Reddit users lose chat messages before 2023 in latest anti-user move

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 15, 2023

Reddit users who have used the site's chat functionality prior to 2023 may have noticed that all records of 2022 and earlier are no longer accessible.

Reddit keeps records of chat messages between users, private conversations, and users could access these at any time while logged in to their account.

Reddit users who use the "new" Reddit in a web browser or the Reddit mobile application on iOS or Android, can't access chat messages before January 1, 2023 anymore. The removal has been caused by a migration of the site's chat infrastructure.

The site's chat infrastructure was migrated in June 2023 and and the decision was made to ignore messages before January 1, 2023 to "have a smooth and quick transition". The announcement was made in June 2023 and many Reddit users appear to have missed it.

Reddit did not explicitly mention that older chat data would be removed in the process, which may have been a reason for users were caught off guard. Not everyone is reading official announcements on self.reddit either, the group where changes and announcements are published.

The migration happened on June 30, 2023 already, and users of the site started to take notice of the change since that day. Reddit engineers used January 1, 2023 as the cut off date. Any thread started before that day, even if it had activity in 2023, has not been migrated.

How to access and restore Reddit chat history

reddit data request

Reddit users have two options to regain access to their chat history. Those are not guaranteed to work and it is unclear for how long they may be around:

  1. Use the Old Reddit website. Using gives still access to chats, but only regular chats, not live chats are accessible here.
  2. Request a data export. Visit to request a full data export, which contains chat data. Note that it may take up to 30 days for Reddit to respond to this.

Closing Words

Reddit has made several anti-user changes lately on the site. In April 2023, Reddit announced that it would introduce a paid API that third-parties needed to use to access site content. The rates were set so high, that most third-party app developers announced that they could not afford them, let alone react to in the short time Reddit gave them to adjust.

Reddit also started to block logins on mobile for some users, asking them to use the official Reddit app instead. While there are still ways to access Reddit on mobile without account, the site's higher-ups seem hell-bent to get users to use the official Reddit app.

The community staged blackout protects, which set many popular Reddit forums to private, but this did not lead to any concessions.

Reddit users lose chat messages before 2023 in latest anti-user move
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Reddit users lose chat messages before 2023 in latest anti-user move
Reddit users who have used the site's chat functionality prior to 2023 may have noticed that all records of 2022 and earlier are no longer accessible. 
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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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