Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

AOL would use volunteers, called Community Leaders, to moderate chats/BBSes, etc. They even got perks, like free Internet. I volunteered as a Host Guide when I was 16. CLs eventually filed a complaint with the DoL claiming AOL violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by using non-employees to do unpaid work that could have been done by paid employees. In fact, it's still illegal even if the volunteer doesn't mind or doesn't want to be paid, so long as the company is for-profit. AOL paid out something like $15 million in a class action. [1]

The same will, and should, happen to Reddit. One of the largest sites on the Internet is making money hand over first while moderators end up paying the price for no real benefit.

1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AOL_Community_Leader_Program

In your favored outcome, the government intervenes in a way that

a) prevents people who want to be mods, from being mods

b) breaks the way the site works

What gives you the right to do that? Seriously, if you want to live in a nanny state, please, not in my back yard.

I do not want you to be my nanny.

Reddit's moderation problems are not so big that you are justified in putting a gun to other peoples' faces to force them to do it the way you want.

>What gives you the right to do that?

The Fair Labor Standards Act: https://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/whd/flsa/docs/volunteers.asp

Reddit's preference of exploiting unpaid labor, and it's failure to plan for the inevitable event where that exploited labor decides they want to be compensated for their work is entirely on Reddit Inc. A company valued at $3 billion should have understood the potential risk.

All Reddit mods who feel burned out or are otherwise struggling because of the work they've done as mods should file a complaint with the Dept. of Labor and request financial compensation for the work performed, and coverage of any medical treatment stemming from the results of moderating toxic communities.


This is just a forced wealth transfer to people who have managed to partially capture the government.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact