Subreddits get creative: Innovative protests emerge amidst Reddit’s API rule changes

The ripples of the new changes to Reddit’s API rules continue to reverberate throughout the platform, sparking a wave of creative and innovative protests by various subreddits. Ever since the blackout at the popular online forum, several subreddits are taking a stand against the recent API rule changes implemented by Reddit.

For those who need a quick reminder, under the new API rule, Reddit will charge third-party apps about $12,000 per 50 million API calls, which will force third-party apps like Apollo and Sync to shut down because of the high prices. These changes made by Reddit have raised concerns among moderators and users alike, prompting them to explore unique methods of expressing their discontent.

From temporary blackouts to altering post topics and implementing strict rules, these subreddits are pushing back against the perceived threat to third-party apps and the potential limitations on their communities with the alternative means of protesting. It also comes after Reddit CEO Steve Huffman refused to make any changes to the platform, claiming that the API wasn’t designed to support these clients., and refused to budge despite the strong backlash.

“If you’re a politician or a business owner, you are accountable to your constituents. So, a politician needs to be elected, and a business owner can be fired by its shareholders. And I think, on Reddit, the analogy is closer to the landed gentry: The people who get there first get to stay there and pass it down to their descendants, and that is not democratic,” he said. The current protest by subreddits highlights the growing tension between Reddit’s leadership and the communities that make the platform thrive. It underscores the importance of open communication and collaboration between Reddit and its users to address concerns and find mutually beneficial solutions.

Reddit also communicated with moderators of communities, informing that they must keep the community open and cannot decide that their community should go dark without a public vote – participating in the blackout will simply see to their removal. In retaliation, communities are posting polls to decide what type of posts are allowed on the subreddit. This approach empowers the community to have a voice in shaping the content and direction of their subreddit, ensuring a level of engagement and participation.

Another of the more creative methods of posting includes publishing only one kind of post – such as photos of John Oliver. It will not be a boast to say that Reddit is currently flooded with posts that contain pictures of the “Last Week Tonight” host. In fact, some of the biggest communities on Reddit are currently only allowing photos and videos of the comedian, following votes from users.

This comes after some of the biggest subreddits that reopened after the blackout – such as r/aww, r/pics and r/gifs – have held votes resulting in the communities being dedicated to Oliver. For his part, Oliver approved of it, calling it “excellent work” and telling Redditors to “have at it”, before posting a series of pictures on the platform.

This development comes on the heels of the blackout that gripped Reddit from June 12-14 – which later resulted in Reddit itself going down for a while due to experiencing “stability issues.” In response to Reddit’s API rule changes, which possessed the potential to disrupt third-party apps, many subreddits participated in a coordinated blackout from June 12-14. This blackout aimed to draw attention to the issue and encourage Reddit to reconsider its decision.

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