Reddit Faces Massive Blackout as Over 8,000 Subreddits Go Dark to Protest API Pricing

  • Jennifer Smith
  • Jun 13, 2023
  • 324
Reddit Faces Massive Blackout as Over 8,000 Subreddits Go Dark to Protest API Pricing

On Monday, a large-scale Reddit blackout was initiated by over 8,000 subreddits in response to the platform's API pricing policy changes. The fees associated with these changes will lead to the shutdown of numerous third-party apps, such as Apollo and Reddit are Fun, leaving many users and moderators disgruntled. This blackout, which is planned to continue for 48 hours, is part of a coordinated effort involving tens of thousands of moderators and millions of Reddit users.

During the blackout, participating subreddits will be set to private, preventing non-subscribers from viewing existing content and subscribers from posting or commenting on new content. Some subreddits have opted for a read-only mode as a form of protest. Those involved in the movement are encouraged to voice their concerns about the API changes through negative reviews of the official Reddit app and by switching to non-Reddit platforms in an attempt to impact site traffic.

Coordinating efforts are being carried out on r/ModCoord, where an ongoing thread is tracking the participating subreddits. As of Monday afternoon, 28,606 moderators and 8,300 subreddits have pledged to go private in support of the cause. Some subreddits have even threatened permanent closure unless Reddit "adequately addresses" user concerns, as stated in a post on r/Save3rdPartyApps.

Among the most popular subreddits participating in the blackout are r/funny, r/aww, r/gaming, r/Music, r/Pics, r/science, and r/todayilearned. The combined user base of all protesting subreddits is approximately 2.8 billion, although there is a considerable overlap of users subscribed to multiple subreddits involved in the protest. Users can watch the subreddits go dark in real-time via Twitch.

This massive Reddit blackout marks a significant moment in the platform's history as the online community unites to voice its disapproval of the API pricing changes. The impact of the blackout, with its potential to disrupt the site's traffic and overall user experience, may force Reddit to reconsider its policies and address the concerns of its users. The outcome of this protest could potentially shape the future of third-party apps and the Reddit community at large.

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