Reddit Users Stage 48-Hour Blackout In Protest of API Policy

Reddit Users Stage 48-Hour Blackout In Protest of API Policy

News by Roberto OrosaRoberto Orosa
Published: June 12, 2023

Reddit users have staged a blackout, which is expected to last 48-hours, starting today to protest the forum platform’s new application programming interface (API) pricing policy. 

According to Reddark, around 7,000 subreddit forums have so far gone private and have voluntarily restricted their content from being viewed publicly. These Reddit communities include popular subreddits dedicated to topics such as music, sports, politics, and more.   

The protest comes as most members express their disappointment towards Reddit’s new pricing scheme for its API, which allows users to browse its content through third-party apps. 

Reddit user u/Toptomcat shared in a post that while some subreddits will return after 48 hours, others will go away permanently until the issue is “adequately addressed.” 

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“This isn't something any of us do lightly: we do what we do because we love Reddit, and we truly believe this change will make it impossible to keep doing what we love,” the user added. 

The forthcoming changes have also prompted third-party apps to stop operations. On June 30, Apollo, rif is fun for Reddit (RIF), ReddPlanet, and Sync are set to shut down just a day before the new pricing system rolls out.  

In response to the backlash, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman shared a post last Friday addressing the community’s “frustration,” saying he has spoken with several moderators about it.   

“Mods, I appreciate all the time you’ve spent with us this week, and all the time prior as well. Your feedback is invaluable. We respect when you and your communities take action to highlight the things you need, including, at times, going private,” he explained.  

“We are all responsible for ensuring Reddit provides an open accessible place for people to find community and belonging.” 

Update as of June 15, 12:41 AM, PST: Reddit is currently experiencing crashes due to the sheer volume of subreddits going private.  

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