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Reddit offers content moderators free Calm app subscription

Reddit is pictured on a computer.
(Graphic: The Desk)

Social media service Reddit is offering its volunteer content moderators an opportunity to unwind from the stress of 2020 with premium access to the meditation app Calm.

Reddit, a popular social content platform that bills itself as the “front page of the Internet,” is home to thousands of communities where millions of users publish links, multimedia and written content on hundreds of informative, interesting and weird topics.

For the most part, Reddit’s communities — called sub-reddits — are run by volunteers who agree to launch groups and moderate posts and comments published by other users.

Reddit’s volunteer moderators often have to put up with a lot of harassment and abuse, particularly in popular groups dedicated to politics and other current events, something Reddit officials quietly acknowledged earlier this month.

“We know times are stressful and we greatly appreciate the work you have been continuing to do to keep your communities safe and fun,” Reddit said in a message distributed to moderators of various communities. “You work has not gone unnoticed by anyone at Reddit, especially on our community team.”

As a token of gratitude, Reddit offered an unknown number of moderators the opportunity to sign up for a premium subscription to mindfulness app Calm. The subscription normally costs $13 a month.

“Calm is an app for everyday meditation, intended to promote mindfulness, reduce stress, ease anxiety, and more,” Reddit said.

Reddit said the free subscription was not part of a paid promotion or other type of sponsorship — “we’re gifting this to you because Reddit wouldn’t be Reddit without you, and we care about your health and well-being,” the company said.

The subscription to Calm appears to be part of a corporate initiative at Reddit: Moderators who have taken advantage of the free premium subscription have received emails saying they’re on the same premium plan as Reddit’s employees, according to messages reviewed by The Desk.

The free subscription for moderators lasts for one year from the date of sign-up. Eligible moderators either have or will receive an email from Reddit saying the number of free subscriptions is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).