Reddit blackout: Filipino subreddits join protest vs future pricing plans

June 14, 2023 - 8:46 AM
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Reddit app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

Several Filipino-related communities on online forum Reddit went private in protest against its new policy.

This move was also in solidarity with thousands of other communities on Reddit. These subreddits became temporarily inaccessible on the same day.

The subreddit r/Philippines, which has so far one million members on the forum, informed the public about going private on its Twitter account on June 6.

This tweet was posted again on Monday, June 12. The subreddit will go back online on June 14.

In an archived post, the moderators of r/Philippines said that this decision was their participation in the site-wide protests against the upcoming paywall for using Reddit’s application programming interface (API).

This update will be imposed on July 1.

r/Philippines is supportive of all the affected developers, moderators, and users of the upcoming API changes. With that said, we will be participating in the site-wide protests from June 12th to 14th by making the subreddit private,” the moderators said.

“We apologize for any inconveniences that may affect our users, but it is a small price to pay for the greater good of all. As part of the Reddit community, we hope that this move will make Reddit reconsider its course and have a more reasonable approach with its long-standing developers, moderators, and users that helped shape their company. Thank you for understanding,” they added.

Turning private means that users, including members themselves, are locked out from accessing the platform.

Here’s a screenshot of the notification from r/Philippines if the subreddit was searched on the browser.

Screenshot of r/Philippines interface

Another local community that had gone dark is r/phinvest. This subreddit is dedicated to any topic related to financial investments in the Philippines.

Screenshot of r/phinvest interface

As of writing, the Reddit website can still be accessed by any user.

Some of its large sub-forums, however, have already restricted their access to millions of Redditors.

According to a BBC report, this blackout involves a total of 4,389 subreddits. These include sub-forums in science, gaming, pictures, music, and hiring writers.

Moreover, the simultaneous shift of these platforms to private mode also caused the website to crash altogether on Monday.

This online revolt came after Reddit announced that it will start charging third-party applications for its API starting on July 1.

Reports said this plan will affect developers who want to use Reddit’s trove of data for commercial purposes.

Should the policy start to take effect, third-party developers will have to pay huge sums of money first to gain access to the site.

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