Update (7/4): After a few days of protests, most major subreddits are back online.
On Wednesday, Reddit hosted yet another of its popular AMAs, or Ask Me Anything, sessions. Reddit has cemented itself as one of the modern pillars of the internet with a userbase large enough to attract the attention of publicists and curious celebrities or important people alike. As a result, persons ranging from small-time authors and game developers to government officials and even the President of the United States have participated in an AMA session (link may be broken, see below for why). The person in question announces their presence on Reddit, often with some sort of confirmation of identity from the site's administrators and moderators, inviting users to prepare and vote on questions to be answered. Though it is usually impractical for the guest to answer all questions, they are usually able to answer quite a few.
To help organize the session and interface with the guest, Reddit's administrators hired Victoria Taylor as their Director of Communications. Beloved by the subreddit r/IAmA, a subreddit largely dedicated to AMAs, Victoria was largely responsible for facilitating AMAs with various famous persons. In fact, according to several, she was fundamentally vital to numerous sessions, both in the past and planned for the future. Recently, she was abruptly fired from the position without warning, resulting in a massive protest on the part of users and moderators of the site. No official reason has been given, but rumors are abound that the failure of Rev. Jesse Jackson's recent AMA from last Wednesday may have had something to do with it.
The protest has taken place largely in the form of user protests and moderators making several major subreddits private. When a subreddit is made private, only a select few are able to access it in any fashion. This means the subreddit is effectively closed to public and search engines alike, displaying a lockout page not unlike a 404. As the situation is rapidly advancing, the list of subreddits partaking in the protest is bound to change, but the largest and most common subreddits appear to be showing solidarity in the protest. If one were to visit Reddit's front page right now, you would note the disappearance of /r/Art, /r/gaming, /r/history, /r/science, /r/Music, /r/books, and many others.
As mentioned in a reddit post concerning the situation...
...there is a feeling among many of the moderators of reddit that the admins do not respect the work that is put in by the thousands of unpaid volunteers who maintain the communities of the 9,656 active subreddits, which they feel is expressed by, among other things, the lack of communication between them and the admins, and their disregard of the thousands of mods who keep reddit's communities going...
It is important to note that this protest is not solely over the firing of a beloved member of the Reddit administration. Though movements such as these are nebulous and multifaceted by nature, many users seem to consider this a "straw that broke the camel's back" situation, the final incident that brought an underlying issue regarding communication and treatment of the site and its users by the administrators.
As the event is still young, it is hard to see where it will go. As late as last year it was reported that Reddit had yet to achieve profitability as a business. If the major subreddits remain private in protest, Reddit could quickly lose the content that drives their more apathetic or unaware pageviews and, thus, revenue. If they don't respond in a satisfactory manner, the future of the site may be uncertain.