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Reddit CEO does AMA, doesn't address or even mention upcoming subreddit protests

This AMA was an opportunity for Reddit's CEO to explain some things. However, all we got was more of the same.

Published onJune 9, 2023

Reddit stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Reddit CEO Steve Huffman posted a statement on the ongoing controversies surrounding upcoming API changes.
  • The post was also an AMA (ask me anything), but Huffman skipped over many important questions.
  • Notably, Huffman did not acknowledge or even mention the upcoming June 12 blackout protests.

If you frequently use Reddit, it’s been a wild week. First, we found out that some upcoming changes to how Reddit lets developers use its API will kill the most popular third-party Reddit apps. Next, we discovered a continuously expanding set of subreddits that will protest these changes by going dark for 48 hours starting on June 12. Finally, yesterday we found out that three of the most popular third-party Reddit apps — Sync, reddit is fun, and Apollo — will shut down on June 30 and not come back.

Now, today, we have an AMA from Steve Huffman, also known as u/spez. Ostensibly, this AMA from Reddit’s CEO and co-founder should have been an easy way to clear the air on some of the topics users and moderators care most about. However, Huffman and a team of three other Reddit administrators only posted 21 replies to the thousands of questions. Some of those 21 replies weren’t even statements but just clarifications of previous comments or, in one case, simply one hyperlink to another comment.

Most notably, though, none of the administrators — including Huffman — acknowledged the upcoming June 12 protests. These protests are sizing up to be the biggest Reddit has seen in its nearly 19 years of existence. As of publishing this article, 26 subreddits with more than 10 million subscribers will go dark, along with literally thousands of others. Theoretically, Reddit will lose tens of millions of dollars in revenue over those 48 hours.

Likewise, Huffman and his team did not address the topics on which most questions focused. These include why Reddit isn’t giving developers more time to figure out how to deal with these API changes, why the APIs will cost so much money, what Reddit will do to fill the holes left by these apps when they no longer work, and, most glaringly, why Reddit is moving forward with these changes before laying the groundwork for the absence of these apps and tools.

Huffman did take the time, though, to call out Christian Selig, the developer of Apollo, who started this whole controversy by publicly discussing the upcoming changes at Reddit. Huffman said he didn’t know “how we could do business with [Selig]” again and also called him out for recording “private” conversations and posting them publicly. Selig himself even jumped in to ask Huffman to supply any evidence of Selig saying something publicly that didn’t jibe with what he said privately. Huffman did not respond to this, either.

All in all, the AMA has been a disaster, and the June 12 protests are now not only likely to happen but likely to gain momentum.

The AMA has technically not closed yet, so there is a chance the Reddit CEO and his team could continue to reply. We will update this article if anything notable occurs.

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