Reddit is launching a “Mod Helper Program” that rewards moderators for providing useful advice to other moderators, and an updated moderator help center.
The announcement comes amid growing frustration among the site’s moderators. Many of the moderators relied on third-party apps, which were then shut down due to Reddit’s API pricing. Moderators have asked Reddit to improve its official app’s moderation tools, but they fall short compared to what the now-defunct third-party app offers. Tensions between Reddit and its moderators have led to the entire team of mods keeping their subreddits private in protest of API pricing that third-party app developers have criticized as excessive and unsustainable. is still high because the site administrator keeps deleting it.
The Mod Helper program is a tiered system that awards trophies and talents to helpful mods. Reddit users accumulate karma by receiving upvotes and awards, and lose karma by receiving downvotes. This program rewards moderators who receive upvotes for their comments on r/ModSupport.
Commenting karma earned on r/ModSupport will be given the “Let other her mods know you’re a valuable resource” trophy, the moderator support team announced Thursday. Each rank awards unique trophies and talents from Helper to Expert his Helper. Earlier this year Reddit launched a similar program on r/help that rewards users who have accumulated karma by responding to other users’ requests.
“Reddit is a complicated place for both newbies and experienced modders, and the knowledge shared here is incredibly powerful,” the Reddit admin wrote on r/ModSupport. “This recognizes mods that are particularly useful and a trusted source of knowledge for fellow modders. All with the goal of celebrating mutual support and fostering a culture in this community where mods actively collaborate and learn from each other.” is.”
Reddit has also launched her Modmail Answer Bot, which automatically replies with relevant links to the site’s help center. If a suggested article doesn’t answer a specific query, a ticket is created for a human administrator to handle. The bot is designed to streamline moderator requests so the admin team can focus on more complex issues.
Additionally, Reddit has integrated its moderator-specific help center with its site-wide help center, making support resources “easily discoverable and accessible from the same place.”
The relationship between Reddit and its moderators has become increasingly strained in recent months. More than 8,000 subreddits were shut down for 48 hours in June in protest against Reddit’s new API pricing, which went into effect on July 1st. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman claimed the blackout was led by a handful of hosts, describing them as “country aristocrats.” The comment sparked further outrage among moderators who are unpaid and spend hours running the platform’s community. Reddit has stepped up efforts to quell the rebellion in recent months, including removing moderators who refuse to reopen the subreddit. Once successful subreddits like r/malefashionadvice are crumbling as reddits replace protesting moderators with inexperienced users.
Reddit has been slow to adopt moderation tools once offered by third-party apps, and updates released by the site are slow and inaccessible. Reddit has made an exception to API pricing for accessible apps that are important for visually impaired users, but in-app moderation tools are not accessible to visually impaired moderators. According to r/blind moderators, Reddit’s latest accessibility update is buggy and “caused a lot of new issues.”
Reactions to the r/ModSupport peer-to-peer helper have been mixed. One user questioned whether automating the support he request system would only make it harder to get support from “real people”. He also said that the purpose of the subreddit is to allow moderators to discuss issues directly with admins and not with other moderators. “Administrator participation wasn’t very good here,” the user continued. “I don’t know if it’s because you don’t know enough about the modding tools to meaningfully support the modding community, or because you just don’t want to. Dealing with it seems to mostly depend on the modding community, but that’s not why people come here.”
Among the most upvoted comments on the announcement, Reddit user MapleSurpy expressed frustration at the lack of useful moderation features available in Reddit’s official app. Moderators are calling for a ban on bypass tools and “actual help from admins” in dealing with “problem users,” according to MapleSarpy.
“After Reddit removed all third-party tools, we wanted a better tool to run subscriptions on our official app,” they said. “What did we get? Another automated system … and flair rewards. Thank you SO much, I’m sure this will solve a whopping zero problems.”
Another user pointed out that the flairs aren’t based on comments that are actually helpful, and that “snarky people who are funny” will reach “expert in no time.”
In a reply to the thread, an admin said that Reddit’s product teams are working on “some of the issues” that moderators have brought up, and will be launching improvements to mobile features.
“Our team isn’t engineers — so you don’t want us building you things, however — we do spend our time talking to moderators about the issues you’re facing and advocating back to the product teams,” the admin, who is part of the moderator support team, said. “Automating some of the lower-hanging fruit allows us to spend more time both helping with the more complicated issues and compiling concerns from mods to help prioritize the tools being built.”