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As the Reddit war rages on, community trust is the casualty

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Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

Over 8,400 subreddits went dark from June 12 through June 14 in protest over new API pricing that is about to shutter many third-party Reddit apps. But now that the biggest uprising in Reddit history is slowing, what’s next for Reddit?

Despite weeks of heated debate, Reddit still plans to begin its API pricing system on July 1. The social media company has until now provided free API access, but—after claiming it didn’t want AI chatbots to profit off Reddit’s content for free—it announced pricing changes so dramatic that popular third-party Reddit app Apollo faced a $20 million annual bill. Apollo now plans to close ahead of the API changes; so do other third-party apps.

With the blackout over on many subreddits, Reddit is banking on the outrage passing. But Reddit—once a thriving, distinct community—has depleted significant communal goodwill in this battle. Volunteer moderators remain apprehensive of a future without third-party apps, and thousands of subreddits still aren’t public again. Reddit will try to grow revenue off a community whose most dedicated members remain anxious.

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