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  • Writer's pictureKarl Oppenheimer

Reddit Introduces Moderator Rewards Program Amid Widespread User Dissatisfaction

In an attempt to address the growing concerns among its moderators, Reddit has introduced the "Mod Helper Program," along with an updated moderator help center, aimed at rewarding moderators who provide valuable assistance to their peers.

This move comes at a time of increasing dissatisfaction among the site's moderators, many of whom previously relied on third-party applications that were shut down due to Reddit's API pricing changes.

These moderators have been urging Reddit to enhance the official app's moderation tools, which pale in comparison to those offered by now-defunct third-party apps. The tension between Reddit and its moderators remains palpable as the site's administrators continue to remove entire moderation teams for making their subreddits private in protest against the controversial API pricing, which third-party developers criticized as being excessive and unsustainable.

The Mod Helper Program is structured as a tiered system that rewards helpful moderators with trophies and flairs. Karma points are accumulated through upvotes and awards, while downvotes result in a loss of karma.

The program recognizes moderators who garner upvotes on their comments within the r/ModSupport subreddit.

Moderators who earn comment karma in r/ModSupport will be granted trophies that signify their role as valuable sources of knowledge. The program features various ranks with distinct trophies and flairs, ranging from "Helper" to "Expert Helper." Reddit introduced a similar initiative in r/help earlier this year, rewarding users who collect karma by responding to fellow users' requests.

Reddit administrators expressed the importance of knowledge-sharing within the moderator community, acknowledging that the platform can be intricate for both novice and expert moderators. The introduction of the Mod Helper Program aims to commend moderators who contribute valuable insights, foster collaboration, and cultivate a culture of learning among moderators.

As part of its efforts to streamline moderator support, Reddit has launched the Modmail Answer Bot, which automatically provides relevant links from the Help Center. If the suggested articles do not address specific queries, the bot creates a ticket that will be handled by a human administrator. This automation is designed to optimize moderator support processes, allowing the admin team to focus on more complex matters.

Furthermore, Reddit is merging the moderator-specific Help Center with its broader site-wide Help Center, ensuring that support resources are easily accessible from a single location.

The relationship between Reddit and its moderators has become increasingly strained in recent months. A blackout involving over 8,000 subreddits occurred for 48 hours in June, in protest against Reddit's revised API pricing implemented on July 1. The CEO's reference to protesting moderators as a "landed gentry" led to further outrage among the moderator community. Reddit's actions to address the protests have included removing moderators who refuse to reopen their subreddits.

The site's slow response in providing adequate moderation tools, coupled with problematic updates, has added to the discontent. While Reddit made accommodations for accessibility apps, its in-app moderation tools remain inaccessible for blind moderators. Despite these efforts, the site's accessibility update was plagued with bugs and issues.

Reactions to the peer-to-peer helper program have been mixed within the r/ModSupport subreddit. Some users questioned whether automating support requests would hinder communication with real people. They also highlighted that the subreddit's purpose is to facilitate direct discussions between moderators and administrators, rather than among moderators themselves.

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