The past couple of days have been very turbulent for Reddit. After a high-ranked and apparently very popular employee was fired, the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” was hit by a user revolt, which saw some of the site’s most popular communities (aka subreddits) closed to the public.
It’s been the second time in just a few weeks that Reddit’s management had to deal with the outrage of its community. In early June, thousands of users had rallied for the dismissal of the company’s interim CEO Ellen Pao after several offensive subreddits had been banned from the site.
Being seen by its users as one of the last bastion’s of free speech on the internet, Reddit has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. As our chart illustrates, the number of communities, or subreddits, has increased more than six-fold in the past five years. In 2014, the website had more than 71 billion hits, which equals more than 8 million pageviews per hour.