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Reddit assumes command of major subreddit that opposed API modifications

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Reddit API protest

In line with its prior commitment, Reddit has been seizing control of various subreddits that went on a shutdown in protest against alterations made to its API. The admin account u/ModCodeofConduct has now fully taken over r/malefashionadvice, a thriving community with over 5.4 million members.

This subreddit was among thousands that temporarily closed their operations in mid-June as a display of disapproval towards the updated API regulations. Several subreddits even resorted to permitting pornographic posts as a form of protest.

The Reddit API was extensively utilized by third-party developers to create a multitude of applications that interact with the Reddit platform. A large number of these apps facilitated moderation or improved accessibility. Nonetheless, Reddit decided to impose charges on the formerly free-to-use API, compelling the creators of many popular apps to discontinue their projects. A transcribing community also suspended its operations due to perceived trust issues with the platform.

Following the commencement of the protests, Reddit experienced a significant reduction in traffic, as per third-party data. The company issued a warning to moderators who either made their subreddits private or set them to read-only mode, indicating that they would be replaced.

A previous moderator of r/malefashionadvice confirmed to The Verge that Reddit revoked their privileges on Thursday, an event they had anticipated. In a highlighted post, u/ModCodeofConduct appealed for volunteers to assume control of the subreddit. The admin account has made similar appeals on other subreddits where it’s the only current moderator, including r/AccidentalRenaissance (which has over 925,000 members) and r/ShittyLifeProTips (1.7 million members).

“A consistent enforcement of the moderator Code of Conduct has been and continues to be our practice. This isn’t a novel occurrence due to the protests,” a Reddit representative informed BuyTechBlog. According to its regulations, Reddit views any public community that has been indefinitely privatized as “abandoned” and searches for “new moderators eager to revive it.” The representative further stated, “we routinely reactivate private, high-subscriber communities that are ‘camped’ on.”

In other news, Reddit has recently resurrected r/place, a community art initiative that allows each user to add a single pixel to a massive mosaic every couple of minutes. As expected, Redditors are employing it to voice their criticisms towards the company and its CEO, Steve Huffman (u/spez). A message on the mosaic leading viewers to the r/Save3rdPartyApps community reads, “Never forget what was stolen from you.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Reddit API protest

Why did Reddit take control of certain subreddits?

Reddit assumed control of subreddits that were shut down in protest against changes made to its API. The company views a public community that has indefinitely been made private due to protests as “abandoned” and seeks new moderators to revive it.

What was the protest about?

The protest was against Reddit’s decision to start charging for access to its API, which was previously free. Many third-party developers used this API to build apps that helped with moderation or accessibility on the platform, and the new charges forced many of them to abandon their projects.

How did Reddit respond to the protest?

Reddit responded by taking over the “abandoned” subreddits, revoking the privileges of existing moderators and seeking new moderators to take over. They also revived the communal art project, r/place, where users are now expressing their dissatisfaction with the company and its CEO.

Which subreddit has the most subscribers among those taken over?

The subreddit with the most subscribers among those taken over is r/malefashionadvice, which has more than 5.4 million subscribers.

How did Reddit’s traffic change following the protest?

Reddit saw a significant drop in traffic following the protest, as per third-party data. However, the company has been making efforts to reactivate private, high-subscriber communities that were shut down during the protest.

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7 comments

TechGeek42 July 22, 2023 - 5:34 am

Reddit’s way of handling this is terrible. Charging for API is one thing, but taking over subreddits? Not cool, Reddit. not cool.

Reply
ModLover July 22, 2023 - 6:05 am

I sympathise with the mods. It’s like their hard work just got wiped out in a second. doesn’t seem fair at all 🙁

Reply
SubSurfer July 22, 2023 - 9:59 am

i’m kinda new here… someone explain what an API is pls? Also, what’s up with r/place? looks like a big pixel mess to me.

Reply
JustARedditUser July 22, 2023 - 11:31 am

Wow, Reddit’s really tightening the noose huh? Free API was a major draw for developers, idk how they expect to retain people now…

Reply
Pixels4Life July 22, 2023 - 11:42 am

LOL they brought back r/place? Let the chaos ensue. Haha! Maybe we’ll finally get a chance to create the world’s biggest pixel protest sign.

Reply
AppDev101 July 22, 2023 - 6:06 pm

It’s a sad day for us devs. Some really good apps are gonna go under because of this. They’ve seriously messed up big time.

Reply
FreedomFighter91 July 22, 2023 - 11:11 pm

this is why we need decentralized platforms. Too much power in the hands of one company. the protests have my full support!

Reply

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