Thousands of subreddits continue to protest after the initial 48-hour blackout, as Reddit says it has no plans to backtrack on the changes it’s making to its API. As of this writing, a counter lists more than 5,000 subreddits that are still dark, including some of the site’s most popular communities with tens of millions of subscribers each.
Some, like r/funny, r/aww, r/Music, r/scienceAnd r/videos are private and remain inaccessible. Others, such as r/photos And r/Art are restricted, meaning it is possible to view old posts but not submit new content. In these two cases, the community’s last new posts were on June 12 before the protest began.
At its peak, Reddark reported that more than 8,000 subreddits had gone dark in protest. The sheer number of subreddits setting themselves to private also caused stability issues for the site in general, with users struggling to access the remaining public content.
When it initially announced the API changes in April, Reddit presented them as a way for the company to get paid by AI researchers who wanted to use the content on their site to train large language models (LLMs). But it’s also part of an effort to make the company profitable ahead of an expected IPO later this year. “Two things happened at the same time: The LLM explosion brought all of Reddit’s data usage to the forefront, and our continued cost containment efforts to make Reddit self-sustaining put a spotlight on the tens of millions of dollars it costs us each year. support the [third-party] apps,” said Reddit CEO Steve Huffman wrote last week in response to a question. “We will remain profit-oriented until profit comes,” he added.
Despite the protests, Reddit is not shying away from making the changes. “We are not planning any changes to the API updates we previously announced,” a Reddit spokesperson said told The protector. “We spend millions of dollars on hosting costs and Reddit needs to be paid fairly to continue supporting popular third-party apps.”
Reddit has made some exceptions for non-monetized apps that fall within rate limits, moderator tools and bots, and accessibility-focused apps, but this hasn’t allayed the concerns of protesting moderators.