Reddit protest status has become inextricable

Emre Çitak
Jun 23, 2023

Reddit is under fire for pressuring moderators to reopen communities that closed in protest of recent API changes.

The changes, which would make it more difficult for third-party apps to access Reddit data, have been met with widespread criticism from moderators and users, and since then everything went downhill for Reddit. While the Reddit CEO says everything is ok, they got threatened by hackers to rewind these API changes.

Reddit protest status
Reddit stands by the change it made - Image: Reddit

Current Reddit protest status scares moderators

In one case, the moderator of the r/DIY subreddit said that they reopened the community because they were afraid that Reddit would appoint new moderators who would not care about the subreddit as much as they do.

The mod also announced a number of changes to the subreddit's rules, which hew more closely to Reddit's general requirements.

Other moderators have reported receiving similar messages from Reddit admins. In some cases, the admins have threatened to take action against moderators who do not reopen their communities.

More than 2,600 Subreddits remain dark

Despite the pressure, more than 2,600 subreddits remain dark in protest. Users on r/ModCoord are still sharing their stories of receiving threatening messages from Reddit. Some users have even accused Reddit of bullying.

"My tiny 27-user sub is being threatened for staying blacked out," one user wrote.

"Reddit is a BULLY," said another, sharing a screenshot of where they told ModCodeofConduct their messages were "harassment and intimidation".

[deleted by user]
by inModCoord

Reddit has not yet responded to a request for comment.

The ongoing standoff between Reddit and its moderators is a sign of the growing power of volunteer moderators on the platform.

Moderators play a vital role in keeping Reddit communities running smoothly, and they are increasingly willing to stand up for their communities' interests.

It remains to be seen whether Reddit will be able to force moderators to reopen their communities, but the standoff is a reminder that the power of the moderators should not be underestimated.


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  1. Someone said on June 26, 2023 at 5:24 pm

    I got angry about the fact that r/torrents gone private (around 12-13 days before) and many other subs from my interests. Dumb mods, push nonesence “protest” to move away people from useful subreddits. Reddit CEO and their dev team isnt going to change nothing about API pricing, unfortunately.

  2. Rasterfahndung said on June 24, 2023 at 6:26 am

    I really don’t care if the third-party apps comes back. reddit decided that no NSFW stuff is going to be accessible over the API for third-party apps.

    As far I know Reddit Enhancement Suite (RES) could be affected on the changes too.

    Whatever, I already deleted my Post and Comments and gonna sell the 13y old account.

  3. Kurt said on June 23, 2023 at 10:16 pm

    “It remains to be seen whether Reddit will be able to force moderators to reopen their communities”

    Reddit admins have been doing this for days. Not only have they been forcing mods to reopen, but in several cases they have removed all mods and replaced them with people who will comply.

    1. john said on June 24, 2023 at 8:24 am

      > in several cases they have removed all mods and replaced them with people who will comply.

      and I totally support that.

      I’m using r/firefox as a source for news and help, and it’s still private.

      The admins are not the owners of the sub, the users are!
      I hope Reddit will replace all current mods ASAP.

      1. Mystique said on June 24, 2023 at 3:25 pm

        I don’t agree with your statement completely. I do agree that it is owned by the users but that also includes the moderators. The problem is that Reddit thinks that every single thought and word you have spoken belongs to them but of course if they believe that then they and they alone are responsible for past and present violation of rules and laws which including copyright and in that case its bye bye reddit because whether you like it or not that was the safe harboring provisions set for Reddit from just about day 1 so I can’t support this attitude from Reddit at all. They have flipped the script on everything and this really just the start of it.

        Where does it end too? Its a far larger issue than just API access for third party clients.

        Yep, I was baffled about that too. I did a search for something (might have been an extension) noticed a comment that might have been helpful on reddit and noticed that the sub was still set to private. I didn’t let it bother me that much because I understand that there is a lot going on and its not all about just me and what I wanted to read.

        It seems to me then that the solution is to remove all the mods, roll back any of the free work the mods have done in the past including spam posts, double posts, insults, bad behaviour, any news, tips, comments etc basically anything the mods have put in since they started and let it all be.

        I don’t even know why people abandoned mozillazine anyway? Was there some logical and sound reason why this occurred? I’m honestly asking because I recall a time when that place was booming many years ago.
        The only thing I can think of was that it was a consequence of Mozilla choking the life out of the community when they decided that the community and extensions meant nothing.

        Reddit is also an archival nightmare if you ask me.

        So far I am not convinced there is a perfect step in replacement for Reddit because for that to happen it would have to be something that will be resistant to this hostility from admins and or moderators if that is what you feel.

        The truth is reddit has sold out, its no longer a site by the people and for the people. Its supposedly by the Admins for the admins to monetize and collect as much profit as they can at whatever the cost.

        I think it is rich that the CEO speaks of users comments, knowledge and data does not belong to AI but it somehow belongs to him as if he has written everything himself and curated it all.
        P.S. AI is garbage and I have spoken about that before but I also think the CEO is clutching at straws if that is his argument rather than being absolutely honest with the community of what it really is about.

  4. Mystique said on June 23, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    In other news infinity is now going to be charging a subscription for their app and relay has been using analytics in the last 3 or 4 versions released to what I can only suspect is to figure out how much to charge.

    I believe someone is making a Lemmy app based on infinity and are calling it Beyond.

    The developer of Slide is developing an app for Lemmy from my recollections.

    Subs have also began to change the rules to allow and encourage profanities thus forcing reddit to mark subs as NSFW therefore losing revenue.

    Meanwhile some other subs are trying to figure out a way to sink their reddit ship.

    It’s all a clustertruck and reddit deserves it.

    For those that are still wanting to use reddit there are going to be apps that will web scrape, how well they will function after the changes is anyone’s guess but time will tell.

  5. John G. said on June 23, 2023 at 2:07 pm

    Reddit will be Fired-it soon. Hopefully I don’t care a cent about its future.

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