Hundreds Of Subreddits With Millions Of Users Are Going Dark: Here’s Why

A post regarding the protest says the platform’s move “threatens to kill many beloved third-party mobile apps, making a great many quality-of-life features not seen in the official mobile app permanently inaccessible to users.” One of those quality-of-life features is content moderation, which happens manually and requires hours of volunteer work, as well as via bots that rely on APIs to clean spam and graphic content.

The long list of sub-Reddits highlighted in the post will start with a two-day shutdown, but some will continue with the protest and “might go away permanently” if Reddit refuses to correct its API course. Members have been advised to stay away from Reddit during the shutdown phase and make noise about the policy change elsewhere.

Reddit, on the other hand, contends that its platform data is valuable and that the company is in no mood to offer it for free, especially to AI labs for training their chatbots and conversational AI products. But the move is pretty damaging, irrespective of scale.

While a product as popular as Apollo could amass as much as $20 million in API fees owed to Reddit, even apps with as few as 1,000 users could end up paying anywhere from $8,000 to $30,000 in API fees per year, for as few as 100 API calls per user daily. More importantly, this could set a precedent for more platforms to follow, effectively ending the era of good third-party clients and bots.

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