Reddit warns moderators of the blacked-out subreddits

Emre Çitak
Jun 16, 2023
Updated • Jun 17, 2023

You must have heard about Reddit's recent API changes and their backlash on the community.

Certain subreddits have initiated blackouts on Reddit, protesting against the platform's plans to implement steep prices for its API. This move has sparked a clash between Reddit and its moderators, with the company threatening to replace resistant moderation teams to maintain accessibility for users. Let's delve into the details of this ongoing controversy.

Reddit has notified the moderators of blacked-out subreddits about its intention to replace the moderation teams. The company claims that this action is necessary to ensure that communities relied upon by thousands, or even millions, of users remain open and accessible. According to Reddit's Moderator Code of Conduct, moderators who do not comply and reopen their private subreddits will be removed from their positions.

Reddit blackout
Reddit blackout has led to an ongoing clash between Reddit and its moderators

Why are Redditors revolting?

Starting from Monday through Wednesday of this week, numerous popular subreddits participated in a blackout, either by going private or by halting new posts. The protest aimed to oppose planned API changes that would result in the shutdown of third-party Reddit apps, such as the popular Apollo app.

The blackout was an attempt to pressure Reddit into adopting fairer pricing for developers and granting them more time to adjust to the API changes. However, Reddit opted to wait out the protests instead of making immediate adjustments.

Extended blackouts and moderator discontent

As a response to Reddit's stance, certain subreddits, including r/Apple, have chosen to prolong their blackout indefinitely, as shared by r/Apple moderator @aaronp613 on Twitter:

This decision has left millions of Reddit users without access to these communities. Reddit's plan to forcibly end further blackouts by removing entire moderation teams has further intensified the discontent among moderators.

Reddit CEO's perspective

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman addressed the blackout protests, stating that they have not yet caused any significant impact on the company's revenue. While acknowledging the noise generated by the two-day protest, Huffman expressed confidence that it would eventually subside. He argued that Reddit's API was never designed to support third-party apps and that these apps do not add substantial value to the site. Huffman emphasized that Reddit developed its API primarily for internal tools, bots, and enhancements.

Huffman confirmed that the blackouts have had no influence on Reddit's API pricing plan. The company remains firm in its decision, stating that it will not reverse its business choice. In a recent interview, Huffman contradicted earlier messaging, asserting that Reddit will not force communities to reopen.

The clash continues

Reddit released a blog post outlining "key facts" about the API updates, emphasizing its respect for dissent, debate, and discussions within the platform. However, moderators and users remain dissatisfied with the unreasonably high API charges and the limited 30-day timeline provided to third-party developers for adapting to the new fees.

Developers, such as Christian Selig behind the Apollo app, have calculated that adopting the new API would cost them exorbitant amounts. Selig has decided to shut down his app on June 30, a day before Reddit's charges take effect. Consequently, there will be a scarcity of third-party apps available for accessing Reddit content, leaving users with the option of relying on the Reddit website or the official Reddit app.

Read alsoBest Reddit alternatives to look for after the blackout protests


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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