Reddit still has to contend with a ‘simmering rage’ as users return back to the platform

News Room
  • A Reddit moderator told The New York Times there is still a “simmering rage” as users return.
  • Reddit moderators shut down hundreds of forums last week to protest changes to how Reddit prices its API.
  • The moderator called Reddit’s changes “really demoralizing.”

Reddit is returning to a new normal this week following a sitewide blackout to protest the platform’s changes to its API pricing policy.

But that doesn’t mean it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out.

“Any time we see this kind of blowup, there’s a simmering rage underneath the surface that comes back up,” a Reddit moderator named Bucky (who identifies by “BuckRowdy” on Reddit and avoided disclosing his full name to prevent online harassment) told The New York Times in a story published on Friday.

Bucky added that the protests have now evolved into venting sessions for general frustrations about Reddit. The subreddit, Save3rdPartyApps, formed to encourage protests against the API that were in line with Reddit’s rules, still remains active. 

“It is really demoralizing,” Bucky told The Times in regards to struggles that come with being a moderator. “I take all this abuse for you, and keep your website clean, and this is how you repay us?”

Reddit, which is gearing up for an initial public offering later this year, announced that it would be making changes to its API pricing policy back in April as a way to bolster its finances beforehand. For the past several years Reddit has offered up its API— which gives third party entities access to its massive corpus of conversations — for free.

In the advent of the AI boom, though, in which companies like OpenAI and Google have been training their large language models with data from Reddit, the platform’s data is a valuable asset. Reddit’s changes to its API are set to take effect on July 1. 

“Reddit needs to be a self-sustaining business, and to do that, we can no longer subsidize commercial entities that require large-scale data use,” Reddit’s CEO, Steve Huffman, wrote in a post earlier this month.

Reddit did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for a comment. 

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