Reddit has removed a new chat feature just a day after its release after complaints from the sites’ moderators.
The feature, a new chat option called ‘start chatting’ allowed users to create small random chat rooms on the platform within the site’s various subreddits.
Though Reddit says the move was designed to give more options to connect with each other during coronavirus-spurred isolation, moderators who oversee the site’s subreddits say it made the process of monitoring content and behavior more opaque.
‘Reddit’s users, moderators and communities are at the core of every product decision we make, and our intention in rolling out ‘Start Chatting’ was to give Redditors a new avenue to connect with each other during these difficult times,’ said Reddit in a statement.
‘Given the issues and concerns expressed by our users and moderators throughout the last 24 hours, we’ve made the decision to disable Start Chatting so we can reassess our rollout plan and evolve the product to meet the needs of our community.’
According to statements posted by moderators from some of Reddit’s most popular subreddits, issues with ‘start chatting’ centered mostly on transparency into user behavior.
‘At this time, r/science would prefer to have this feature disabled in our subreddit because it undermines our goal of having serious, strongly-moderated discussions,’ one moderator wrote in a comment on Reddit.
Other moderators of r/personalfinance and r/debt also said the chat rooms could lead to a greater likelihood of scams and abuse on their subreddits.
It’s unclear if Reddit will ever reintroduce the feature or if Start Chatting has been effectively retired.
‘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,’ Reddit said in a statement.