Photography Subreddits Go Dark as Redditors Protest Against the Company


The popular r/photography subreddit has gone dark, preventing millions of photographers from accessing vital information.

As well as r/photography, popular camera-related subreddits including r/photoshop, r/lightroom, r/cameras, r/poloaroid, and r/videos are all down as well.

Instead of being greeted with the latest posts, Redditors visiting r/photography right now will receive a message that says the subreddit is a private community.

“We are currently closed to protest the Reddit API pricing change in solidarity with the developers of 3rd party apps. Join our Discord instead,” it reads.

“Reddit’s policy changes will harm subreddit communities by making them more difficult to view, browse, and moderate. Third-party tools and dedicated users have always been critical to making welcoming, safe communities. These policy changes are a failure to recognize the value and contribution of third parties.”

Why Are Camera Subreddits Going Dark?

It is not just camera-related subreddits that have closed, thousands of popular Reddit communities have gone dark in protest against Reddit’s plan to charge for access to its data.

According to Reuters, from July onwards third-party app developers using Reddit’s vast troves of information will have to pay a fee with the knock-on effect being felt by large companies like OpenAI and small developers too.

This policy change has brought about widespread protests, with thousands of forums going dark for 48 hours. However, others are planning to protest indefinitely.

Reddit is heavily dependent on community moderators who police subreddits for free.

Why is Reddit Charging for its Data Now?

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman gave an interview to the New York Times in April and said the “Reddit corpus of data is really valuable” and he doesn’t want to “need to give all of that value to some of the largest companies in the world for free.”

This is partly due to the rise in generative artificial intelligence (AI) and new tools like ChatGPT using Reddit’s data to train its large language model (LLM). Reddit’s API makes it easier for companies to directly find and collate the data.

It comes after Elon Musk’s Twitter in January restricted all third-party clients and apps and updated its rules for developers accessing its APIs.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.