Reddit blackout 2023: Thousands of popular Reddit communities covering topics ranging from Apple Inc to games and music shut down their users on Monday in protest at the company’s plan to charge for access to their data. Massive Reddit Communities Unite to Protest Data Access Charges

Starting next month, third-party app developers using Reddit’s massive data set will face a price, and the changes could affect a wide spectrum of players — from deep-pocketed companies like OpenAI to smaller developers.

The Apollo app, popular among Redditors for its alternative interface to the official platform, said the exorbitant fees made it “impossible” to continue offering the service. Here are some facts about the protest:

What caused the Reddit blackout?

Reddit blackout

For most of Reddit’s history, its value has been the community and the users who freely post, comment, and moderate the forums, also known as subreddits. That’s millions of unpaid labor hours that Reddit couldn’t do without.

The move has been ongoing for weeks after Reddit announced in April that it would start charging third parties for its application programming interface (API) — a software framework that enables data providers to communicate with end users.

Starting July 1, Reddit plans to charge developers who require a higher usage cap of $0.24 per 1,000 API calls, or less than $1 per user per month. Apollo said that at current usage, the fees would cost more than $20 million annually.

Why is Reddit making a difference?

One reason for this is generative artificial intelligence. Reddit discussion boards contain a lot of data that can be used to train tools like ChatGPT, Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s viral chatbot. While some of this data may be collected in an unstructured way, Reddit’s API makes it easy for companies to find and compare data directly.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said in an April interview with the New York Times that “Reddit’s body of data is really valuable” and that “the biggest companies in the world don’t have to give that much value” to release it. Because.”

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman

But Reddit isn’t interested in compromise. In a letter to employees, CEO Steve Huffman said he hoped it would “pass” like “all the explosions on Reddit.” Reddit has made some small concessions in response to the protests, such as promising that there will be no API charges for accessibility and that moderators will be able to view sexually explicit content on all public subreddits to help make decisions. Company spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt told Vox that Reddit has no plans to make any further changes.

Who is affected and when will the Reddit blackout end?

Thousands of subreddits — a topic-focused forum on Reddit — are protesting the move, and most of their moderators have planned a 48-hour blackout during which the pages will go private, leaving millions of users without access.

Subreddits like r/music, r/gaming, r/science, and r/todaylearned — each with more than 30 million subscribers — participate. Some people like r/Music and protest endlessly.

Unlike most other social media platforms, Reddit relies heavily on community moderators, “or mods,” who monitor their subsystems for free to remove offensive or illegal content.

What are third-party app developers saying?

Christian Selig, creator of Reddit’s Apollo app, tweeted last week that the service will be shutting down on June 30. Huffman said that other third-party apps, such as Reddit is Fun and Sync, which will also set the new price, “are not in their business and will be shut down before the pricing goes into effect.”

What does Reddit say?

Huffman noted frustration among Reddit community moderators on Friday, but said the company can no longer support commercial organizations that require bulk data usage because it needs to be a “self-sustaining business.”

What are other social media companies doing?

In January, Elon Musk’s Twitter banned all third-party clients and apps and updated its API access rules for developers. The new rules state that developers cannot use the company’s API to “create a substitute for the Twitter app or similar service or product.”

With Reddit sticking to its guns and other platforms making similar moves, some moderators—and those of us who have been used to everything being free for so long—may now be seeing the new paid social media platform. media era.

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