Thousands of volunteer-run message boards on Reddit remained dark Tuesday, a week after the communities’ moderators began what they called a 48-hour protest against Reddit’s planned changes to its business model.
More than 3,200 message boards, known as subreddits, remained restricted or private, down from about 9,000 last week. a website tracking the rebellion. There has been a flood of memes mocking Reddit’s chief executive, Steve Huffman, as anger continues to erupt on the site over changes to the company’s business model.
Moderators of some communities that reopened said they did so after Reddit threatened to change them.
“We want the best for this community and we have no choice but to open it back up – or have it open up to us,” moderator of the Apple Enthusiasts Forum r/apple wrote In a message in which he asked Mr. Huffman to resign.
Other communities reopened, but were only allowed to post GIFs, memes and photos of the “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” host.
moderator of r/photoswhich has 30 million members, for example, polled Whether to “return to normal operation” or “only allow images of John Oliver looking sexy.” The Oliver alternative won decisively with 37,331 votes to 2,329 for “return to normal”. The many memes that flooded the community ridiculed Mr. Huffman.
mr oliver encouraged Rebellion, posting photos of herself in various get-ups — pink panda-print pajamas, a wizard’s hat with a purple top — on Twitter with the message “Dear Reddit, excellent work. Attn: r/pics – Take this…”
Backlash erupted last week over changes that Reddit announced in April, when it said it would start charging some large-scale companies for access to its application programming interface, or API, which Through this external entities can download and process the social network giant. A selection of memes, GIFs, videos and threads of conversation.
Reddit said it no longer wanted to give such valuable assets to companies such as Google, OpenAI and Microsoft, which are using its data to develop artificial intelligence systems.
But some Reddit users and developers said the pricing plan would kill popular third-party apps like Apollo, RIF for Reddit, RedPlanet and Sync for Fun that people rely on to browse and comment on the site. Moderators said the changes could harm some of the tools they use to manage freewheeling discussions on the site.
Starting on June 12, several Reddit moderators made their communities “private”, or inaccessible to members, for at least 48 hours. Some users had trouble using the site that day; Reddit stated that “the significant number of subreddits being moved to private led to some expected stability issues.”
A week later, many communities were still up in arms.
Christian Selig, an iOS developer at Apollo, said, “You can see there are still a lot of subreddits that are very frustrated with how the whole thing has been handled and Reddit’s reluctance to really give an inch here.” Is.” The app has been widely praised for its design and rich features, it said in an interview on Tuesday.
Mr. Selig said he still planned to shut down the app on June 30, a day before he said he would begin shelling out $20 million in annual fees as part of Reddit’s pricing plan.
Despite the turmoil, Mr. Huffman indicated that Reddit, which is preparing for a possible initial public offering this year, would not change course.
They told nbc news Last week that Reddit was considering allowing users to vote out the moderators who led the protests, comparing them to “landed gentry” who were thwarting the site’s democratic ethos. An estimated 57 million people visit the platform each day.
“Resistance and disagreement is important,” Mr. Huffman pointed out. The Associated Press Last week. “The problem with this one is that it’s not going to change anything because we’ve made a business decision that we’re not negotiating.”
Tim Rathschmidt, a spokesman for Reddit, said that, in reference to “Landed Gentry”, Mr Huffman was “talking about how users have been vocal about opening their communities back up,” and that several moderators And users disagreed with the protest.
“In the future, we may consider developing a way for community members to have a say if they disagree with decisions that affect the entire community,” Mr. Rathschmidt said in an email on Tuesday.
However, he added that Reddit was not threatening to replace moderators. “We don’t work like that,” said Mr. Rathschmidt. “It’s not our goal to pressure people. We’re talking about expectations and how things work.”
Mr Selig said developers and moderators were not opposed to Reddit charging for access to the data. He said he had asked the company to consider charging less and giving more time before the new prices take effect.
Instead, company leaders “shut themselves down and said: ‘You don’t care. We’ll just get on with it,'” Mr. Selig said. “And that’s where a lot of the frustration kicks in.”