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Business News/ Technology / News/  Reddit communities unite: Thousands of subreddits to go dark in protest against new data paywall. All you need to know

Reddit communities unite: Thousands of subreddits to go dark in protest against new data paywall. All you need to know

Over 2,470 subreddits, including those with over 30 million followers, are expected to go offline on June 12 to protest Reddit's data paywall. The social media platform is set to impose exorbitant fees for data access, prompting concerns about the impact on third-party apps.

For representation purposes.  (AFP)Premium
For representation purposes. (AFP)

A significant portion of Reddit is set to go offline as a form of protest against the platform's recently implemented data paywall, reported Yahoo News. Over 2,470 subreddits have confirmed their participation in the blackout, scheduled for June 12. Among these are five subreddits boasting over 30 million followers each, as well as numerous others with memberships exceeding one million.

As per the report by Yahoo News, redditors are furious over the exorbitant fees Reddit intends to impose for data access, expressing concerns about the detrimental impact on third-party apps that facilitate user interaction and viewing of the platform. As a form of protest, numerous subreddits have declared their intention to temporarily suspend activity for 48 hours. 

However, certain subreddits have gone further, indicating that they may cease to exist permanently unless their demands are addressed.

Those who do not know, the uprising against Reddit began to gain momentum following a statement from a well-known app developer last Wednesday, who claimed that the platform's new data access pricing model would effectively destroy his software. Christian Selig, creator of the widely utilized Apollo app, utilized by 900,000 individuals on a daily basis to browse Reddit, disclosed that the social media giant is demanding an annual fee of $20 million (£16 million) for access to its data-sharing software.

In a widely circulated Reddit post, Selig expressed that it was obvious he did not possess such a substantial amount of money, nor did he have the knowledge of how to process such a charge on a credit card.

The independent developer highlighted Reddit's April announcement regarding their intention to increase fees for their application programming interface (API). This API serves as the software utilized by app developers to access and utilize data from the social platform, including posts and comments.

Furthermore, the report adds that if the planned protest proceeds, numerous subreddits will enforce a content-sharing blackout for a minimum of 48 hours. Unless Reddit announces a reversal of its policy by June 14, these subreddits have pledged to take "further action."

Prominent subreddits participating in the blackout include r/aww, r/gaming, r/Music, r/Pics, and r/todayilearned, each boasting over 30 million followers. Other communities focused on video games, smartphones, anime, music, and various countries have also joined the widespread protest.

The comprehensive list of dissenting communities, which can be found here, encompasses more than 2,470 subreddits. While this number may seem significant, it represents only a fraction of the over 100,000 subreddits existing on the platform. Nonetheless, the substantial size of the participating communities may compel Reddit's management to take notice.


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Updated: 08 Jun 2023, 08:49 AM IST
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