Update as of 14th June 2023: Numerous Reddit community moderators have committed to maintaining their subreddits as private or restricted for an indefinite period. Initially, most subreddits planned a blackout from Monday to Wednesday as a demonstration against Reddit’s costly API pricing modifications. However, following a post on Tuesday in the r/ModCoord subreddit, users are voicing their intentions to extend the blackout of their subreddits beyond the initially planned 48-hour period.
Original article: In an extraordinary turn of events, the online community Reddit is currently experiencing a massive blackout. Over 7,200 subreddits have been shut down by their moderators in protest of the company’s decision to start charging third-party apps for access to Reddit’s application programming interface (API).
This drastic move has resulted in a considerable downturn in Reddit’s usual activity, with some of the most popular subreddits like r/gaming, r/pics, and r/todayilearned, each having more than 30 million subscribers, going dark. Twitter and multiple news websites are abuzz about what going on as users are complaining and commenting on this extraordinary event.
The protest has been described as a black eye for Reddit, especially since the site has been preparing to go public later this year. Reddit’s decision to charge API fees has been met with staunch resistance from both users and moderators, many of whom feel that the move compromises their ability to moderate effectively and utilize popular third-party tools. In particular, several popular third-party apps, such as Apollo, have expressed concern that the API pricing will force them to shut down their services.
The blackout has had a notable impact on Reddit’s stability, with the site experiencing a major outage on the first day of the protest. The outage affected both Reddit’s desktop and mobile sites and its native mobile apps. Reddit attributed the outage to the sudden shift of a significant number of subreddits to private, which they had anticipated would cause stability issues.
As of now, the site’s status has switched back to “operational,” but it’s unclear if all issues have been completely resolved.
The situation continues to develop as more subreddits join the protest and some are deciding to stay private indefinitely until something changes at Reddit. As of now, Reddit’s management has stood firm on its decision to implement the API pricing changes, despite the backlash.
The Reddit blackout of 2023 is a significant event in the history of digital communities and raises important questions about the future of online platforms and how they balance their business models with the interests and needs of their users. As we wait to see how this situation unfolds, one thing is clear: this protest has forever changed the narrative around Reddit’s relationship with its user base and third-party developers. Will Reddit continue to stand its ground or will they heed the calls from their community? Only time will tell.
Note: This article is based on information available as of June 12, 2023. The situation is ongoing and may change as more details become available.