I used to moderate a couple of forums about a few different video games, sizable at the time but nothing the size of Reddit, for sure. But there were some rigid things about our setup that I liked.
- We had very specific rules. No "community guidelines," but hard rules.
- When disciplining a user, we had to cite specific rules that had been broken, and it was good form to cite or quote the infraction.
I feel like the backlash (maybe shitstorm is more appropriate) on Reddit is because the users don't feel the admins are playing by a set of rules. They haven't cited any specific rules the banned subreddits were violating, just "harassment" (which they didn't define.) Moreover, the punishment has not been doled out uniformly, with plenty of users pointing out subreddits that also should have been banned if harassment subs are banned.
The judgements being handed down seem, to apparently fucking everyone on Reddit, arbitrary. Like some far off god on Mt. Olympus has suddenly decided mess with people at random.
Maybe I'm just talking out of my ass because I've never had to manage a community the size of Reddit, but this just seems like an admin took offense to something ("got triggered," in the parlance,) and dusted off the ol' banhammer without thinking. I don't know if that's what happened, but that's how it seems, and that sort of abuse of power always triggers (the way the word is really used) a community schism.