Reddit subs with millions of followers plan to extend the blackout indefinitely

Moderators of many Reddit communities are pledging to keep their subreddits private or restricted indefinitely. For the vast majority of subreddits, the blackout to protest Reddit’s expensive API pricing changes was expected to last from Monday until Wednesday. But in response to a Tuesday post on the r/ModCoord subreddit, users are chiming in to say that their subreddits will remain dark past that 48-hour window.

“Reddit has budged microscopically,” u/SpicyThunder335, a moderator for r/ModCoord, wrote in the post. They say that despite an announcement that access to a popular data-archiving tool for moderators would be restored, “our core concerns still aren’t satisfied, and these concessions came prior to the blackout start date; Reddit has been silent since it began.” SpicyThunder335 also bolded a line from a Monday memo from CEO Steve Huffman obtained by The Verge — “like all blowups on Reddit, this one will pass as well” — and said that “more is needed for Reddit to act.”

A screenshot of r/aww’s message about staying private.

Screenshot by Jay Peters / The Verge

Ahead of the Tuesday post, more than 300 subreddits had committed to staying dark indefinitely, SpicyThunder335 said. The list included some hugely popular subreddits, like r/aww (more than 34 million subscribers), r/music (more than 32 million subscribers), and r/videos (more than 26 million subscribers). Even r/nba committed to an indefinite timeframe at arguably the most important time of the NBA season. But SpicyThunder335 invited moderators to share pledges to keep the protests going, and the commitments are rolling in.

SpicyThunder335 notes that not everyone will be able to go dark indefinitely for valid reasons. “For example, r/stopDrinking represents a valuable resource for a communities in need, and the urgency of getting the news of the ongoing war out to r/Ukraine obviously outweighs any of these concerns,” SpicyThunder335 wrote. As an alternative, SpicyThunder335 recommended implementing a “weekly gesture of support on ‘Touch-Grass-Tuesdays,’” which would be left up to the discretion of individual communities. SpicyThunder335 also acknowledged that some subreddits would need to poll their users to make sure they’re on board.

Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt declined to comment. As of this writing, more than 8,400 subreddits have gone private or into a restricted mode. The blackouts caused Reddit to briefly crash on Monday.

Update June 13th, 4:51PM ET: Reddit declined to comment.

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