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Popular Ethereum Sub-Reddit Splits Amid Charges of “Tyranny”

A popular Ethereum sub reddit has undergone a de facto fork of its own.

On August 18th, Jeremiah Nichol — a moderator on popular casual Ethereum subreddit r/ethrader — published a post written by five of his peers that announced their collective departure from the forum and creation of the new alternative, r/ethfinance. The six alleged recent scandalous behavior on the part of lead r/ethtrader mod, Carl Larson, led to the breach.

Ethfinance Reddit

The immediate catalyst for the forum split was Larson’s decision to unilaterally strip Nichol and one of his colleagues of their mod powers, the leaving moderators said:

“Over the past week, this culminated in shocking and unilateral decisions by Carl to remove two long-time moderators over a minor, unsettled, disagreement on an administrative issue which was still under open discussion […] Carl unilaterally stripped u/AdamSC1 and then u/jtnichol of all moderator authorities and permissions. Combined with continual opaque behavior […] and generally unproductive communication with the broader moderator team on on-going operational issues, we feel we have no choice but to step down […].”

A New Forum Splinters Off

Over the last few years, r/ethtrader became one of the largest Ethereum forums and had more than 200,000 members when the moderation schism broke out. With six of its 10 moderators leaving to back the new r/ethfinance, the upstart subreddit gained over 9,000 followers in just 24 hours.

In a follow-up post published a few hours after Nichol’s announcement, MolochDAO member and r/ethtrader mainstay Aftab “DCinvestor” Hossain said it was time to “move on” and asked for others Ethereum stakeholders to consider crossing over to create a new “high-quality” community:

“r/ethfinance will face its own growing pains, but it will have the advantage of starting on day one with a talented and experienced moderator team, and a cadre of high quality content creators and curators ready to work with them. In taking on these mod roles, I know each of them is unequivocally dedicated to the success of Ethereum and its community above all else- that’s what counts for me, and I know it is what counts for many of you as well.”

Hossain helped create the new subreddit in coordinating with the six departing moderators, though he may step back as time goes on. As Nichol wrote Monday in the aftermath of the split:

“DC may hand the sub to Yukon or myself in the future. It’s not even being considered right now because this sub has just blown up quickly and we have a lot of work to do.”

Lead Mod Larson Responds to the Allegations

As Monday rolled on, Larson finally responded to the departing moderators’ charges. The lead r/ethtrader mod said he viewed the situation “quite differently” than them but said the split could play out as a “good thing” overall:

“Permissions are easy to restore so I saw that quite differently to demodding (position of mod in mod list would stay same once restored). There were also building resentments in the team. For instance Yukon often took quite a strong stance on moderation that we came to heads about. While I think the split is regrettable it’s possible more choice may also ultimately be a good thing.”

Some will agree, others will disagree, but what is clear is there is no turning back. Larson will continue to lead the original forum how he and the remaining moderators see fit, while the stakeholders of r/ethfinance have taken flight on their own journey on principle.

Perhaps it will be the a case of “the more, the merrier” after all. Some have already become fond of the new sub’s moniker, saying it better represents Ethereum’s wider value propositions.

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