Reddit followed through on its threat to take over subreddits if they did not reopen to the public with its takeover of r/malefashionadvice on Thursday. Prior to closing down in protest of Reddit’s API price changes. The subreddit was one of the biggest on the platform that was still engaged in the protest, boasting more than five million subscribers.
Reddit reached out to moderators telling them if they didn’t reopen their subreddits they would be in violation of the company’s moderator code and could be replaced. “We more or less have been expecting the removal for the past few days,” one former moderator of r/malefashionadvice, who asked to go by “Walker,” told The Verge.
A Reddit administrator warned r/malefashionadvice it would be replaced if it didn’t reopen and a month later, it stayed true to its word and took over the platform. The subreddit originally had three moderators but was replaced on Thursday with just one, ModCodeofConduct. Reddit users can once again browse the content on r/malefashionadvice, but it will be in a restricted mode that prohibits all but certain users from making new posts.
Although ModCodeofConduct has taken over the subreddit, the mod posted a call for people to volunteer to become a moderator for the page on Friday, telling people to comment on the post to volunteer.
ModCodeofConduct has also taken over other subreddits including r/ShittyLifeProTips, r/AccidentalRenaissance, r/oldbabies, r/fordtransit, and others.
Major Reddit moderators went dark last month in protest of the company’s announcement that it would be raising its API prices, saying it was necessary because Big Tech companies like Microsoft and Google are using its data to train AI models. The site’s API allows other companies to use data from Reddit to bolster their own products and services, but the change would mean a large surcharge for premium access.
Nearly 9,000 subreddits temporarily shut down on June 12 in protest, but in a group statement, moderators said, “Others will go away permanently unless the issue is adequately addressed since many moderators aren’t able to put in the work they do with the poor tools available through the official app,” The Guardian reported. It continued, “This isn’t something any of us do lightly: we do what we do because we love Reddit, and we truly believe this change will make it impossible to keep doing what we love.”
Reddit did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
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