Reddit Faces Major Protest as Thousands of Subreddits Go Private in Response to API changes
13 June, 2023 | Vedika Sarraf
The future of Reddit hangs in the balance as users and mods unite against the proposed changes.
Reddit, the renowned social network renowned for its community-based structure, is currently experiencing a significant protest as approximately 3,500 of its subreddits have decided to go private from June 12th to June 14th. This action is in response to Reddit’s proposed pricing changes to its application programming interface (API), which would have a significant impact on third-party apps.
Unlike most social networks, Reddit operates on a unique model where users follow specific subreddits dedicated to various topics, ranging from adorable content to practical purchases. The proposed pricing change would require third-party app developers, such as Apollo, a popular Reddit app, to pay a staggering $20 million per year, which is more than double the current cost of running the app.
The developer of Apollo compared this pricing to Twitter’s API pricing, which is four times higher, but still criticized Reddit’s new pricing as unreasonable. This change has sparked discontent among volunteer community moderators (mods) who play a crucial role in ensuring that content remains relevant and legal on the platform, leading to the planned protest.
3,500 Subreddits to go private for 48 Hours
Approximately 3,500 subreddits will become private for 48 hours, effectively blocking access to known members. Among these subreddits, the moderators of the iPhone subreddit initially planned to go private on June 12th. However, during an “Ask Me Anything” session with Reddit’s CEO, they decided to extend their protest indefinitely starting from June 11th.
In response to the protest, Reddit’s CEO, Steve Huffman, alleged that Apollo was blackmailing the company, a claim denied by the app’s developer. Concurrently, Reddit is undergoing some structural changes, including reducing its workforce by 5%.
Users and Mods unite against Pricing changes on the platform
The future direction of Reddit hangs in the balance as users and mods unite against the proposed changes. The protest and discontent within the community highlight the significance of the platform’s unique structure and the critical role played by volunteer moderators in maintaining its integrity.
As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how Reddit will respond to the protest and whether any adjustments to the proposed API pricing changes will be made. The outcome of these events will undoubtedly shape the platform’s future and its relationship with its user base.