What is Reddit blackout protest: Explained

Onur Demirkol
Jun 13, 2023

The Reddit blackout protest is what everyone has been talking about in the past couple of days, but what is it? Today, we will explain to you why people are protesting the website!

Reddit users are rising up in protest in droves over proposed API changes to the site. More than 7,600 subreddits, including some of the most popular gaming-related subreddits, went black on Monday morning in protest of changes to third-party API fees, just days after a catastrophic AMA with Reddit CEO Steve Huffman. It's just no longer possible to publish or modify in other subreddits.

Reddit blackout protest
Reddit blackout protest

Reasons behind the Reddit blackout protest

Reddit stated on April 18 that it will be updating access to its API, and a notable change was the addition of a subscription model for outside apps.  The website made the decision to substantially raise the costs for its API, which led to the closure of some of the most popular third-party applications, including "Apollo" and "rif is fun for Reddit." That is the primary motivation for the Reddit API protest since it will, in a sense, modify certain long-standing practices, and two of the most well-known third-party programs won't be accessible to users.

The blackout is scheduled to last from June 12 to June 14, but some communities and moderators want to keep protesting until "the issue is adequately addressed," according to the website Save 3rd Party Apps. The 250 Reddit subreddits with the biggest followers are being monitored by that site for blackouts. Reddit groups planned to go black on June 12 in protest of the company's decision to charge for access to the API; Huffman made the comments. The website charged $0.24 for each 1,000 API query.

In an interview with the New York Times in April, Reddit's CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman stated that "more than any other place on the internet, Reddit is a home for authentic conversation." However, the Reddit API complaint may prevent that title from remaining on Huffman's website.

Christian Selig, the app's creator, declared that Apollo will stop operating since it is "impossible for Apollo to continue."

As CEO Steve Huffman took part in an AMA on Friday under the alias u/spez, fans' outrage only escalated. He published a post outlining the justification and justification for the adjustments. Huffman concluded the article by stating, "I will be remaining around to address queries alongside other admins. Since finding answers might be challenging, we've changed the default sort to Q&A mode.

Despite this, a large number of the thread's most popular comments go ignored. Other comments went without explanation. Huffman stated about Selig in one thread: "His behavior and communications with us has been all over the place — saying one thing to us while saying something completely different externally; recording and leaking a private phone call — to the point where I don't know how we could do business with him."

"Please feel free to give examples where I said something different in public compared to what I said to you," Selig replied. "You have my complete consent."

Reddit blackout protest

When will it end?

The projected timeline of the blackout is June 12 to June 14, but it might take longer for some of the subreddits as the website wants to keep the changes. There aren't any certainties right now regarding how long the Reddit blackout protest will last.

"The two-day blackout isn't the goal, and it isn't the end. Should things reach the 14th with no sign of Reddit choosing to fix what they've broken, we'll use the community and buzz we've built between then and now as a tool for further action," said the website Save 3rd Party Apps.

Since they prefer using third-party apps over the official Reddit app or website for a variety of reasons, including better design, functionality, performance, and accessibility, many Reddit users are incensed by this shift. Additionally, some users believe that Reddit is attempting to dominate its platform in order to force people to utilize its own goods and services.


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