The protests led by moderators of popular Reddit communities are set to continue indefinitely, as they voice their opposition against the recent API changes implemented by the company. Initially planned to last from Monday to Wednesday, these subreddits have now decided to extend their demonstrations following CEO Steve Huffman’s memo, where he expressed confidence in Reddit’s ability to weather the storm, stating that this issue, like others in the past, would eventually fade away. In response to Huffman’s stance, a user succinctly replied, “Let them face the consequences.”
Notably, moderators from highly-trafficked subreddits such as r/awww, r/music, r/videos, r/futurology, r/apple, and r/NBA, among others, have joined forces to commit to an indefinite protest. This widespread blackout was triggered by Reddit’s decision to adopt a strategy reminiscent of Elon Musk’s Twitter tactics, by drastically increasing API prices to exorbitant levels ahead of the company’s planned IPO. Consequently, this move effectively eliminates all third-party Reddit clients, including the popular Apollo iOS app, leaving users with no choice but to rely on Reddit’s official app. In a moderators’ thread reported by The Verge, u/SpicyThunder335 criticized Reddit’s app, highlighting its poor quality, lack of accessibility, and difficulty for moderation purposes.
The proposal for an extended protest was met with enthusiasm from volunteer mods. For instance, u/britinsb commented, “The initial 48-hour protest was just a ‘proof of concept.’ Huffman’s dismissive attitude toward the coordinated action of over 20,000 mods and 10,000 subreddits only demonstrates his detachment from reality. Now, it’s time for the real consequences to be felt.”
Meanwhile, u/strolls suggested more drastic measures, proposing that moderators cease their activities, allowing spammers and low-quality content to flood Reddit. While acknowledging the potential risk of Reddit using such actions as an excuse to remove those mods and replace them with compliant individuals, a now-deleted user replied, “Let them proceed then. Currently, approximately 30,000 protesting mods have been providing free labor for Reddit for decades, ensuring the usability of these subreddits. It’s not as simple as it seems, and such actions will only further tarnish the site’s reputation, especially if an IPO is on the horizon. Twitter experienced a significant setback after mishandling its paid staff, leading to a one-third drop in its pre-purchase valuation. Reddit can learn from that.”
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In the same thread, u/SpicyThunder335 proposed sensible alternatives for communities with pressing needs to remain online. They suggested that subreddits like r/StopDrinking, which provide valuable resources for communities in need, and subreddits like r/Ukraine, which cover ongoing conflicts, adopt subtler forms of protest. These measures could include stickied announcements or weekly displays of solidarity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about API protests
What are the protests by Reddit moderators about?
The protests by Reddit moderators are in response to the company’s API changes. Reddit has increased API prices, making it difficult for third-party Reddit clients to function. This move has sparked a blackout protest by moderators of various popular subreddits.
Why did the moderators decide to extend the protests indefinitely?
The decision to extend the protests indefinitely was influenced by a memo from Reddit CEO Steve Huffman. In the memo, Huffman expressed confidence that the issue would pass. This dismissive attitude towards the concerns of moderators prompted them to prolong the demonstration, showcasing their solidarity and determination.
Which subreddits are participating in the protest?
Numerous well-trafficked subreddits, including r/awww, r/music, r/videos, r/futurology, r/apple, and r/NBA, among others, have joined the protest. The collective effort of these subreddits aims to challenge the API changes and highlight their dissatisfaction with Reddit’s actions.
What are the implications of Reddit’s API changes?
Reddit’s API changes have resulted in the elimination of third-party Reddit clients, such as the popular Apollo iOS app. Users are now left with Reddit’s own app as the sole option. This move has raised concerns about the quality and accessibility of Reddit’s app for both users and moderators.
How are the moderators planning to protest?
The moderators have organized a blackout protest where participating subreddits refrain from normal activities indefinitely. They aim to draw attention to the negative impact of the API changes on third-party clients and advocate for a reconsideration of Reddit’s actions.