Reddit CEO slams moderators amid blackout, likens them to aristocracy

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman this week blasted protesters who made much of the website inaccessible, comparing unpaid volunteer moderators to wealthy land lords.

In interviews Thursday, Huffman spoke out against plans to charge third-party apps to access her data for the first time since mass protests began this week. The change prompted several popular third-party apps — including Apollo, Reddit is Fun and Sync — to say they would shut down ahead of the July 1 price hike because they couldn’t pay millions a year.

The company’s move sparked a backlash from Reddit moderators and users, who responded by removing about 9,000 subreddit message boards within 48 hours. Some moderators have noted that their subreddits are being blacked out indefinitely in protest.

Huffman, the Reddit founder, downplayed concerns about the protest, telling employees in an internal memo on Monday that the blackout would “pass” like “all the explosions on Reddit.” on the edge.

Why have so many Reddit communities gone private? Blackout, explained.

Huffman took aim at moderators who lead to blackouts in an interview NBC News On Thursday, the subreddit said it wanted to change site policies to make it easier for users to fire moderators. Reddit spokesman Tim Rathschmidt told The Washington Post on Friday that the comment was taken out of context and that “Steve has not confirmed that we are moving in this direction.”

Huffman called the evaluators “The landed girdleAnd said they are not responsible.

“If you’re a politician or a business owner, you have to be accountable to your constituents. So a politician has to be elected, and a business owner can be fired by his shareholders,” he told NBC. “And I think, on Reddit, this analogy is closer to tenured citizens: People who come there first stay there and pass it on to their descendants, that’s not democracy.”

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Huffman added on the edge Protesters are “not representative of the larger Reddit community.” More than 80 percent of Reddit’s top 5,000 communities remain open on the site, which has more than 57 million daily users. Fact sheet The company made the announcement on Thursday.

A group of Reddit moderators organizing the blackout on the r/ModCoord subreddit wrote in a post that Huffman’s comments about plans to charge for data show that “Reddit’s communication has been poor from the start.”

“They tried to explain to us that they have to keep 3rd party apps while setting prices and deadlines that no developer can meet. The backlash is happening now because Reddit introduced this drastic change with 30 days notice,” said Reddit user Bakroudi, a moderator on the protest-coordinating subreddit. wrote on Thursday. “We continue to urge Reddit to pause these changes and explore a true path to strike a better balance for the broadest range of Reddit users.”

Reddit spokesperson Rathschmidt told The Post that “the site is in contact with multiple communities to clarify any confusion surrounding our data.” [application programming interface] Time for regulations, platform-wide policies, community support resources, and new moderator tools.”

“We’re not removing dissenting moderators or taking down subreddits for participating in blackouts,” he said, adding: “Redditors want to reddit.”

Some parts of Reddit are in the dark. Our search results may be affected.

The blackout comes at a critical time for the $10 billion social media company, which is set to raise $1 billion in funding in August 2021. In April, Fidelity, a leading investor in that fundraising boom, announced that it had downgraded its value. According to TechCrunch, the company’s rating is 41 percent.

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The same month, Reddit declared The move necessitates a response from emerging AI companies like ChatGPT to start charging third-party platforms for API access.

But in late May, the conversation around the move changed, when Apollo’s developer, Christian Selig, said that one of the most popular third-party apps, Reddit, would be charged $20 million a year for data access. Third-party apps like Apollo are largely ad-free, meaning Reddit’s decision ended Selig’s business.

“I don’t see that this pricing is really or even remotely fair,” Selig wrote May 31. “I hope not to say I don’t have that kind of money or even know how to charge it to a credit card.”

Selig declared Last week, Apollo closed on June 30 before the price change took effect. Many third-party apps will shut down before July 1 with similar announcements.

“The restrictions placed on third-party apps by Reddit are not a viable barrier to overcome,” said Tony Lubeski, developer of RedPlanet. wrote.

Since then, Huffman has faced backlash for how the company handled the decision to charge for data. rally slogan Integral Regression Fixed: “Don’t let third-party apps kill reddit!” The blackout took Reddit down temporarily.

Huffman admitted to The Verge that it took a “beating.” Ask me any post He supported Reddit’s plans on stage last week. But he says it’s not Reddit’s responsibility to help keep third-party apps alive.

“It costs a lot of money to run an app like Reddit,” he told NBC. “We support our support through advertisements. What we can’t do is subsidize other people’s businesses to run a competing app for free.

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Huffman said NPR The blackout effort was “led by a small group, and it’s very sad that there’s no way around it.” He said the protest created a “fair amount of trouble” but didn’t cost the company much money.

“We made a business decision that upset them,” Huffman said. “But I think the larger Reddit community wants to participate with their fellow community members.”

However, some analysts say the problem is much bigger than the CEO is making it out to be. Some have argued that moderators’ high level of control over subreddits comes from the free labor time they spend managing message boards. Reddit user SpicyThunder335, a moderator of six subreddits and a forum that coordinates protests, has already announced that more than 300 subreddits will remain “indefinitely private or inaccessible until Reddit provides an adequate solution . . .”

In his interviews, Huffman said the blackout could be a good thing for a company that turns 18 in the coming days.

“I think it’s time for us to grow up and act like an adult company,” Huffman told NPR.

As the July 1 transition approaches, it’s unclear how long the blackout will last. Reddit user Karmanacht Briefly stated In a few words the objective of the evaluation committee: “The resistance is not likely to end very soon.”

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