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Blackout On Reddit: Thousands Go Dark To Protest Third-Party App Access Charges

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Blackout On Reddit: Thousands Go Dark To Protest Third-Party App Access Charges

(CTN News) – Thousands of Reddit discussion forums have ” turned dark” in a two-day protest against the company’s decision to charge third-party apps for API access.

Reddark, a site tracking the shutdowns, reports that more than 6,500 have gone dark as of Monday morning. It includes r/funny, r/science, r/gaming, r/aww, r/music, r/today learned, r/art, r/DIY, r/history, r/sports and r/food.

/r/Funny has gone private in protest of exorbitant API pricing, according to the forum’s landing page. There will be no access to this community during the protest.”

Reddit announced on April 18 that it would charge third parties access to its application programming interface (API) to provide “additional capabilities, higher usage limits, and broader usage rights.” Starting July 1, 2023, the new pricing is expected to take effect.

In a post Friday, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman acknowledged “frustration” among moderators over the policy change. “But we can no longer subsidize commercial entities that require large-scale data use if Reddit wants to become a self-sustaining business.”.

Due to Reddit’s move to monetize API access, some app developers say they will have to shut down.

Christian Selig, developer of client app Apollo, said the new pricing would cost him $20 million per year – and that Apollo will shut down on June 30. Sync, ReddPlanet and ReddIsFun developers have also announced they will be closing their business.

Moderators and users of Reddit protest the change.

Keeping Reddit’s platform welcoming and free of objectionable material is the responsibility of volunteer moderators.

As well as relying on uncompensated contributors for content, Reddit is also killing third-party applications (and itself), according to a post on r/pics.

“The API decision is likely to adversely affect both groups: Without effective tools (which has often promised and then failed to deliver), moderators cannot combat spammers, bad actors, or the entities that enable them, and without the freedom to choose how and where they access Reddit, many contributors will simply leave,” the statement on r/pics states.

“The very elements that differentiate – the foundations that attract its audience – will be eliminated, making the site just another dead cog in the Ennui Machine.”

The notice on r/pics calls on Reddit to listen to its moderators, contributors, and everyday users; to those whose work has made the platform possible. Do not sacrifice long-term viability for short-term gains.

Don’t work against your volunteers in a way that tacitly facilitates bad actors. Don’t merely prepare for your upcoming IPO without considering what may come later.”

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