Mods of major Reddit subs pen open letters calling for affordable option for third-party apps

  patro jagaya   5398   28 Jun, 2023 

Description:

Moderators of some of the biggest subreddits on Reddit have penned open letters asking the platform to “explore ways in which third-party apps can make an affordable return,” among other requests. Here is everything you need to know about the open letters and what led to them. Some of the major subs whose modes are participating in this request include r/pics, r/MildlyInteresting, r/GIFs, r/BestOf, r/NotTheOnion, r/Funny, r/Showerthoughts, r/Jokes, and r/CrazyIdeas. Each of these “subs” has millions of followers. The open letters from the moderators come shortly after thousands of subs “went dark” to protest the social platform’s revised API (application programming interface) pricing which would have affected third-party Reddit apps’ ability to continue functioning. Most of the open letters from the moderators largely make the same requests, prioritising asking Reddit to make things more affordable for third-party app developers. Other requests include asking the company to improve moderation tools and to commit to reducing spam and other inappropriate content. The letters also request Reddit to guarantee that any major developments affecting moderators, contributors and other shareholders to be announced atleast one fiscal quarter before they are scheduled to go into effect. The subs also Reddit create a senior-level role of “Moderator Advocate” at the company, filling the role with someone who has a lot of experience as a volunteer Reddit moderator. The Reddit moderator conundrum: Protest, return, mayhem Many third-party app developers protested Reddit’s announced change in API pricing. Most notably, Christian Selig, the developer of the popular Apollo app for Reddit, announced the shutdown of the app. According to Selig, the price revision would mean that Apollo would have to spend over $20 million a year to keep running. The popular “RIF” or Reddit Is Fun app also announced that it would shut down on April 30 along with Apollo and many others. Thousands of subs on the platform went private in protest of this development. But the protests were short-lived. Many subs returned to being public after Reddit threatened to remove moderators who continued to protest the company’s move, according to NBC News. But even though they did come back, many subs returned with tongue-in-cheek twists. For example, subs like r/pics, r/gifs, and r/aww returned but for a while, only allowed posts about Last Week Tonight host and comedian John Oliver, according to BBC. Many female and fashion subreddits, like r/femalefashionadvice and r/malefashionadvice began only allowing posts that pretended like it was the 1700s, according to The Verge. All of these subs took the decision after putting up to a poll where users decided what the subs would do upon their return. Reddit: Why moderators are important Unlike most other social media platforms, content moderation on Reddit is handled by a group of volunteer moderators or “mods” who have no direct affiliation with the company and therefore receive no monetary remuneration. The idea is that the platform gives moderators a free hosting space to discuss the topics they are interested in and the mods police these communities or “subreddits” in return. Not only is this army of volunteer moderators the “lifeblood” of the platform in a sense, but they also provide a direct tangible economic benefit to the social media platform. New Scientist reported in June 2022 that Reddit moderators do $3.4 million worth of unpaid work every year by maintaining the platform’s content standards on various subs. By contrast, many other social media platforms spend a sizeable portion of their revenue on internal content moderation. Take Facebook for example. The (admittedly much larger) social media platform has committed to spending about 5 per cent of its revenue, or $3.7 billion on content moderation, according to a University of Wharton report in January 2022.

Comments

  • praveen giri

    Some are also shutting down until Reddit reverts that change

    Reply | 01 Jul, 2023

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