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Explainer: Reddit protest: Why are thousands of subreddits going dark?


Andrew

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June 12 (Reuters) - Thousands of popular Reddit communities dedicated to topics ranging from Apple Inc to gaming and music locked out their users on Monday in protest against the company's plan to charge for access to its data.

...

From July 1, Reddit plans to charge developers that require higher usage limits $0.24 for every 1,000 API calls or less than $1 per user every month

Apollo said that with their current usage, the charges would cost more than $20 million a year.

 

 

WWW.REUTERS.COM

Thousands of popular Reddit communities dedicated to topics ranging from Apple Inc to gaming and music locked out their users on Monday in protest against the company's plan to charge for access to its data.

 

Reddit are also claiming it's because of Ai or something.

 

I really doubt it. They're just being greedy. Imgur, which started off as a third party website to host images for Reddit, has a similar sized userbase and they don't charge anywhere near as much, nor are they going to. And what's even worse is I don't think this protest is going to do anything, not if it's only 2 days long. It should go on indefinitely until the higher ups at Reddit go back on what they're going to do. That's the only way there's going to be any real change. The 2 day blackout is just temper tantrum that isn't really going to do anything. If the protest goes on indefinitely, Reddit are going to lose an incredible amount of users, because without subreddits, Reddit is nothing. And given that a majority of the subreddits that went private are the huge ones, this could have potentially made a difference.

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I don't have a Reddit account and never wanted one, but I've been following this story since there is a lot of useful information there, especially for our hobby since we often rely on people's experiences with a product or troubleshooting.

 

The 2-day blackout is dumb, but a lot of Reddit users are all about slacktivism and virtue signaling. The company's leadership is tone deaf and anti-consumer, and as a platform, they deserve to die. Meaningful change would involve cutting out Reddit completely and finding a new platform, which is obviously a very relatable concept to many of us here. In the case of migrating off Reddit though, that would introduce a number of short-term difficulties, especially for some of their niche communities.

 

 

Lemmy has been gaining some attention as a decentralized Reddit-style platform. It is what Mastodon is to Twitter.

 

Personally, I hope it takes off, but there will be some headwinds, including people who will go right back to Reddit tomorrow. We've seen this before with Voat when Reddit had its last major controversy, and Voat eventually turned into its own dumpster fire. From what I can gather, it seems the largest Lemmy node, lemmy.ml, is the ideological polar opposite of Voat, yet probably still a dumpster fire as far as I'm concerned.

 

Here is a list of Lemmy nodes, with the most trending one that is open to registration being lemmy.world.

 

THE-FEDERATION.INFO

Node list and statistics for The Federation and Fediverse

 

Anyway, it takes some unabashed greed and delusion to make VerticalScope look even semi-respectable. Congrats on the dubious honor, Reddit.

Edited by Snakecharmed
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I'm annoyed by the blackout.  I've been unwillingly forced into a protest when I don't care.  I don't use the reddit app or a 3rd party app to view their forums.  I just use firefox with my array of addons.  That means sometimes NSFW content doesn't come through correctly on mobile, but I probably didn't need to see it anyways.

 

Reddit's primary value has always been their data.  They collect everything, and it's a good amount of information to parse through when training AI and other such things.  It makes sense that they want to sell this data to AI development companies.  They can't do that when all the data is free.  I saw this coming 10 years ago.  I don't understand why everyone is in shock about it.  The real push back here is, reddit's app sucks.  Maybe they should make it better?

Edited by Kaz
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I bet some of the bigger companies have already scraped all the data they need and can continue to do so in an increasingly effective fashion as AI gets better and better at scraping reddit for data. Can't stop companies from using data to train their AI when they can use AI to collect that data. 

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Reddit got way too big to be trusted and their leadership has been extremely sus for years now. As a forum owner myself, I never saw a ton of user value in aggregator communities like Reddit (or Digg, or Fark, or Slashdot). They were good for breaking news, but the quality of discussion was never all that great.

 

Hobbyist discussions on those platforms were useful, but knowing what Google has become, they would have been well-indexed anyway even if they were scattered across other forums instead of largely being on Reddit. At least in this hobby, there are still so many PC tech forums out there that Reddit was far from the only game in town.

 

I've ditched smaller forums due to having no confidence in the owner(s) (I'm not even referring to OCN here, but you could toss them in the same bucket as well). If I don't believe in what you're doing or trying to do, I'm not going to participate in your effort to make a name for yourself when I don't think you deserve it.

 

Social media has never been profitable unless you monetize the data. It's the same thing that Facebook dealt with but largely overcame, and it's the same thing Twitter is battling now with a more dubious outcome and a megalomaniac at the helm. At the end of the day though, I can't blame the users for not knowing how it all works and not having an exit strategy prepared. However, that doesn't excuse the disingenuous and anti-consumer actions of a company's leadership because they don't get to the position they're in without their userbase.

Edited by Snakecharmed
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My annoyance here is that when you google something, a lot of the results are Reddit threads where someone was asking the same question, or maybe had the same weird scenario you did. Go to click on it and bam, everything is on blackout. Very annoying.

 

I was never a serious Reddit user, though I liked perusing some subreddits and that included using the Reddit is Fun app on my phone. Honestly will probably just use it a lot less and not really care.

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