There's a Reddit Revolt Going On

Some 6K subreddits go 'dark' for 48 hours starting Monday
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2023 12:35 PM CDT
Amid New Fees, Redditors Revolt
This 2020 photo shows the Reddit logo on a mobile device. Some 6,000 subreddits went "dark" on Monday, June 12, 2023, in protest of new fees.   (AP Photo/Tali Arbel)

Twitter isn't the only social medium riling up its users by adding new fees—Reddit is also rolling out charges for third-party developers that has both said developers and redditors vowing they'll jump ship if the company goes through with it. As NPR reports, many redditors access the site with third-party apps such as Apollo, ReddPlanet, and Rediddit is Fun; those developers have all said they can't afford the charges, which Reddit says equates to less than $1 per user per month. And because nobody on the internet, ever, found themselves so infuriated that they started a revolución, redditors are responding by taking some 6,000 subreddits—including some of the site's largest—private for 48 hours. CNN notes that those "going dark" include at least two dozen subreddits with at least 10 million subscribers.

Third-party developers have had free access to Reddit's API since the site's founding in 2005; a rep tells Axios that access costs it "multi-millions of dollars on hosting fees" annually and insists it "needs to be fairly paid." CEO Steve Huffman says Reddit isn't currently profitable and that "we can no longer subsidize commercial entities that require large-scale data use." Indeed, NPR notes that the move comes amid a 5% cut in its workforce.

Tell that to the Reddit community: "During the blackout period, we encourage you to use this time to reflect on the importance of inclusivity, accessibility and creativity on Reddit, other online platforms and in life in general," say the NOLA subreddit moderators. "Frankly, I grow tired of when I see CEOs try to paint some picture that somehow bringing in more money means better innovation and services," wrote user InternetArtisan. "Just come out and say you want more money." (Reddit tried to go public in 2021. That didn't work amid the tech crash, but there are rumors it might try again later this year.)

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