Reddit Blackout persists with some crypto communities left in the dark

Despite the days-long shutdown, Reddit has said it doesn’t plan to reverse course on its API policy update


Gil C/Shutterstock, modified by Blockworks


The Reddit Blackout was supposed to last from June 12 to June 14, but continues to persist past that point for some. As of the time of publishing, just under 6,000 subreddits — many of which have hundreds of thousands of members — have gone completely dark, according to a tracker on Twitch.

Certain prominent crypto-related subreddits joined in to protest Reddit’s decision to boost the price per request for its API by July 1, 2023. Some notable mentions include r/Bitcoin, r/Ethereum, r/litecoin and r/CryptoCurrency, all of which have since become publicly available again. 

Other subreddits, such as r/web3, remain private, along with some of the most popular communities on Reddit which have pledged to shut down indefinitely. These include r/music and r/videos, which have 32 million and 26 million users, respectively.

Blockworks sent messages to several crypto reddit communities, however moderators from Litecoin’s subreddit were the only ones who replied.

One of them, known as Losh, told Blockworks that they use Apollo’s iOS client to moderate because it has features such as new account detection, comment chain nuking, and an ability to ban people quicker.

Apollo is one such Reddit client that announced that it will shut down on June 30 because of the new API terms. In a Reddit post, the third party app told users that it made “7 billion requests last month.” If it kept at that pace for a year under Reddit’s API terms, Apollo claimed it would cost them $20 million, keeping them “in the red every month.”

Losh of r/litecoin added that crypto subreddits see significantly more spam than the average subreddit, which makes third party apps’ demise even more devastating. 

“I think more of the default subreddits should’ve gone private indefinitely,” Losh told Blockworks. “In my opinion, Reddit is just waiting for the anger around API pricing to go stale. Then they’ll be ready for their IPO later this year. A 48-hour blackout will not be effective. Tomorrow it’ll be back to business as usual.”

Some on Twitter agreed with the Litecoin moderator, saying that two days simply isn’t enough to affect any meaningful change.

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Prominent crypto tweeter Shibetoshi Nakamoto and user brentos93 added to the chorus, implying Reddit moderators — the people most responsible for shutting down a good portion of the site — won’t last very long.

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Some crypto-focused communities on the website declined to participate in the blackout, including r/XRP, r/solana, r/dogecoin, r/Avax, r/SHIBArmy, r/cosmosnetwork, and r/Chainlink. 

On Wednesday, the Verge reported on an internal memo about the blackout from Reddit CEO Steve Huffman. His message to employees was not to worry and that “like all blowups on Reddit, this one will pass as well.” He added that there has been no significant impact on revenue so far. 

Reddit officials declined to comment on the alleged memo, calling it a rumor. The company also declined to comment on the fact that 300 subreddits, many of them with millions of users, have pledged to stay closed indefinitely.

The company instead referred Blockworks back to Huffman’s Friday AMA session, where he said he respected users’ decisions to “take action” and go private. Despite that, Reddit appears undeterred, telling Blockworks it’s “not planning any changes to the API updates.”

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