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Redditocalypse coming?
#1
r/ModCoord

Posted by u/BuckRowdy 5 days ago

An open letter on the state of affairs regarding the API pricing and third party apps and how that will impact moderators and communities.

Please visit r/ModCoord, read this letter, and then sign on with your subreddit name and/or username if you support this initiative.


Dear Reddit Community and Management,

As active members, users, and moderators of numerous communities within Reddit, we come forward with concerns about recent changes to the platform's API pricing, especially as it relates to third party Reddit apps.

The Situation

Recently, Reddit has significantly increased its API pricing, rendering it increasingly unaffordable for third-party app developers to continue their services. The prohibitive cost threatens to make it difficult to mod from mobile, stifle innovation, limit user choice, and effectively shut down a significant portion of the culture we've all come to appreciate. Indeed, on May 31, 2023, when these changes were announced, every third party app developer on Reddit made essentially the same statement: "I will have to shut down the app." Apps can also no longer show ads, which was a primary source of revenue. So not only do they have to pay exorbitant fees, they can't even mitigate those fees with ads.
The Impact on Moderators and Communities

As moderators, we find ourselves at the intersection of Reddit’s management and its user base, striving to facilitate respectful and meaningful dialogues in our communities. The recent API pricing change is detrimental to our efforts in several ways.

Many of us rely on third-party apps to manage our communities effectively. Let's just rip the band-aid right off: in many cases these apps offer superior mod tools, customization, streamlined interfaces, and other quality of life improvements that the official app does not offer. The potential loss of these services due to the pricing change would significantly impact our ability to moderate efficiently, thus negatively affecting the experience for users in our communities and for us as mods and users ourselves.

Concerns about NSFW Content and the New Policy

Mature content, aka NSFW content, or 18+ content and subreddits are subject to new restrictions that make this type of content unavailable via the API. That means that if the other restrictions on third party apps were not present, they still would not be able to display that content.

These changes render moderation of NSFW communities via automated processes or by a third party app null and void. If a moderation bot does not have access to this content, it cannot operate. Moderators of these communities can no longer use a third party app to mod, even if they were still going to be financially feasible to run. Having access to only content in the subreddit that the bot moderates is not sufficient to prevent spam, karma farming, link-dumping, and the other types of behaviors that ruin subreddits and sometimes separate users from their money. Mature content has long been something we don't really talk about; like it's a second class citizen or something not to be discussed in polite company. But we all know that mature content is a big driver of traffic, otherwise spambots and OnlyFans promoters wouldn't try so hard to monetize it. Spam in these communities will skyrocket with these changes requiring either an exponential increase in brute force human moderation, or a give-up attitude on the part of mods leaving communities overrun with spam.

This also impacts communities other than mature content ones. Communities for art, chat communities for minors, and communities for nudist lifestyles are examples of non-"mature content" spaces that need their bots and mods to be able to see when a user is posting in mature content communities.

The reasons given for this restriction indicate complying with legal requirements or helping content creators better control their content. But we see no reason that third party apps could not incorporate a similar process as Reddit would use to display the content in their own apps. Their lack of discussion combined with the high level of restrictions indicates another reason might be at play. Indeed, past interaction and communication with admins would all but guarantee it.

Communication Concerns

One of the longstanding concerns with Reddit management is the lack of transparent and consistent communication, particularly with those of us who contribute significantly to the platform's functionality and growth: the moderators. Over the years, we've experienced abrupt changes with minimal to no notice, as Reddit made changes or launched new features or tools with little to no notice, creating unforeseen repercussions and consequences in managing subreddits. Entire subreddits and initiatives have been formed over the years to address these concerns. And while there have been some improvements, the communication gap remains sizable and often leaves us — as unpaid moderators — scrambling to adapt and ensure our subreddits remain places where every user feels comfortable enough to comment without fear of attack or other negative engagement.

Furthermore, inconsistencies between what is communicated by Reddit's management and the actual outcomes contribute to growing trust issues between mods and admins. Promises of advance notice of changes have repeatedly fallen through, further exacerbating our concern about this recent API pricing change.

Our Plea

We understand that Reddit, like any company, must balance its financial obligations. However, we believe that the longevity and success of this platform rest on preserving the rich ecosystem that has developed around it. We urge Reddit's management to reconsider the recent API pricing change, finding a compromise that allows third-party app developers to continue contributing to this platform's success.

We ask for a solution that recognizes the vital role these third-party apps play and takes into consideration the negative impacts this decision might have on both users and moderators. A sustainable pricing model that encourages rather than discourages these apps' growth and innovation will only strengthen the Reddit community.

Conclusion

We've seen how, in the past, responses to big issues can be a bit vague. We totally get that when tough questions come your way, it's not always easy to be there with a quick answer. Likewise, we understand that putting yourself out there in public can be hard, but we feel it simply comes with the territory when these times arise.

Unfortunately, these recent actions undertaken by Reddit come off as inconsistent with previous commitments, which makes it challenging to maintain trust between mods and admins. We are sincerely asking for an honest and direct response to this letter with tangible action that mitigates the issues raised here.

We hope this letter will facilitate a meaningful conversation among Reddit's leadership, its diverse mods and users, and third-party app developers upon which many mods rely. We firmly believe a solution can be reached that would be mutually beneficial to all while helping Reddit achieve its goals. Likewise, we hope Reddit will consider that its unique strength is derived from its diversity of mods, users, and developers and the myriad tools used to engage with the platform.

Thank you for your attention and understanding.

Sincerely,
The undersigned
Reply
#2
(06 Jun 2023, 13:40 )Like Ra Wrote: Recently, Reddit has significantly increased its API pricing, rendering it increasingly unaffordable for third-party app developers to continue their services.
On the one hand, Reddit is an extremely expensive website to run - maybe not up their with YouTube and streaming sites, but it's still expensive. That said...

(06 Jun 2023, 13:40 )Like Ra Wrote: The prohibitive cost threatens to make it difficult to mod from mobile, stifle innovation, limit user choice, and effectively shut down a significant portion of the competition
Fixed this line for them. The modern trend is towards a walled garden - i.e. you browse the web the way we intend you to, you shop the way we intend you to, you only use the apps we intend you to.

This is unironically why people should support @Like Ra & others - unless they don't mind losing access to these things. Third-party, donation- / subscription- based sites are the best way forward in the face of Big Anything trying to destroy the competition. People like to complain that their enemies are fascists - "Trump is a fascist" or "fascism is actually left-wing" - but if you look at how fascism actually operated in Italy, it's more like this: Big Government + Big Business + Big Labor getting together to decide policy and crushing the little guy.
Reply
#3
(07 Jun 2023, 08:47 )MasterDQ Wrote: he modern trend is towards a walled garden - i.e. you browse the web the way we intend you to, you shop the way we intend you to, you only use the apps we intend you to.

This is unironically why people should support @Like Ra & others - unless they don't mind losing access to these things.
Exactly.
Reply
#4
Something tells me big nothing is coming, people will suck up and use the official app. And most people don't even care what app to use.
Chaos is Fun…damental
Reply
#5
OTOH, I use the website directly, and I do not care about API. What is worrying is this tendency:

(07 Jun 2023, 08:47 )MasterDQ Wrote: The modern trend is towards a walled garden - i.e. you browse the web the way we intend you to, you shop the way we intend you to, you only use the apps we intend you to.
Reply
#6
I personally really don't like the changes Reddit makes. For starters, I dual-use Reddit and 3rd party, so I can have a NSFW account and a normal account with no swapping, that would be gone with the new changes.

Second is that the Reddit app on mobile is awful, it eats through my data, the video player sucks, there is no easy option to download a meme photo or video, accessing saved items is slower than snail crawling, the app frequently has glitches and malfunctions that force me to restart. Point is, the default app is bad, and they are attempting to force its use without addressing any issues.

I do like Reddit though, I must admit even if these passes go through I would probably still use Reddit, just that it considerably peeves me with the things that happen. Any protest is likely pointless, if Reddit company wants to stop the protest they can replace all the moderators, no one can stop them from doing so. The overall trend of Reddit becoming greedier and more sanitized as they approach their IPO is a very well known tale by this point, though.
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#7
I waste too much time on Reddit now so for me it's an opportunity to quit and fill that time with reading or learning programming etc.
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Reply
#8
Anyone knows of any apps/websites that scratch the itch for niche fetish porn imagery and communities in a similar way to how Reddit did?

I was forced to get off Reddit when 3rd party apps stopped working and I am *not* going to cave in and install the official app or either the new nor the old websites.
Tbh I don't even know if any of the big nsfw subreddits saw any significant drops in posts and quality, or if there are any significant waves of refugees leaving, but I don't hold high expectations from your average Redditors.

I know that during the protest, some nsfw subreddits tried to get it going on Lemmy (and other alternatives) but that pretty much died off because (shockingly) it didn't get Reddit levels of engagement from the start and people have up.
Reply
#9
(31 Jul 2023, 00:18 )Pseudo_Sissy Wrote: Anyone knows of any apps/websites that scratch the itch for niche fetish porn imagery and communities
Errrmmmm... This one? 😉😇
Reply
#10
Yea, what’s wrong with this site other than it doesn’t like iPhones?

Now, with that being said, I’m wondering if RA (hint hint) going to figure out a way to host video on this site.
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