Thousands of Reddit Communities Stay Dark as App Policy Protest Continues

The company's users are angry about the changes to the business model.

Thousands of Reddit Communities Stay Dark as App Policy Protest Continues

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The anger of users continues to rise over the changes made to the business model.

Reddit's app icon is displayed on a mobile phone.


Matt Slocum/Associated Press

June 20, 2023


5:15 p.m.

On Tuesday, thousands of message boards run by volunteers on Reddit were still dark a week after the moderators began their "reboot"

A 48-hour demonstration

Reddit's business model is set to change.

According to the report, more than 3,200 subreddits (message boards) remain restricted or private. This is down from almost 9,000 message boards last week.

a website

Tracking the revolt. Other users were bombarded with memes mocking Reddit chief executive Steve Huffman as anger boiled over the site due to changes in the company's model.

Reddit had threatened to replace some moderators of these communities.

The moderators at the Apple enthusiast forum said: 'We only want the best for our community, and we have no other choice than to open the forum back up - or have it done for us.'



In a letter, they asked Mr. Huffman for his resignation.

Some communities have reopened, but only allow GIFs, pictures and memes of the host of "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" to be posted.

Moderators of


For example,, with 30 million members.

Take a poll

On whether to allow only images of John Oliver looking hot or to return to normal operations, the vote was on. Oliver won with a large majority of votes, 37,331 to 2,329 in favor of'returning to normal'. Many of the memes which flooded the community ridiculed Mr. Huffman.

Steve Huffman is the CEO and co-founder Reddit in 2019.


Jeenah moon for The New York Times

Mr. Oliver


The revolt began when he posted photos on Twitter of himself wearing various outfits -- pink pajamas with panda prints, a wizard hat with a cape in purple -- along with the message "Dear Reddit: excellent work." Attn: R/pics - have fun ...'

Last week, there was a backlash against the changes made to Reddit

In April, it announced that it would start charging some large companies for access

A.P.I. is the application programming interface through which external entities can download, process and display the vast collection of memes and videos, GIFs and conversation threads on the social network.

Reddit has said that it does not want to give such valuable data to companies like Google OpenAI, Microsoft and others who have used its data for artificial intelligence systems.

Reddit users, developers and others have said that the new pricing plan will kill popular third-party applications like Apollo, rif's fun for Reddit and ReddPlanet, which people rely upon to comment and browse the site. Moderators have said that the changes may affect some of the tools they use to moderate the free-wheeling discussion on the site.

On June 12, moderators began making their communities 'private', or inaccessible for members, at least for 48 hours. Reddit stated that the site was unstable that day due to a large number of subreddits switching to private.

John Oliver, New York City, last year


Rob Kim/Getty Images

Many communities are still in uproar a week after the incident.

In an interview with Christian Selig on Tuesday, the developer behind Apollo, a highly praised iOS app for its rich design and features, stated that 'you can see there are still a number of subreddits holding on'.

Selig still plans to shut down Reddit on June 30. He said that he will begin incurring $20 million annually in charges as part of Reddit's price plan.

Despite the turmoil Mr. Huffman indicated that Reddit will not change its course. The company is currently preparing to launch an initial public offering (IPO) this year.

He said

NBC News

Last week, Reddit considered allowing users the option to vote moderators out who led the protest. They compared them to "landed gentry" who undermined the democratic ethos of the site. Approximately 57 million users visit the platform every day.

Mr. Huffman said that protest and dissent are important.

The Associated Press

Last week. The problem with this is that it won't change anything, because we made a decision on which we are not negotiating.

Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt said that Mr. Huffman's reference to the 'landed-gentry' was about users who have expressed their desire for their communities to be open again. He also stated that many users and moderators disagreed with this protest.

In an email sent on Tuesday, Mr. Rathschmidt stated that he would consider developing a system whereby community members could vote out moderators if they did not agree with the decisions made by the moderators.

Reddit, he said, did not threaten to replace moderators. Rathschmidt stated that this was not the way they operate. "Pressuring people isn't our goal." We are communicating expectations and the way things work.

Mr. Selig stated that Reddit developers and moderators did not oppose the company charging for data access. He said that they had asked Reddit to consider charging less, and giving more time for the new prices to take effect.

Instead, the company leaders "walled off" and said that you didn't matter. Selig stated that they would "stick through it". "And there's a lot of frustration that comes through."

Michael Levenson became a reporter at The Times in December of 2019. Michael Levenson was a reporter for The Boston Globe where he covered news and politics on a local, state, and national level.