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Over 3,500 subreddits to be unreachable in protest for 48 hours

Over 4,700 Reddit communities, or subreddits, are planning a blackout on June 12 in protest of the platform's new data paywall

By Web Desk
June 10, 2023
Over 3,500 subreddits to be unreachable in protest for 48 hours. reddit.com
Over 3,500 subreddits to be unreachable in protest for 48 hours. reddit.com

Over 4,700 communities on Reddit, known as subreddits, are planning to go offline on June 12 in protest of the platform's new data paywall. 

The protest stems from Reddit's decision to charge high fees for access to its data, which has led third-party app developers to shut down their services. The blackout is expected to last for at least 48 hours and involves major subreddits with millions of followers, such as r/aww, r/gaming, r/Music, r/Pics, and r/todayilearned. 

The move has sparked outrage among users and moderators who rely on these apps to interact with the platform and manage their communities.

The main point of contention is Reddit's API pricing changes, which many believe pose a threat to beloved third-party mobile apps and the overall user experience. Reddit has shown no signs of reversing its decision, although it has exempted accessibility apps from higher fees. The scale of the protest signifies its potential impact on the platform, as some subreddits are even considering permanent shutdowns if their demands are not met.

While Reddit prepares for its upcoming IPO, the company aims to monetise its data, similar to Twitter's previous actions that negatively affected third-party apps. The protest highlights the importance of these unofficial apps, which offer users additional features and customisation options, as well as help moderators keep their communities spam-free and on-topic.

As the blackout date approaches, more subreddits may join the movement, further intensifying the pressure on Reddit's management. While the company has discussed a possible pause in the pricing plan launch and exempted certain apps, its stance on the issue remains firm. 

All eyes are now on Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, who will address the matter publicly for the first time as the blackout draws near.