Reddit’s ‘Dark’ Rebellion: Thousands of Communities Stage a Blackout Over New Developer Fees

Thousands of Reddit communities have decided to “go dark” for 48 hours, protesting the platform’s recent decision to charge third-party developers for access to its site data. The blackout, which began on Monday, has seen some of the largest Reddit communities set to private, effectively making them unavailable to the public.

The move is a direct response to Reddit’s controversial new fees, which many Redditors believe could spell the end for popular third-party apps like Apollo, Reddit is Fun and ReddPlanet. These apps, which offer alternative ways to browse Reddit, may become too expensive to maintain due to the new data access fees. In fact, all three have already announced their impending shutdowns.

The blackout is not a small-scale event. Over 6,000 subreddits, or individual discussion areas, are participating, according to the organizers. The aim is to pressure Reddit’s executives into reversing their decision, which many see as a threat to the platform’s customization and accessibility.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman recently hosted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session in an attempt to address the uproar. Huffman explained that Reddit needs to become a self-sustaining business and to achieve that, it can no longer subsidize commercial entities requiring large-scale data use. He also mentioned that Reddit is not currently profitable, unlike some third-party apps.

The new fees are part of a larger shake-up at Reddit, which includes a 5% staff reduction and a decrease in future hiring. This comes as the company reportedly plans to go public later this year. Reddit’s move to charge for API access follows a similar decision by Twitter earlier this year.

Despite Reddit’s justification, many users are unhappy with the changes. Some have even threatened to abandon the site if more third-party apps are forced to shut down due to the new fees. As the blackout continues, it remains to be seen whether Reddit’s executives will yield to the pressure or stand firm on their decision. is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

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