The Reddit Blackout Is Breaking Reddit

When the user revolt ends — if it ever does — Reddit’s community won’t ever be the same.

Reddit’s decision to charge for access to its API risks putting the company in a death spiral as users revolt, the most dedicated community caretakers quit, and the vibrant discussions move to other platforms.

The company’s changes to its data access policies effectively price out third-party developers who make mobile applications for browsing Reddit; two of the most popular options, Reddit Is Fun and Apollo, which together have over 41 million downloads, are both shutting down. After some initial backlash from users and disability advocates who said Reddit’s changes would adversely affect accessibility-focused apps aimed at people with dyslexia or vision impairments, Reddit said it would exempt those apps from the price hikes. Those apps also have far smaller user bases than Apollo or RIF.

Reddit’s plans—driven by an urge to make the company more profitable as it inches toward going public—sparked a protest across nearly 9,000 subreddits, where moderators of those communities switched their groups to private mode, preventing anyone from accessing them. Many of those subs remain inaccessible four days later, and their moderators say they plan to keep up the blackout indefinitely.

Read More at Wired

Read the rest at Wired