to “fuck off.” Though content on Reddit is determined democratically, the subreddits themselves are autocracies, with power based on moderator seniority.
And if those moderators want the subreddit to implode under the force of endless pranks, it’s nobody’s choice but their own.