Reddit’s John Oliver-themed protest on r/pics just went to a whole new level

Popular subreddits are continuing to protest Reddit’s upcoming API changes via the medium of comedian John Oliver, and things are only getting stranger.

On Wednesday, following another community vote,(opens in a new tab) Reddit’s 30 million-strong community r/pics(opens in a new tab) — which has allowed only images of Oliver to be posted of late — made another tweak to its new rules: Users are now allowed to post “any and all media featuring John Oliver”.

“Users can now post AI-generated images, videos, erotic fan-fiction, songs, memes, incredibly erotic fan-fiction, GIFs, photographs, and fan-fiction that’s erotic enough to make nuns literally explode,” reads the post announcing the changes(opens in a new tab), before explaining that r/pics shall now be known as r/PICS: “Posts Illuminating Comedian’s Sexiness”.

These changes come on the heels of 6,500 subreddits going dark last week to protest Reddit’s decision to charge third-party developers for API access — a Twitter-style attempt to monetize that is likely to kill off apps that can’t afford to pay the fees.

The blackout was followed by a number of large subreddits continuing to protest in new and creative ways, with some of the biggest choosing to go down a very John Oliver-focused route (something the man himself has since acknowledged and embraced(opens in a new tab)).

The latest changes have been live for less than a day, but users are already getting creative. Popular examples so far include a 2,000-word piece of “sensual” fan fiction about Oliver falling in love with the Loch Ness Monster(opens in a new tab), and an AI-generated image of what the comedian would look like as a Grand Theft Auto character(opens in a new tab).

Reddit, meanwhile, is doing what it can to disrupt the ongoing protests, recently removing some moderators who protested by marking their communities NSFW in an effort to remove ads. Reddit’s CEO Steve Huffman, meanwhile, is refusing to budge on the API plans.

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