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Almost every subreddit has gone dark in protest of Reddit’s proposed API changes

Published Jun 12th, 2023 12:47PM EDT
Apollo for Reddit
Image: Apollo for Reddit

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The Reddit apocalypse is nigh.

Today, to protest Reddit’s pricing changes to its API, almost every subreddit on the platform has gone dark. A Twitch stream, which is counting the number of subreddits that have changed their permissions to private to protest the changes, counts 7237 out of 7806 subreddits going dark as of the writing of this article.

The subreddits that have changed their permissions to private are no longer publicly available, even to those who were previously subscribed to them. The protest started today and is supposed to last for 48 hours. Some subreddits started to go dark on Sunday, but the vast majority of them changed their access today.

As a result of the blackout, Reddit is even experiencing technical issues with some parts of the site going down altogether. According to the company’s status page, the website had gone down earlier today but is starting to regain traction.

Some are going a step further than the two-day blackout. The MKBHD subreddit, according to a post from the Waveform team, will be going dark indefinitely, saying that “unfortunately had to make the decision to close down r/MKBHD indefinitely while we decide how we want to proceed with Reddit and their recent changes to the API structure which is killing the 3rd party apps we know and love.”

The protests were largely sparked by Christian Selig, the creator of the Apollo for Reddit third-party client that is beloved by the Reddit community. Selig announced last week that Apollo will have to shut down on June 30th as he will not be able to afford to keep the app live due to increased costs that will come when Reddit changes its API pricing.

Multiple other app developers announced the same, and those in the community have been furious with Reddit ever since, seeing it as a move to kill third-party apps in a similar way that Twitter did earlier this year with Twitterrific and Tweetbot. Twitter, of course, went even further and basically made third-party clients illegal.

We’ll have to wait and see if the protest causes Reddit to change course about its API changes.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.