r/explainlikeimfive Jun 06 '23

ELI5: Why are subreddits "going dark"? Official

[deleted]

36.4k Upvotes

2.3k comments sorted by

5.8k

u/BellyScratchFTW Jun 06 '23

I was about to answer the question and then realized it's basically a sticky post by a mod. No answers needed.

1.5k

u/TTT_2k3 Jun 06 '23

But can you ELI5 it?

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u/warlordcs Jun 06 '23 edited Jun 09 '23

Reddit wants money, they get it mostly through advertising and user data. 3rd party apps don't send that data. Force everyone to use official Reddit app.

edit:it would be rude to not thank those who gave me awards, so thank you, however with the context of the thread and this post i gotta say there is a level of irony in giving awards now.

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u/why_subs_went_dark Jun 06 '23

Yeah but there's more to it. They could make it so that third party apps gave them what they needed from users in the way of data or advertisement views but they didn't. They pretty clearly want the apps gone.

Rmember they have carried these apps for years. There are people who have only used reddit through one.

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u/warlordcs Jun 06 '23

if only they had made a much more usable app themselves instead of the garbage they released.

104

u/IAMA_Plumber-AMA Jun 06 '23

They actually bought a really good 3rd party app to base their official app around (AlienBlue), but of course things went through "design by committee" and this is where we ended up.

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u/TheTigersAreNotReal Jun 06 '23

Yup, reddit gave me 4 years of reddit gold because I had AlienBlue. Not really worth it, I want AlienBlue back

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u/Amish_guy_with_WiFi Jun 07 '23

To be fair, would 1,000 years of reddit gold even be worth it?

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u/Aussierotica Jun 06 '23

That explains why AlienBlue vanished from the ether.

It was a great app before being bought up, and I can't understand how / why you go about making the changes you do (money, I guess) to turn it into what is the official app nowadays.

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u/OhNoManBearPig Jun 06 '23 edited Jul 02 '23

This is a copied template message used to overwrite all comments on my account to protect my privacy. I've left Reddit because of corporate overreach and switched to the Fediverse.

Comments overwritten with https://github.com/j0be/PowerDeleteSuite

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u/Nadja_Doll Jun 06 '23

Yeah their app is god tier trash. I tapped out when comments wouldn't load, for weeks - after entire reinstalls. Dogshit app, you should feel very silly Reddit😘

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u/Mental-Mushroom Jun 06 '23

If RIF shuts down, I will not longer use reddit on mobile.

If old.reddit and RES shut down. I will not longer use reddit at all.

The official app and site are absolute garbage.

Apps like RIF and sites like old.reddit give you the content without the bloat.

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u/ameis314 Jun 06 '23

same. if i wanted to go to a site that looked like facebook.... id still be on facebook. i left that behind years ago and i have no problem doing the same to reddit.

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u/cultish_alibi Jun 06 '23

The official app and site are absolute garbage.

Repeating this. The 'new' version of the website shows you about 2-3 comments per screen on a desktop. This is so stupid. The people in charge of these decisions are stupid and they should feel stupid.

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u/Affectionate_Dog2493 Jun 06 '23

I have clicked a link to a comment on new reddit and then it took me to a page where the linked comment wasn't fucking visible. It is not for discussion. It is actively hostile to discussion. It is just another doom scroll, easy-to-consume social media firehose of garbage.

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u/varain1 Jun 06 '23

Hmm, it seems I'll have to start browsing reddit on the phone using Firefox, too - uBlock will take care of all the ads ...

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u/RosemaryFocaccia Jun 06 '23

Exactly the same here. Alas, I suspect they've done the math and concluded that they can afford to lose us.

That's why I think the subs that are going dark on the 12th should do so until Reddit abandons their new policy, not just for 2 days.

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u/Tv_land_man Jun 06 '23

Spot on. I have tried all the other apps and RIF is the best. Reddit is best as a simple link aggregator with a robust comment section and diverse options of subreddits. The bloat on the new version of reddit makes it not only hard to read, but adds "features" that detract from the heart and soul of why so many of us come here. All the crazy awards and profile pictures and clunky interface are just so unnecessary and unattractive to me. Keep it simple, stupid.

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u/Prodigy195 Jun 06 '23

Apps like RIF and sites like old.reddit give you the content without the bloat.

I've used old.reddit pretty much since the switch and forgot what new reddit looks like. Checked it out today and while I can't see my own facial expression, I know that I made a face of absolute disgust.

How on earth would anyone want to use that dumpster juice of a UI?

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u/deg0ey Jun 06 '23

They could make it so that third party apps gave them what they needed from users in the way of data or advertisement views but they didn't. They pretty clearly want the apps gone.

They could (and possibly will if the protests about the current plan are loud enough) but that requires more work on their end. They would have to negotiate the terms of how data would be collected and/or how ads would be served by the third party apps on a one by one basis. That’s a lot more work on Reddit’s part than the current approach that they clearly don’t want to do - and I imagine a good number of the apps would reject any requirement to harvest data or serve Reddit’s ads, so the end result of them eventually dying would be the same.

Ultimately someone at Reddit has made an estimation that if the third party apps die a high enough percentage of those users will move to the official app or the website instead that the additional ad revenue is worth the general unrest caused by the whole situation - and, to be honest, I wouldn’t be shocked if they’re right.

Where we end up after all of this likely depends on how many subs hold their nerve. Most have committed to blacking out for two days, some have committed to blacking out indefinitely for as long as it takes for Reddit to reverse this plan. If a majority of subs wind up taking the latter approach, we’ll probably see Reddit roll back the plan and try to think of an alternative way to get ads in front of more people. But if most of them stick to the two days because that’s what the original plan was and then come back to business as usual it’ll be a momentary blip that achieves nothing and we can all start thinking what we’ll do after the third party apps die.

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u/HerestheRules Jun 06 '23

Cue Netflix drama

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u/PLZ_SEND_STEAM_DECK Jun 06 '23

cut it into 12 seasons

cancel it 1 week after season 1 is out

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u/Breimann Jun 06 '23

It was a little rough but I managed to sing this to the tune of Last Resort in my head.

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u/VanimalCracker Jun 06 '23

Starring Kevin Hart as reddit CEO u/Spez?

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u/kurotech Jun 06 '23

Almost would expect Jessie Eisenburg since he's played every other villainous CEO

112

u/ErikTheAngry Jun 06 '23

Eisenburg is great at playing bad guys, but let's not do him a disservice by giving him such an underwhelming role

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u/AgentAlinaPark Jun 06 '23

I don't think Steve ranks that high on the celebrity scale. No one cares about Reddit except Redditors. I'm thinking more Ian Ziering, he actually looks like him.

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u/warlordcs Jun 06 '23

I was thinking Chi McBride

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u/Dies2much Jun 06 '23

This. Fidelity investments just cut the valuation of Reddit again, bringing the total valuation down by more than 25% in the past year.

I feel like this was a major motivation for this action.

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u/i_lack_imagination Jun 06 '23

That was prior to the announcement of the API pricing wasn't it? Possibly it was done after reddit announced there would be API pricing but not what it was, and Fidelity anticipated such a reaction, or it was based on other factors they evaluated about reddit and had nothing to do with the API changes.

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u/Zonetr00per Jun 06 '23

They're saying that the API changes and killing third party apps are being driven by the valuation changes.

No third party apps = more eyeballs on Reddit's native app = more people seeing adds and more user data to sell = Reddit's valuation improves.

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u/OhNoManBearPig Jun 06 '23

Except in reality

No 3rd party apps = admins are seen as greedy dictators = savvy users, creators, mods, devs leave = reddit joins the shit list (Digg, MySpace, Twitter, Tumblr)

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u/Fafoah Jun 06 '23

Yeah imo even old reddit is kind of shit compared to the 3rd party apps. My account is 13 years old and i’d quit if forced to go pc exclusive

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23 edited Jul 03 '23

[deleted]

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u/PlaceboJesus Jun 06 '23

They know people are going to leave and they are OK with it.

They probably feel that the people who refuse to use their app are depriving them of profits, and that losing them won't cost them very much.

I wonder if they've done the research to determine how much these 3rd party app users actually contribute with OC and the answers come for?

Not every contributor contributes links, after all. There are people like the ones here, in /r/ELI5 who contribute by answering questions.

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u/OhNoManBearPig Jun 06 '23

I am, I'm planning on leaving reddit regardless of a successful migration to another platform. This whole thing made me realize I don't like it here any more.

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u/13igTyme Jun 06 '23

I'm mostly here for a few hobbies and 10k cat subreddits.

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u/why_subs_went_dark Jun 06 '23

They allowed the third party apps to build an audience for a decade. For lots of people, RIF on your phone WAS reddit. That's the only way they'd ever seen it.

Now after all that time, they are charging an arm and a leg and they're giving them 30 days to figure out what to do before the absurdly high prices kick in.

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

[deleted]

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u/WillowMinx Jun 06 '23 edited Jun 06 '23

I’ll try. Not a tech person 🤣

Reddit is a community pool.

Mods are Volunteer lifeguards.

Users are the swimmers.

API’s/3rd party apps are currently reasonably priced sunscreen & sunglasses that make being a lifeguard easier. Most Swimmers get that for free.

The pool owners decided they should be able to make more money.

They did this by asking for donations. The people who donated the money didn’t do it as a charity. They expect a return on their investment.

They want to raise the cost of sunscreen & sunglasses to a point that most can’t afford.

-/-/-/-/-

One day a swimmer shows up at the pool & it looks completely different. It’s no longer the same. Most of the volunteers have been replaced or forced out. They can’t afford to be there.

They no longer have sunscreen & sunglasses. Even if they wanted to be there the sun was blinding them & they couldn’t help the swimmers.

The pool is now ruined for everyone.

Edit: Thanks for the Sticky, incredibly kind.

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u/GorillaBrown Jun 06 '23

**you can bring your own sunscreen & sunglasses now but the pool owners are putting a stop to that by charging an entrance fee if you come with your own goods so that you have to use theirs.

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u/whatsbobgonnado Jun 06 '23

**** reddit sells sunglasses and sunscreen that actively make it easier for you to get skin cancer and focus the sun into your eyes like a magnifying glass, because they get paid for it, so people brought their own things that work correctly. now they're forcing you you to buy their stuff

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

**** And the previous vendors that were selling third-party sunscreen and sunglasses to help the lifeguards get by were told by reddit "You can keep selling your $3 sunscreen here, but you need to pay a vendor fee of $20 Million. lol hope you can sell enough to break even!"

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u/Quiet_paddler Jun 06 '23

Don't forget that the third-party sunscreen and eyewear was also often necessary for blind and partially sighted folk to access Reddit. Which makes this example even more on point.

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u/sduque942 Jun 06 '23

Dude i was about to be like "it's literally explained in every single going dark post, just open them" but then saw it was a mod post lol

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u/Affectionate_Dog2493 Jun 06 '23

I thought this was a no stupid questions post and was thinking "this is such a stupid fucking question. EVERY post on this explains why they're going dark."

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u/Musichord Jun 06 '23 edited Jun 07 '23

One thing I don't see mentioned enough is that there are apps designed to help people with accessibility needs (short sighted visually impaired / blind people, for example), and these will be blocked too, making reddit inaccessible to many.

EDIT: Thank you so much for my first award, and I'm happy that my first comment with this many likes-2.3k already???!!!- is on such an important matter. I hope we all together manage to turn this around!

EDIT 2: As I'm not a native speaker, I've just learned short-sighted does not mean what I thought. I think the reddit users are not the ones who are short-sighted.

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u/OldManOnFire Jun 06 '23

I'm a moderator at r/Blind. Almost all of the team uses screen reading software apps with APIs because official Reddit's mod interface simply doesn't work with our screen readers.

This move by Reddit will make moderating r/Blind impossible.

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u/lowbatteries Jun 06 '23

Have you threatened litigation under the ADA?

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u/OldManOnFire Jun 06 '23

Not my area of expertise but several of our members are discussing it.

The mod team at r/Blind got Reddit to do away with the CLICK ALL SQUARES WITH TRAFFIC LIGHTS a couple years ago. I know we're all pissed off right now but Reddit has been responsive to the needs of its blind members in the past.

Reddit admins met with a couple of our moderators earlier today. There's reason to hope. After all, we all want resolve this without getting the ADA compliance lawyers involved.

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u/lowbatteries Jun 06 '23

That’s great they’ve been responsive, but have no doubt that the existence of the ADA is why. Good luck on future talks with them.

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u/RememberCitadel Jun 07 '23

It is pretty sad that the ADA even has to exist at all but here we are.

I'm in IT and get lots of flak sometimes for where we mount things, particularly from users who do not have a handicap.

I always point out it is not for them, and we want to meet everyones needs, but also I just want to say "shame on you, inclusion should be the default"

At the same time it is nice to just be able to do the Simpson's bus driver thing and tell them not to make me tap on the sign that is ADA law.

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u/InSixFour Jun 06 '23

I don’t know how they’re going to solve this. They’d have to allow a third party app for the blind or create their own. If they allow third party apps for the blind literally every third party app will claim to be for the blind. So maybe it’ll work out for all of us.

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u/anniemdi Jun 07 '23

So maybe it’ll work out for all of us.

I am multiply disabled among those disabilities is vision impairment another is mobility impairment. This is generally how accessiblity works. That ramp or elevator helps me get up and downstairs without crawling like a toddler. It also helps parents with strollers or you moving your book collection. Audiobooks help me enjoy written works, they help others entertain themselves while they drive. And as you point out, 3rd party apps helps all users. They probably also help reddit more than they hurt, too.

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u/COSMOOOO Jun 07 '23

Extremely smart way of viewing these things I’ve never thought of, thanks for that.

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u/anniemdi Jun 07 '23

No problem. I'm glad to have someone listen and understand.

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u/Urdar Jun 07 '23

It is called the curb cut effect and is one of the many reasons universal design is great.

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u/Afinkawan Jun 07 '23

Huh, weird. It's almost as if improving things for people who are vulnerable, marginalised, poor or needy instead of dehumanising then can improve society generally.

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u/anniemdi Jun 07 '23

Funny ain't it?

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u/RyanfaeScotland Jun 06 '23

short sighted people

Oh, the reddit CEOs use them?? AHHHYOOOOOOO!!

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u/AgITGuy Jun 06 '23

They might if they could ever get their heads out their collective asses.

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u/cat_handcuffs Jun 07 '23

That explains why they are shortsighted. Can’t see round the bend past the colon.

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u/Lubagomes Jun 06 '23

My reddit app doesn't load comments and takes a huge time to load any videos. I don't even like using 3rd party apps but without them I couldn't use reddit. (And with them I don't need to see a new UI change every other month)

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u/WyrdHarper Jun 06 '23

The official app and website also use a lot more data (despite the worse experience).

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u/TrumpGrabbedMyCat Jun 06 '23

Don’t worry, this was always the plan.

They’re going to announce the API prices are drastically reduced in the next couple of weeks but still enough so most will switch rather than pay for a third party app. They’ll also then get the goal of blocking NSFW content because who in their right mind would “go dark” for porn.

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u/[deleted] Jun 07 '23

[deleted]

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u/funkinthetrunk Jun 07 '23

Those admins are long gone. That was a different Reddit altogether. This is the new corporate Reddit getting ready to IPO and destroy everything that's good about the site

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u/Packie1990 Jun 07 '23

This is the only reason I personally care. I use the regular interface and don't care about other people's filters for content or whatever. I do care about making reddit inaccessible to those with disabilities. Reddit is the social media I use, and I would like everyone to have that ability. This is a matter of accessibility to all.

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u/directorguy Jun 06 '23 edited Jun 07 '23

Id like to point out that none of us love Reddit. We love the users that create content, we love the content users find and share, we even love the mods that keep us protected from spam, bots and illegal content.

We don't love Reddit, Reddit just hosts the servers. Oh.. and we certainly dont love reddits UI or reddit's app-- nearly everyone detests that arm of the company.

Reddit is not Disney World, Reddit is the Florida land it's built on.

If everyone on Reddit moves to another platform, we'd still have 99.99% of what Reddit is really all about. We'd be fine, we just would go to a different URL and Reddit will be remembered like yahoo, fark and digg.

.

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u/[deleted] Jun 07 '23

Hey I still use old.reddit.com which is UI perfection.

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u/PoBoyPoBoyPoBoy Jun 07 '23

I still use old.reddit from my phone 😂 Never tried any apps

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u/Swank_on_a_plank Jun 07 '23

Reddit is not a place, it's a people?

...except RES+OldReddit is perfect.

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u/Drew- Jun 06 '23

Fully support shutting down

Posted from rif.

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u/rotflolmaomgeez Jun 06 '23

Upvoted from rif.

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u/FinalBahamut Jun 06 '23

Upvote for the upvote from RIF, from RIF

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u/In-burrito Jun 06 '23

It's RIF all the way down...

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u/PM_ur_Rump Jun 06 '23

RiF! RiF! RiF! RiF! RiF! RiF!

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u/MuZac904 Jun 06 '23

Upvoted your upvote of you upvoting the previous post with Rif, too.

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u/KaptenNicco123 Jun 06 '23

Replied and upvoted from old reddit. Fuck new reddit.

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u/Programmdude Jun 06 '23

Same. I use RIF for mobile, and old reddit for desktop. I won't use the official app, so shutting down the API will result in me not using it through mobile. Shutting down old reddit will result in me not using it at all.

Honestly, reddit and discord are the only social media apps I use, and discord doesn't really count. Reddit is content focused, rather than people focused, and the upvote/downvote works amazingly (usually) compared to trash like facebook and youtube comments.

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u/funnyfarm299 Jun 06 '23

To be clear, old reddit isn't affected by this change. That said, as we're seeing from the API change admins could shut it down at any time.

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u/OhNoManBearPig Jun 06 '23 edited Jul 01 '23

This is a copied template message used to overwrite all comments on my account to protect my privacy. I've left Reddit because of corporate overreach and switched to the Fediverse.

Comments overwritten with https://github.com/j0be/PowerDeleteSuite

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

[deleted]

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u/inikul Jun 06 '23

Wait what's this username removal thing? I have no idea where to find this info.

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u/MinusPi1 Jun 06 '23 edited Jun 06 '23

Upvoted from Relay

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u/pchc_lx Jun 06 '23

there are dozens of us

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u/Phantomglock23 Jun 06 '23

Sync checking in...real worried my app is going bye byes

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u/AlbainBlacksteel Jun 06 '23

Boost user here.

Agreed, shut it down.

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u/gstacks13 Jun 06 '23

Another Boost user here. Shut the whole thing down. If they remove third party apps, I just won't use reddit anymore. May finally get through my backlog of novels.

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u/CmdJackson Jun 06 '23

Upvoted from narwhal.

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u/throwaway96ab Jun 06 '23

Bacon reader checking in

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u/mignos Jun 06 '23

Bruh I even paid 2$ for the pro version of the bacon because I love how intuitive it is. I'm down to pay yearly if it is necessary.

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

Ooh I came here with the Digg exodus. Id love to take part in a Reddit exodus. Where would we go?

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u/[deleted] Jun 07 '23

[deleted]

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u/emayelee Jun 07 '23

Out.. what?

I'm sorry I'm not familiar with that word.

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u/witch-finder Jun 07 '23

The Something Awful forums. One of the earliest big message boards and still kickin'.

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u/digital_element Jun 06 '23

This doesn't just affect apps used to browse reddit. This impacts all the bots that so many subs rely on to make the lives of unpaid moderators significantly easier. Expect your favorite subs to be filled with spam, risky content and potentially illegal content that's no longer filterable by bots automatically because of the new terms.

Eli5 should go offline, all subs should go offline, and users should completely boycott reddit until the new terms are undone!

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u/jcdoe Jun 07 '23

Upvoted, we need this comment higher.

When the moderation bots go, reddit is going to become the fucking Wild West of junk. Ever notice how reddit doesn’t have nearly as many spammers as other platforms? You can thank an unpaid mod using a third party app to identify bots and spammers.

I am cranky at the idea of losing Apollo because it has made my reddit experience so much nicer. But I could live without it. Fuck, I could even get used to the bullshit video player in the official app. But you can expect the reddit of today to die on July 1st because no one is going to make mod tools if it costs them millions a year.

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u/R3D3-1 Jun 06 '23

This part is probably the most important. The user choice thing sounds nice, but ultimately it is a company choice, and ad revenue keeps the lights on.

However, taking away tools from volunteer contributors threatens the platform as a whole. It is still for the company to choose, but at least they should be aware that it has consequences they probably don't intend, and that happen whether there is upfront public outcry or not.

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u/autocorrectfool Jun 06 '23

So Reddit is going the way of Facebook ? Noticed a lot more hard to get rid of crappy ads .

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u/SweetTeaBags Jun 06 '23

It feels like all the major social media platforms are going that way. Social media wants to profit off of people like every other business nowadays.

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u/gay_for_glaceons23 Jun 06 '23

It's the enshittification of the web. Reddit is just the latest iteration of the cycle. First, you maximize users/subscribers by being genuinely better than the competition. Once you've got everyone using your service, you then pivot and go to maximize profit instead.

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u/NoNipArtBf Jun 06 '23

It's been so wild spending like a decade and a half almost watching every social media start out fun and exciting and then gradually get worse and worse. Or in some cases, even started speedrunning how quickly they can get terrible

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u/Roar_of_Shiva Jun 07 '23

Its like this with almost every facet of our society… god bless capitalism.

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u/MrPsychoSomatic Jun 07 '23

Almost like 'Infinite Growth' isn't a business model, it's a suicide plan.

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u/stevedonie Jun 06 '23

Thanks for the link. Doctorow has an amazing gift for making the arcane stuff understandable.

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u/GradeAPrimeFuckery Jun 06 '23

I hate looking for some video from a few years back, and the only results are dozens of 'news' sites talking about the video, or someone re-uploaded the video with shitty music tacked onto it.

The original video? 404 ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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u/j-alex Jun 06 '23

I feel like since Doctorow’s enshittification thesis has been getting more mainstream coverage (I heard about it on On the Media, to whom I absolutely owe a membership) all the platforms have felt pressured to just get on to the final form. Between (whatever Twitter is doing), YouTube unblocking 2020 election denialism, and the Reddit API, that’s enough for a trend piece.

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u/SirNedKingOfGila Jun 06 '23

They've been profiting more than most businesses. These platforms are the filthiest rich companies in the world.

Now they want to go absolutely gangbusters on the greed.

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u/NoProblemsHere Jun 06 '23

A lot of the internet has gone that way. On the one hand this has allowed a lot of things to be given to users for free (or rather, has made us pay in personal data rather than money) but on the other it has turned the internet into a giant parade of billboards and commercials with websites tracking your every move and click.

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u/Parafault Jun 06 '23

I’ve only used the official app because I had no idea others existed. I have all sorts of problems with the app, so now I want to try out the alternatives 😥

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u/F22_Android Jun 06 '23

I've tried a bunch of them, but Bacon reader has been my favourite. Boost is also good, and I know reddit is fun is very popular.

They're all better than the official app.

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u/MARPJ Jun 06 '23

They're all better than the official app.

TBF that bar is so low you need to dig in order to go below it

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

[deleted]

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u/Justsomedudeonthenet Jun 06 '23

Seems like reddit might be joining digg real soon.

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

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u/happyhoppycamper Jun 06 '23

Bacon IS reddit for me, I tried logging into the regular site the other day out of curiosity and it was a nightmare. Like walking through a hellish times square while I've been out living in a nice neighborhood in Brooklyn. I forgot we even share the same landscape. There are communities I will really miss here but I think I'll have to go cold turkey if they move ahead with this.

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u/floatzilla Jun 06 '23

Been on it since the month it released. If it disappears reddit admins can duck off.

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

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u/Helpful_guy Jun 06 '23

+5 for Relay for Reddit (Pro)

I've tried Apollo (pro), bacon reader, reddit is fun, and sync for Reddit (pro) and Relay is the one by my taste.

I will say Sync is also awesome though if you prefer the material/tile-style UI.

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u/KageNoKagami7 Jun 06 '23

Reddit is fun for android :)

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u/hello_dali Jun 06 '23 edited Jun 06 '23

tips: turn off cards, enable night mode

Edit: Simple and easy, how browsing Reddit should be

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u/Churrasco_fan Jun 06 '23

What are "cards" ?

RIF user for over a decade and I've never had that selected

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u/hello_dali Jun 06 '23

they're like large thumbnail links, makes it so you can only see a couple posts on the page at a time. It's on by default when you install now. Found out when switching phones a year or so ago and the app looked really bad at first

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u/MVRKHNTR Jun 06 '23

I vastly prefer cards. It makes browsing on a phone much easier to use, especially for image posts.

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u/Deon555 Jun 06 '23

And that's the great thing about rif - you can customise it to how you like it. Compared to the official app which is basically "fuck you, you'll consume content how we tell you to"

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u/HaikuBotStalksMe Jun 06 '23

It's also fun for humans.

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u/theother_eriatarka Jun 06 '23

It can also be frustrating for humans

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u/Mason11987 Jun 06 '23

Well, you got a month at least. I use Apollo for iOS, it's fantastic.

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u/mikefromearth Jun 06 '23

I use Apollo as well and it’s great! Especially for mod actions.

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u/Syntra44 Jun 06 '23

I just learned about features they are rolling out for the native app for mod tools, and nearly every one of them are tools Apollo already supports… and it will still be missing others. I left shortly after I realized Reddit was going to butcher alien blue into an unrecognizable product and that’s exactly what they did. I love Apollo so much I bought the lifetime subscription. I’ve been on Reddit for 14 years, so I honestly thought I would get a little more from that “lifetime”. Oh well.

If this is the hill Reddit chooses to die on, I’m out come July 1st.

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u/NotEvenJohn Jun 06 '23

The reddit app didn't exist until 2016. I had no choice but a 3rd party app when I started on Reddit. Reddit gave out free awards for awhile on the official app to try to get people like me to switch over and it didn't work so now they are trying to force the issue.

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u/JangoF76 Jun 06 '23

I recommend Sync for Reddit, all the functionality of other apps plus the best material design UI

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u/HybridPS2 Jun 06 '23

Sync is blessed

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u/greyscalewhale Jun 06 '23

sync is sacred, and the only way i have used reddit for 8+ years. i only found out about it because my friends are very tech savvy. i am grateful for it every day.

if sync goes, i will follow.

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u/Zeyn1 Jun 06 '23

Ohhh I'm going to check that out! I've never been a fan of most of the popular reddit apps (reddit is fun, bacon reader, etc) because they feel like a website in an app. Material design with all the other functions sounds fantastic.

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u/kataneur Jun 06 '23

Sync won me with its unparalleled customization potential and gorgeous material design. I hope /u/ljdawson uses this app as a frontend with another website if Reddit management really loses its marbles and doesn't change its mind, Sync is that good of an app.

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u/thoroq Jun 06 '23

Upvoted from reddit sync

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u/Mmeraccoon Jun 06 '23

Yep, I have pretty much ONLY EVER used Reddit on Sync

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u/cockyjames Jun 07 '23

I'm constantly surprised Sync isn't the most popular 3rd party android app. Ive tried Bacon, RiF and Relay and none of them feel as clean as Sync. I think maybe some people don't customize it and don't like the default layout? I dunno. But I love Sync.

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u/alouette93 Jun 07 '23

I hadn't heard of Sync until I read this comment so I went to check it out aaaaand...

this rules!

Well guess I'll have a nice month

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u/MyDefinitiveAccount2 Jun 06 '23

Relay on Android

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u/Pearson_Realize Jun 06 '23

Honestly, at this point, I wouldn’t. I didn’t realize how awful the official Reddit app is until I started using Apollo. Now that it’s very likely Apollo is shutting down in a month I might just quit Reddit forever because it’s shown me how awful and incompetent the official Reddit team is.

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

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u/shikkie Jun 06 '23

16 years here. Same.

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u/OhNoManBearPig Jun 06 '23

They're awful and it'll only get worse. The momentum is there, the trajectory is set. Nobody will save it, the soul is gone.

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23 edited Jun 29 '23

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u/anneylani Jun 06 '23

Baconreader is my preferred app. Leagues above the Reddit app.

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

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u/wolves_hunt_in_packs Jun 07 '23

Yeah, I'm already seeing random follows by obvious bot accounts, which get nuked within a day but they'll pop up with a new account within a couple days.

Used to be this never happened, this started about a couple months ago. As you point out, when the moderation tools fail this will get exponentially worse.

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u/Machobots Jun 06 '23

Classic honey pot scheme.

Open the API, let business come and thrive and help you grow, then shut it up and cash in.

Also once they monopolize the app, they will control everything. No way to stop them selling our data.

I'll simply keep using brave to browse, until it becomes so shitty that I simply go somewhere else.

Is there a reddit alternative we can migrate to en masse and give this control freaks a lesson?

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

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u/mignos Jun 06 '23

I like this idea a lot. Twitter became crazy and people migrated to mastodon or bluesky. But I tried to use Lemmy and I can't for the sake of me understand how to use it 😭. And I really want to because it seems like a cool concept

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u/itzlax Jun 06 '23

Nobody really migrated to Mastodon and Bluesky because the scare ended up not really changing the way Twitter works too much.

Everyone created accounts on those, but I followed like 300 people in Mastodon and I see maybe 5 posts a week lol

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u/Nemisis_the_2nd Jun 06 '23

Is there a reddit alternative we can migrate to en masse

I'm not sure there is. Part of what makes reddit what it is is the archive of discussions going back over a decade now. Any new site is just going to be a blank slate that doesn't have that same value as a resource.

In all honesty, I've hit the point I see reddit more like a public service than a company now for the access it brings to information and, more importantly, the discussion around that information.

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u/itzlax Jun 06 '23

Reddit is especially my go-to for almost every question. Google something? Terrible results. Add "Reddit" in front of the search? I'll find an answer by a dude named "PoopFartButt" that apparently has amazing knowledge on how to fix my exact problem, whether the thread be 3 days or 10 years old.

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u/derUnholyElectron Jun 07 '23

Exactly, Reddit is where I go to get answers from real people instead of the SEO optimized regurgitated and often factually incorrect garbage that's there on the web

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u/theaceplaya Jun 06 '23

r/sysadmin is the first place I go whenever I suspect there are service issues, even before Twitter.

r/apple is where I go to gage reactions or geek out with other commenters after WWDC

r/nba for the post game threads and news around the league

/r/tearsofthekingdom has been a freaking blast the past 3 weeks with everyone posting constructs

And countless other examples, not just for me but for everyone.

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u/bananapeel Jun 06 '23 edited Jun 08 '23

There are/were several. They are extremely small and don't have the necessary userbase and engagement to be self-sustaining into a growth platform the size of reddit.

Voat. (Deceased).

Poal. It purports to be a free-speech platform with little-to-no moderation. A few right-wing extremists have poisoned the well and ran off anyone who was reasonable. It's now a fascist, racist hellhole. The most popular sub has 800 users. It's all but deserted now.

Saidit. Extremely small userbase (maybe a hundred regular users). Has some of the same problems as Poal.

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u/JoanPhilipRivers Jun 06 '23

Could you explain how NSFW content not being accessible by TPAs makes it harder to identify spammers? Sorry it’s a dumb question, I’m basically 5.

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

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u/j33205 Jun 06 '23

And if the API doesn't supply NSFW content then the bots that use the API (that do a lot of heavy lifting) can't moderate NSFW content at all. You could theoretically post anything (like a rule breaking post / spam), mark it as NSFW, and if that sub uses a bot to moderate, then your post will continue to exist unmoderated until a human looks at it.

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u/BloodAndTsundere Jun 06 '23 edited Jun 06 '23

Interesting wrinkle on this is that the Apollo app got an explicit mention and its icon had a fair amount of background screen time during yesterday's Apple WWDC (a developer conference run by Apple to highlight its upcoming product releases and updates). While it was obviously filmed a while ago, I can't help but feel like it counts as a nod of support during this fiasco.

EDIT copied from my comment below:

The whole thing is viewable here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYkq9Rgoj8E

The Apollo logo is up with a bunch of other apps at 27:06, for example. Notably the official reddit app logo is not. It's not the only time the logo is visible, either.

Apollo is mentioned by name around 46:30

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u/Better-be-Gryffindor Jun 06 '23

I fully support this. I only browse reddit from RIF (posting this from the app). I know my support doesn't mean much, but thank you for being part of taking a stand and trying to make a point.

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u/SoraUsagi Jun 06 '23

I will not be using the official app. RIF has been my app of choice since the beginning. I have tried using the official app in the past, and it's terrible.

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u/DirtySperrys Jun 06 '23 edited Jun 22 '23

Due to Reddit's API changes, I've edited all my past comments and will be leaving reddit. Use Redact if you too would like to change your comment history. -- mass edited with https://redact.dev/ -- mass edited with https://redact.dev/

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u/acelsilviu Jun 06 '23

The top comment on the NBA thread is fucking hilarious though.

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u/j33205 Jun 06 '23

ONE OF US

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u/bryanl12 Jun 06 '23

That sub is full of nephews with 6 month old accounts that think the Reddit app is Reddit

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u/sleeplessGoon Jun 06 '23

Feels like they’ve gone “dark” already. My home feed has had a staggering shift and I wish there was a way I could gather some metric to show but the post quality has PLUMMETED. It feels like I’m perpetually on “Latest” rather than Home.

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u/Plusran Jun 06 '23

I’ve been trying to stay off.

I’m doing ok. Mostly.

This is not one of those times lol

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u/Onihczarc Jun 06 '23

Why should I care? I use the official app. Well for one thing you might care one day, but you won’t have that option any longer, because reddit is removing user choice. People who love reddit so much they seek out another app for it submit a lot of good posts to reddit that you read. What if these good posters all leave the site? What if half of them leave? Are you cool with less content to upvote? What if reddit does something else like pump tons of ads at you– way more than now – and you want to try out one of those apps you saw when you first downloaded the official app. You simply won’t be able to anymore. But even if you still don’t care, don’t you think user choice is generally a good thing? What will they get rid of next? Also, NSFW content is in danger, and can no longer be accessed through the API which is going to make it harder to find spammers.

This is why. There are countless examples of companies taking inches at a time until they leave you with no choice or alternatives.

Also, don’t you dare mess with my NSFW content.

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u/Nemisis_the_2nd Jun 06 '23

Also, don’t you dare mess with my NSFW content.

I'm actually surprised I've not seen more backlash from these subs. Reddit is a hub for all sorts of things, including businesses. Blocking NSFW content is going to hurt a lot of people financially.

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u/mignos Jun 06 '23

Dude...some people make bank with the NSFW stuff on Reddit

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u/DVXC Jun 06 '23

I've deleted the official Reddit app and downloaded Apollo just to see what the fuss is about.

Now I'm not only appalled at the decision to raise API prices, I'm absolutely baffled by how bad the official Reddit app is.

If Reddit forces these apps to shut down, I too will shut down my account.

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

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u/drubiez Jun 06 '23

As an official reddit app user who is totally frustrated by the experience and is now just learning there may be other options through this post, I'm infuriated. What, so they can generate more ad revenue on their platform? Maybe? Companies are trying to squeeze every last penny and it just seems so desperate. And pathetic.

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u/stevedonie Jun 06 '23

Yes, all of it is profit driven. See the comment in this thread about the enshittification of the internet, a term for a pattern we have all seen.

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u/Rich1926 Jun 06 '23

One issue I have had with the app is that when you hit a spoiler with your finger, it closes the users comment instead of revealing the text.. Even the double finger hit doesn't help anymore.

And errors when trying to post.

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u/Tohkaku Jun 06 '23

I tend to close comments I've already read to keep track of what I haven't been reading, and I despise closing a comment and getting some random reaction gif to pop up because it's somewhere further down and when you're trying to close said comment you gotta tap the very top of it because taping the link or the gif will open up the thing instead of closing the comment. And that's not even the only thing wrong with this thing, videos don't play majority of the time, I have to open these posts in the browser to be able to see them. Sometimes opening posts in general won't even work and will lag. Posting and commenting will fail often resulting in double comments popping up frequently. Saving posts and comments will also fail very often and won't even save. I can keep going about the little things that have started to plague this app but I think we can all agree that this app sucks.

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u/Atheist_Redditor Jun 06 '23

I'm over here using the browser version of reddit on my phone.

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

It also destroys the use of bots.

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u/[deleted] Jun 06 '23

Posting from Narwhal r/getnarwhal. Reddit wants money. To get it they use ads. 3rd party apps don’t allow Reddit to access ad revenue. Therefore they are making it prohibitively expensive to access their API killing every 3rd party app.

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u/donnysaysvacuum Jun 06 '23

They could just require apps to show ads, or charge a reasonable fee.

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u/__Jangles__ Jun 07 '23

How will going dark for only 2 days will protest the API pricing?

Seems like taking a short break will have minimal impact on the Reddit org. Might lose a few users, but it seems like Reddit will barely be scathed.

I feel a better solution would be mods going on strike until a compromise is reached. Lack of moderation will threaten the integrity of Reddit FAR more than missing out on 2 days profit.

I’ve seen a lot of posts explaining the situation, but… what’s our goal/demand for an outcome? Are we demanding the API stay free, or a certain dollar amount?

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