Reddit Communities Go Dark to Protest New App Policy

The moderators of hundreds of Reddit forums, known as subreddits, closed off access to their groups on Monday to protest the company’s plan to charge for access to the data that outside developers need to run apps on the site.

Many said the new pricing scheme could kill off some of the most popular third-party apps that many users rely on to browse and comment on the site. Others said the charges had sowed uncertainty about the tools that moderators use to manage discussions. An estimated 57 million people a day visit the platform.

Reddit announced in April that it would begin to charge some large-scale users for access to its application programming interface, or A.P.I., the method through which outside entities can download and process the social network’s vast selection of memes, gifs, videos, and conversation threads.

Reddit said it no longer wanted to give away such a valuable asset to companies like Google, OpenAI and Microsoft, which have been using Reddit’s data to develop artificial intelligence systems that many in Silicon Valley see as the next big thing.

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