Reddit outages impact online music communities – CEO doesn’t back down

Credit: Brett Jordan

After two days of Reddit blackouts, some communities on the site are choosing to remain in the dark. r/Music is one of them – 32 million members and currently private.

Moderators of many Reddit communities have decided to extend the blackout indefinitely. These moderators rely on third-party tools and spend years moderating their communities. Reddit has promised to develop a set of internal moderation tools – but has yet to deliver on that promise. The music subreddit isn’t the only one that wants to stay private to get its message out. Other popular subreddits including r/aww, r/videos, r/nba, and r/gaming have all agreed to remain private.

At the height of this week’s Reddit blackouts, more than 8,400 subreddits were taken down or banned. The power outages caused Reddit to crash Monday, and the company declined to publicly comment on the outage. But Reddit CEO Steve Huffman sent an internal memo to employees that said, “This will eventually pass.”

“There’s a lot of noise there. One of the loudest we’ve ever seen. Please be aware that our teams are in on it and like all explosions on Reddit, this one will be temporary,” the memo said. “We absolutely have to deliver what we promised. The only long term solution is to improve our product and in the short term we need to get a handle on some important mod tool launches.”

Reddit first announced changes to its API pricing in April 2023, modeled after Elon Musk’s Twitter. Reddit initially advised third-party app developers that these changes would not be excessive. But third-party app developer Christian Selig, who powers the popular iOS app Apollo, says it would cost him $20 million to maintain his current user base at the new API prices. Because of this, many third-party apps have chosen to shut down on June 30th, one day before the API price change goes into effect.

The outcome of this Reddit blackout will be interesting. For most of its existence, reddit did not have a mobile app. After acquiring Alien Blue, the company got to work decided The new mobile app is no longer user-friendly for most power users. Now the company assumes its core audience isn’t churn like the big Digg migration that helped Reddit grow. Unfortunately, federated link aggregators like lemmy, KBinAnd tildes are increasing – and have strong music communities.