Social media site Reddit, no stranger to controversy, has recently announced that it is following Twitter’s footsteps by cutting off access to the formerly public API without paying substantial fees. The developer of third party application Apollo was quoted a price of ~$20 million USD per year.
These high prices effectively kill most third party apps, as very few of these teams will have the sort of budget to absorb these costs. The impact of these changes were discussed by LinusTechTips on last night’s WAN show.
These changes also impact the ability of Reddit moderators to combat spam and trolling as pushshift – which enabled the ability to view deleted, removed, and edited comments – has been cutoff as a result of these changes.
In the case of pushshift, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel – it’s maintainer has indicated that they are in discussions with the Reddit admins in regards to restoring access.
In protest of these changes many subreddits will be “going dark” from June 12-14 (or longer in some cases). During this time period, those subreddits will be closed to user activity including posts and comments. At this time, hundreds of subreddits have confirmed various levels of participation in this blackout. Notable amongst them are /r/explainlikeimfive, /r/videos, /r/agedlikemilk, /r/nasa, /r/wow, and /r/Intel.
Will this sort of pushback cause the Reddit admins to reconsider their direction? Or will it follow Elon’s steps and instead double down? Only time will tell.
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