Apple-related subreddit /r/apple has gone dark in protest of Reddit’s upcoming API pricing changes affecting third-party Reddit apps. The subreddit is now private, meaning users can no longer view or post, and the moderators behind the community said it will remain that way for the next 48 hours, or potentially longer if necessary.
/r/apple is one of many subreddits going dark over the next few days, along with /r/videos, /r/mildlyinteresting, /r/DIY and others. The organized blackout comes after Reddit announced expensive API pricing changes that threaten to put some third-party Reddit apps out of business. Christian Selig, developer of the popular Reddit app Apollo, said he would owe Reddit about $20 million per year under the new policy. As a result, Selig announced that Apollo will be shut down at the end of the month.
Reddit’s API provides apps like Apollo with Reddit data like posts and comments, and it’s been free to use until now. Selig said it’s understandable for Reddit to start charging for access to the API, but the price is prohibitively expensive. Selig also said Reddit gave him minimal time to prepare for the changes.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman addressed the issue in a Reddit post last week, but his comments were heavily criticized and received thousands of downvotes from Reddit users. Despite community backlash, Reddit has yet to reverse course on its plans so far, and the API changes are set to go into effect on July 1st if upheld.