Yesterday, Reddit launched a new feature called “Start Chatting” to allow Redditors to chat in real-time in their subreddits. Well, now it’s gone.
Just a day after the launch of the new feature, Reddit has withdrawn the feature from its site and app due to a huge backlash from its moderators. This feature that was meant to bring the community together has raised several concerns such as vulnerable groups being targeted by trolls and being unable to opt-out voluntarily.
Engadget reported that Reddit’s VP of Product, Alex Le, has explained that the “Start Chatting” feature isn’t enabled for many of the vulnerable groups and that these subreddit users may have seen the join button due to a bug. But whether it’s a bug or not, it has still caused an uproar.
A moderator from r/abuse said, “How am I expected to run a highly sensitive sub filled with traumatized minors when you guys implement a chat feature that I can’t interact with? Did you guys even consider the vulnerable communities on your site? ‘Cause to me your plan sounds like linking a hospital directly to open sewage.”
Now that Reddit has pulled back the feature, maybe it will calm the Redditors down. There’s no confirmation whether this feature will be re-launched in the future with better execution.