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Subreddits respond to CEO’s comments by extending blackouts indefinitely

Published Jun 13th, 2023 4:56PM EDT
Image: Reddit

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The Reddit blackout is still ongoing, and for some subreddits, it will extend indefinitely.

As the Reddit blackouts to protest the company’s planned API pricing changes went into effect yesterday, many wondered why Reddit CEO Steve Huffman didn’t respond, internally or externally. Finally, Huffman shared an internal memo with Reddit employees.

The memo, which was acquired by The Verge, tells employees to avoid wearing Reddit swag for the next few days and that Huffman expects the blackout to end on Wednesday, June 14th (when the community originally planned). The CEO chalked up the event to noise and just one of many “blowups” on the platform, saying that “like all blowups on Reddit, this one will pass as well.”

Here is Huffman’s entire memo to employees:

Hi Snoos,

Starting last night, about a thousand subreddits have gone private. We do anticipate many of them will come back by Wednesday, as many have said as much. While we knew this was coming, it is a challenge nevertheless and we have our work cut out for us. A number of Snoos have been working around the clock, adapting to infrastructure strains, engaging with communities, and responding to the myriad of issues related to this blackout. Thank you, team.

We have not seen any significant revenue impact so far and we will continue to monitor.

There’s a lot of noise with this one. Among the noisiest we’ve seen. Please know that our teams are on it, and like all blowups on Reddit, this one will pass as well. The most important things we can do right now are stay focused, adapt to challenges, and keep moving forward. We absolutely must ship what we said we would. The only long term solution is improving our product, and in the short term we have a few upcoming critical mod tool launches we need to nail.

While the two biggest third-party apps, Apollo and RIF, along with a couple others, have said they plan to shut down at the end of the month, we are still in conversation with some of the others. And as I mentioned in my post last week, we will exempt accessibility-focused apps and so far have agreements with RedReader and Dystopia.

I am sorry to say this, but please be mindful of wearing Reddit gear in public. Some folks are really upset, and we don’t want you to be the object of their frustrations.

Again, we’ll get through it. Thank you to all of you for helping us do so.

In response to Huffman’s memo, hundreds of subreddits featuring millions of users have committed to extending their blackouts indefinitely, according to The Verge. Over 8400 of the roughly 8800 subreddits are still dark (private or restricted) as of the writing of this article, and all of them plan to stay that way through at least the end of the day today.

The protests were largely sparked by Reddit’s new API pricing, which will result in the demise of multiple beloved third-party apps. Chrisitan Selig, the creator of the beloved Apollo for Reddit app, 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.

So far, the blackout seems to have little effect on Reddit’s plans. We’ll have to see if extending the blackout gets enough support to put the necessary pressure on the company.

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.