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More than six thousand subreddits have gone dark to protest Reddit’s API changes

Over six thousand subreddits, including many of the most subscribed communities on Reddit like r/funny, r/aww, r/gaming, r/musicAnd r/science, have taken themselves private to protest Reddit’s upcoming API price changes. It means that these communities are no longer publicly accessible, even to Reddit users who previously subscribed to them. Here’s one Twitch stream which tracks the exact number of subreddits that have gone dark.

Moderators began planning the actions last week after the developers of some of Reddit’s best-loved third-party apps said they wouldn’t be able to afford the platform’s updated API prices. On Thursday, the developers of Apollo announced to Reddit and others that they would shut down their apps on June 30 due to the API changes.

When attempting to access r/aww, one of Reddit’s largest subreddits, this message appears.
Screenshot of Jon Porter / The Verge

“We don’t just do this: we do what we do because we love Reddit, and we truly believe this change will make it impossible to continue doing what we love,” r/Toptomcat wrote in the post. And some subreddits didn’t wait until Monday: r/TIHI (Thanks, I hate it) And r/pollings were among those who fell out shortly after CEO Steve Huffman’s poorly received Friday AMA.

Apollo app developer Christian Selig, whose post about Reddit’s API pricing sparked much of the initial outcry, said it was “incredibly amazing” to see the Reddit community come together to oppose the proposed changes. “I really hope Reddit is listening,” he wrote in a post on the Apollo subreddit. “I think showing humanity by apologizing for and acknowledging that this process was handled poorly, and making concrete promises to give developers more time would go a long way in making people feel heard and building trust in the community .”

While many subreddits go private, others (like r/NintendoSwitch, r/frugalAnd r/Star Wars) choose to restrict new messages instead. Historic posts will still be visible, but moderators will not allow new content on these communities while the protest is taking place. A subreddit, r/DankMemesis still public, but only allows users to post memes about the API changes.

In r/ModCoord, four different wires detail an “incomplete and growing list of participating subreddits” that includes numerous well-known communities with tens of millions of subscribers.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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