Reddit is embroiled in a swelling tide of discord as major subreddits and third-party apps unite in opposition to the platform’s new API pricing structure. The dramatic change in policy, deemed non-negotiable by Reddit’s leadership, has ignited protests that have swept across the site, affecting third-party apps and causing a growing number of subreddits to ‘go dark.’
In the fallout, third-party Reddit apps such as Apollo, rif is fun for Reddit, ReddPlanet, and Sync have announced impending shutdowns. These applications have cited the new API pricing and the platform’s increasing hostility toward third-party developers as the primary reasons behind their decision to close.
The issue gained further traction during a contentious Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, where CEO Steve Huffman faced a barrage of criticism from the community. Huffman’s responses were dismissive and evasive. This has only served further galvanize the community.
Notably, many subreddit moderators and developers of third-party Reddit apps have openly accused Huffman and Reddit’s leadership of dishonesty, exacerbating the loss of trust. The result has been a broad-based and growing backlash against the new policy, with subreddits going private in protest and voicing their demands for improved API changes, enhanced accessibility for the visually impaired, and equal access to NSFW content.
The communication strategy—or lack thereof—from Reddit’s leadership regarding these changes has drawn heavy criticism. With scant information provided about the new pricing structure and incoming restrictions, the community has accused Reddit of a lack of transparency and integrity.
Reddark Seeks to Blackout Reddit for 48 hours
In the wake of the AMA debacle, the protest movement has gained momentum. For example, r/iPhone, initially intending a 48-hour blackout, decided to prolong their protest indefinitely, severely restricting access to the sub. r/Music, one of the site’s largest communities, also joined the cause, committing to stay private starting from June 12th under the banner “Until Reddit Takes Back Their API Policy Change.”
The scale of the pushback is striking. At the time of writing, Reddark, a site tracking the protesting subreddits, reported over 200 communities have already gone dark, with almost 4,500 planning to join.
As the unrest continues, the effects are likely to be far-reaching, potentially reshaping the Reddit landscape significantly. How the platform’s leadership responds in the face of this unified protest could have profound implications for the future of Reddit and its community.