Reddit is suffering a major power outage after thousands of subreddits were temporarily shut down

It’s been quite a day for Reddit. Thousands of communities have temporarily shut down the store to protest changes the company is making to its API, which affects several third-party apps. On top of that, the platform suffered a “major outage” across its desktop and mobile sites, as well as its mobile apps.

“We are aware of issues loading content and are working to resolve the issues as quickly as possible,” said a message on the Reddit status page at 10:58 a.m. ET. By 11:30 am the site loaded again. “We are observing improvements across the site and expect the issue to be restored for most users. We will continue to monitor the situation closely,”[ads1]; said an update posted at 11:47 a.m.

“A significant number of subreddits going private caused some expected stability issues, and we’ve been working to address the expected issue,” Reddit told Engadget in a statement. At 1:26 p.m., the company said the outage had been resolved and that things were back to normal, with the exception of the protest.

A bot tracked all subreddits that went private as part of the protests. As you might expect, the bot was down while Reddit was down, but it’s up and running again.

Reddit said in April it would begin charging for access to the API, which third-party developers have used in thousands of apps that connect to the platform, such as moderation tools. While the main target of the API changes may have been companies scraping Reddit for content to train language-learning models for generative AI systems, the move has been a significant blow to those who create third-party clients that many redditors prefer over the company’s own. website or apps.

One of the most prominent third-party clients, Apollo, is shutting down at the end of this month as a result of the API changes. The app’s creator, Christian Selig, claimed he would have to pay $20 million a year to keep running Apollo as is. RIF, another widely used third-party Reddit app, will also shut down on June 30.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman defended the API changes in an AMA that took place before the subreddits went private in protest. He said the new policy was part of an effort to make Reddit profitable. “Reddit needs to be a self-sustaining business, and to do that we can no longer subsidize commercial entities that require data usage at scale,” he wrote. “Some apps like Apollo, Reddit is Fun and Sync have decided that this price doesn’t work for their businesses and will shut down before the price takes effect.”

Update 1:28 PM ET 6/12: Indicates that the power outage has been resolved.

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