Apple subreddit reopens after moderation team threatened with removal
The Apple subreddit has reopened under duress after a protest about API fees was squashed by threats from the company's CEO to remove the moderation teams of closed subreddits.
Reddit coerces mods to reopen subreddits
Reddit's Data API was updated in April, introducing a premium access tier for developers that offered additional features, increased usage limits, and expanded usage rights. These modifications were met with considerable resistance.
To express their discontent with the API modifications, a multitude of subreddits on Reddit are engaging in a protest by temporarily going dark for a duration of 24 to 48 hours. When a subreddit goes dark, it becomes private and inaccessible to the public, demonstrating unity.
The API changes will make it virtually impossible for third-party Reddit clients to function without paying exorbitant fees. One notable instance involves developer Christian Selig, who announced that the popular app Apollo would shut down on June 30 due to escalated expenses.
With a fee of $0.02 per user for access, he estimated that Apollo would incur an annual cost of approximately $20 million for continued access.
Reddit protests met by threats from CEO
Numerous subreddits, including r/Apple, intended to maintain indefinite privacy for their communities as a protest. But the moderators announced recently that the Apple subreddit is back after Reddit threatened to reopen subreddits against the moderators' will.
"If a moderator team unanimously decides to stop moderating, we will invite new, active moderators to keep these spaces open and accessible to users," the post says. "If there is no consensus, but at least one mod who wants to keep the community going, we will respect their decisions and remove those who no longer want to moderate from the mod team."
Some users are urging moderators to resign in protest, highlighting that the role of a moderator on Reddit is voluntary and unpaid, in contrast to companies such as Facebook that provide compensation for similar positions. As a result, some moderators are indeed taking that course of action.
In a recent interview, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman told The Verge that the company plans to continue charging access to its API, regardless of the protests. He believes that third-party apps unfairly piggyback on Reddit's success, and is apparently unaware that Reddit's success is because of the posts by the users that use the service in all of its forms.
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