December 5, 2023

Introduction:

Reddit, one of the most popular social media platforms, has been facing a major challenge in recent times due to widespread protests against its API policies. The company’s decision to implement new paid API plans, resulting in the shutdown of numerous third-party apps, triggered a series of API blackout protests across various subreddits. While most subreddits have reopened following threats from the company, some continued to resist, leading Reddit to take firm action by removing protesting moderators. This move has raised concerns among the Reddit community and sparked ongoing protests in different forms.

The API Blackout Protests:

The API blackout protests on Reddit have been ongoing for weeks, with some subreddits remaining in restricted mode despite the initial two-day protest period. Reddit’s management had threatened to remove moderators from protesting communities, leading to the reopening of many subreddits. However, a few large subreddits, fueled by dissatisfaction with the company’s new paid API plans, continue to resist, prompting Reddit to take control of those communities.

Reddit’s Seizure of Subreddits:

One notable example of Reddit’s action is the removal of moderators from r/malefashionadvice, a subreddit with over 5 million members. The company replaced the former mods with its own account, “modcodeofconduct,” to facilitate the transfer of moderator privileges. Additionally, Reddit has taken control of other sizeable subreddits like r/homeautomation and r/ShittyLifeProTips, each boasting over a million members. In total, the “modcodeofconduct” account now oversees 11 subreddits, with Reddit seeking new moderators for some communities.

Continued Protests and Displeasure:

Despite the crackdown on API protests, Redditors remain vocal in expressing their dissatisfaction with Reddit’s recent decisions. Some subreddits, including r/aww and r/pics, with over 30 million users each, have adopted new protest actions by filling their feeds exclusively with posts featuring comedian John Oliver. Others have taken their protest to r/Place, the relaunched open pixel art canvas.

The Impact of Reddit’s CEO on Protests:

The recent decisions and policies leading to API protests have been attributed to Reddit’s CEO, Steve Huffman. As Redditors express their frustration and dissatisfaction with the company’s actions, Reddit’s management faces the challenge of addressing the concerns raised by its vibrant and passionate community.

Conclusion:

Reddit’s API blackout protests have put the company in a difficult position, with moderators and users voicing their displeasure over the new paid API plans. While most subreddits have reopened following company threats, some communities continue to resist, resulting in Reddit taking control of major subreddits. As protests take on new forms, the future of these demonstrations remains uncertain. It remains to be seen how Reddit’s management will respond to the ongoing discontent and whether they will address the grievances raised by the passionate Redditors.

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