The version of Reddit we’ll see in the next few days might be a shell in itself. More than 100 subreddits have already disappeared and thousands plan to follow in protest of Reddit’s upcoming API changes, according to the Reddark websitewho follows the protests.
The protests are happening because of API changes that will force many third-party apps, such as Apollo and reef is fun for Reddit, to shut down. There was already frustration in the community as developers started reacting to the changes, but Reddit CEO Steve Huffman’s comments over the past few days haven’t calmed things down.
In a Reddit AMA on Friday, Huffman was met with seemingly universal ire. There were a lot of f-bombs from commentators. a lot by people called it a coward. If there are any positive comments, I haven’t found them.
Before r/videos went private today it was mods wrote that Huffman’s AMA performance was “a collage of inappropriate comments” and that Reddit’s CEO appears to have deliberately misinterpreted a conversation the company had with Apollo developer Christian Selig.
The two men recently spoke about the API changes, and according to Selig, Huffman got upset and claimed that Selig was threatening him. Selig has since posted a recording illustrating the “threat”. was cleared up as a misunderstanding while they were still on the phone, but he says Huffman kept telling Reddit employees that Selig threatened him during the meeting. Now mods and developers are calling Huffman and other Reddit leaders “liars,” accusing them of ignoring big questions during the AMA, even though those questions had the most votes, to answer easy questions instead.
According to this post on r/ModCoordwill the protest end when Reddit addresses issues with the API, improves accessibility for the blind and creates “parity in access to NSFW content”.
The biggest complaints are about how Reddit leadership has or has not communicated the details of API pricing changes or inbound restrictions, including banning third-party apps from displaying NSFW content that is already viewable on the site. ReddPlanet developer Tony Lupeski said it was a “blatant lie”. that Reddit leadership kept dialogue open with affected third-party developers, as Huffman wrote. “That’s not an answer and you know it,” said the user Anacharsis to the same Huffman replied.
When moderator asked Merari01 why the site hadn’t explored the new changes with users and moderators, Huffman said the company “began sharing this information in April.” Some comments pointed to the earlier announcement did not contain pricing information And details omitted such as banning third-party apps that display NSFW content.
Since the AMA, some subreddits have escalated their response. At r/iPhone, the moderators placed early in the morning that their original plan was to go dark for only 48 hours, but Huffman’s behavior changed his mind:
The protest was originally scheduled to last 48 hours. However, after a chaotic AMA held by Reddit’s CEO, it has become clear to us that Reddit has no intention of acting in good faith. When the CEO is willing to lie and spread defamatory claims about another third-party developer, then try to double by defaming them again in an AMA, despite the developer being proven a liar through audio recording, then we knew what we were dealing with.
Now /iPhone goes private, severely restricting access to the sub. Just like r/Music, a standard subscription for new accounts and one of the largest subreddits on the site. Mods from that community put it right in the title of the post announcing his participationwhich says it will close from June 12 “Until Reddit takes back their API policy change.”
r/iPhonewhich has 3.8 million users echoed r/Music’s sentiment by saying, “in the (somewhat unlikely) scenario that Reddit’s leadership experiences a change of course that will see the reversal [of] the recent API policy change, we will reopen the subreddit. r/Gaming says the shutdown begins on the 12th and is set to private “for 48 hours or more”.
At the time of publication, a pinned bot post on the r/ModCoord subs message about the protest says nearly 4,500 communities pledge to go after dark while red darksays a site that tracks the protesting subreddits more than 200 have already done so.
Correction 11:31 PM EST: An earlier version of this headline suggested that thousands of subreddits were black. That is incorrect, they are currently planning to go dark. We sincerely regret the mistake.