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Internal memo from Reddit CEO leaks, shows company will not back down

If you're a Redditor who doesn't like the upcoming changes at the company, this memo will spell bad news.
By

Published onJune 13, 2023

Reddit stock photo 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • An internal memo from Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has leaked.
  • The memo makes it clear the company will not back down from pushing its planned API changes.
  • This spells bad news for protesting Redditors and subreddits.

On Monday, a massive protest started at Reddit. As of now, and continuing for at least the next 12 hours or so, over 7,000 subreddits have “gone dark” — ceased all activity. This protest is in response to changes at Reddit that will negatively affect third-party apps, including tools to both view and moderate Reddit by bypassing official apps.

Late last week, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman conducted a disastrous AMA related to the controversy. On top of only answering a few questions, the whole ordeal was especially concerning due to Huffman refusing to even acknowledge the then-upcoming protests.

Today, an internal Reddit memo has leaked (via The Verge). The memo, sent by Huffman to Reddit employees — known as “Snoos” — affirms that the company will not cave to these protests. Huffman says this “will pass,” just like “all blowups at Reddit.” He doubles down on his commitment to pushing through the controversial changes by saying, “We absolutely must ship what we said we would.”

Huffman also claims in the memo that Reddit has “not seen any significant revenue impact so far” from the protests. While we can’t disprove this claim, it seems highly improbable. When 7,000 of your most popular communities simply cease all activity, that’s gotta hurt the bottom line at least somewhat.

In the end, though, the memo from Reddit’s CEO makes one thing perfectly clear: the company is not backing down. It will apparently take a whole lot more than subreddits going dark before Huffman will change his mind about these controversial policies.

We have reprinted the entire leaked memo below.

Leaked memo from Reddit CEO Steve Huffman

Hi Snoos,
Starting last night, about a thousand subreddits have gone private. We do anticipate many of them will come back by Wednesday, as many have said as much. While we knew this was coming, it is a challenge nevertheless and we have our work cut out for us. A number of Snoos have been working around the clock, adapting to infrastructure strains, engaging with communities, and responding to the myriad of issues related to this blackout. Thank you, team.
We have not seen any significant revenue impact so far and we will continue to monitor.
There’s a lot of noise with this one. Among the noisiest we’ve seen. Please know that our teams are on it, and like all blowups on Reddit, this one will pass as well. The most important things we can do right now are stay focused, adapt to challenges, and keep moving forward. We absolutely must ship what we said we would. The only long term solution is improving our product, and in the short term we have a few upcoming critical mod tool launches we need to nail.
While the two biggest third-party apps, Apollo and RIF, along with a couple others, have said they plan to shut down at the end of the month, we are still in conversation with some of the others. And as I mentioned in my post last week, we will exempt accessibility-focused apps and so far have agreements with RedReader and Dystopia.
I am sorry to say this, but please be mindful of wearing Reddit gear in public. Some folks are really upset, and we don’t want you to be the object of their frustrations.
Again, we’ll get through it. Thank you to all of you for helping us do so.