Over on Reddit, the protest continues.
It’s been almost a month now since thousands of popular subreddits went dark to protest Reddit’s API (application programming interface) changes, which saw the site introducing fees that have led to third-party apps like Apollo – which couldn’t afford them – being forced to shut down.
Following the blackout, a number of major subreddits carried on protesting in their own inventive ways. r/pics(opens in a new tab), a community with over 30 million subscribers, started by only allowing images of John Oliver on the subreddit, before expanding the rule to allow all media of John Oliver. In the meantime they also briefly made their sub NSFW — a tongue-in-cheek response to the level of “profanity” in posts, which had the side effect of meaning Reddit couldn’t show ads alongside posts in the community. At the time of writing, after Reddit threatened the moderation team with removal(opens in a new tab), this appears to have been changed back.
Now, as of this week, r/pics has made a direct appeal to John Oliver(opens in a new tab), inviting the man himself to join their moderation team. Here’s a snippet:
“Yes, we’re serious. Yes, it’s a real invitation.
To be clear, moderation is a thankless, unpleasant endeavor, and we wouldn’t wish it on anyone: You’re a constant target for bad actors, you receive no end of ill-informed abuse, you’re frequently exposed to horrifying media, and you’re thanked by way of being called “a power-hungry basement-dweller” or “landed gentry.” It used to be that moderators could count on support from administrators, but said support has been dwindling for years (even as volunteering on Reddit has gotten more and more difficult). Still, since John Oliver has become the literal face of r/PICS(opens in a new tab), we figured that it was only fair to offer him a look behind the scenes!
Please feel free to say “Oh, hell no!” to us, John… but if you’re interested, we’ll look forward to showing you around!”
The invitation was made on Monday, and at the time of writing John Oliver has yet to respond — but given that he’s currently in the middle of a standup tour(opens in a new tab), it’s possible that he may be a bit busy for moderation duties.
r/pics isn’t the only subreddit continuing to protest. r/videos, which has around 27 million members, is currently only allowing text-based posts that describe videos(opens in a new tab) and which are written in all caps.