Dark Days for Reddit: Over 7,200 Subreddits Take a Stand Going Private to Protest Reddit's API Changes

The Reddit community is up in arms again, and this time it's not just one or two subreddits going dark in protest. Thousands of communities have gone dark, including two of the most popular gaming subreddits, Overwatch and CS:GO. The reason for the uproar? Starting from June 12th to June 14th, a lot of subreddits have decided to make themselves private as a response to the new pricing for Reddit's API. Some subreddits are planning to stay private for an indefinite period of time.

For those who aren't familiar with Reddit, it's a massive online platform consisting of thousands of communities, or subreddits, dedicated to every topic under the sun. Some of these subreddits are small and niche, while others boast millions of subscribers and are incredibly influential. For gaming fans, two of the most important subreddits are r/Overwatch and r/GlobalOffensive, which are dedicated to the popular games Overwatch and CS:GO, respectively.

The controversy started a few weeks ago when the creators of the popular Reddit apps Apollo and RIF announced that they would have to shut down by the end of June because of changes to Reddit's API. They explained that the costs associated with these changes were too high, and they didn't have enough time to adapt. Additionally, the changes could also affect many of the site's bots, as they would require more expensive API calls, which developers would have to pay for. We don't know yet how Reddit's management will respond to this protest. According to a recent report from Reuters, Reddit is planning to become a publicly traded company later this year, which might explain the reasons behind the API changes.

But now, these two subreddits have gone dark, along with thousands of others, in protest of Reddit's new policies. The changes were announced in early June, and they include a ban on hate speech, a crackdown on harassment, and a new system for reporting and removing problematic content. While these policies may sound positive on the surface, many Reddit users are concerned that they will be used to silence dissenting voices and stifle free speech.

Reddit moderators can express their disapproval of the upcoming API changes in a unique way because they control user access to the content in the subreddit communities they manage.

But now, with the new policies in place, many users worry that these discussions will be censored or shut down altogether. Some have even speculated that the new policies could be used to target specific communities or individuals, based on their views or opinions.

Massive Subreddit Protests: Popular communities like r/todayilearned, r/funny, and r/gaming, each with over 30 million subscribers, have joined the campaign. Meanwhile, subreddits such as r/iPhone and r/unexpected, with more than 1 million members, have already closed their doors to outsiders in preparation for the strike.

The protest revolves around upcoming changes to Reddit's "API," which is what allows other companies to use Reddit data in their products and services. These modifications will introduce significant charges for "premium access," leading to the shutdown of beloved third-party Reddit applications like Apollo.

"Christian Selig, the developer behind the Apollo app, conveyed his gratitude for the tremendous support and unity exhibited by the Reddit community in response to the API pricing controversy. He expressed his awe at witnessing the community's collective efforts in opposing the proposed changes. In a post shared on the Apollo subreddit, Selig expressed his optimism that Reddit would pay heed to the raised concerns. He proposed that Reddit could rebuild trust within the community by acknowledging the mishandling of the situation, offering sincere apologies, and making tangible commitments to grant developers more time to adapt to the modifications. Such actions, he believed, would demonstrate responsiveness and instill confidence among the community members once again."

In the end, the protest against Reddit's changes is a reminder of the power of online communities to effect change and demand accountability from platforms that have a major impact on our lives. Whether it's gaming, politics, or any other topic, Reddit has become a vital tool for connecting with like-minded individuals and sharing information and ideas. It's up to all of us to ensure that these communities remain safe, responsible, and free from hate and harassment.

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