Social Media

Reddit rolls back chat room feature a day after its launch

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on May 01, 2020 Published on May 01, 2020

Reddit on Thursday rolled back its chat room feature “Start Chatting” after drawing flak from users.

Reddit users had flooded the Reddit announcement post hours after the release on Wednesday expressing their frustration and confusion over the feature.

Many also pointed out that certain vulnerable groups were able to see the feature within their subreddits with moderators being unable to remove the feature.

Alex Le, VP of product at Reddit, on Thursday shared an announcement stating that the social media platform was completely rolling back its feature owing to the feedback.

“After testing with 30 communities, we moved too quickly to bring the feature to general availability. This introduced the feature to thousands of active communities, and some of you reported to us that this felt unnatural and inappropriate for your communities, Alex said in a Reddit post.

He further said that the issues were partly a reason for Reddit’s decision to not go ahead with the stand procedure of beta testing with 150-300 subreddits before rolling it out.

As the feature was completely moderated by Safety teams, subreddit moderators were unable to remove or control the feature. This raised an issue when moderators saw the feature enabled for certain sensitive communities.

“We took some time to ensure support communities, NSFW communities, and a few other categories were ineligible, but this was all confused by a bug that occurred in rare circumstances which made it appear as though this feature was turned on for literally every subreddit,” Alex wrote in the post.

“We have 100% rolled back this feature,” he said.

“We will also build an opt-out, allowing you to remove this banner from your communities if you think that’s appropriate,” he further said.

It’s unclear when Reddit plans to re-launch the feature.

“We will not roll the feature out within your community again without having a way for you to opt-out, and will provide you with ample notice and regular updates going forward,” said Alex.

“We are committed to transparent and direct communication with our users, and will use this opportunity to seek community input, collect additional feedback, and build an experience that adds value and supports our communities," the company said.

Published on May 01, 2020

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