Backlash Over Reddit’s Controversial API Shutdown Worsens After CEO’s AMA

Steve Huffman, CEO and co-founder of Reddit, has addressed the community and app developers’ criticism of the company’s proposed API changes in an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) discussion. Huffman cited the changes in pricing and cutting down on subsidising commercial entities as part of Reddit’s plan to become a self-sustaining business. This has led to many third-party apps opting to shut down, and while Reddit intends to continue engaging with developers willing to work with them, some have claimed to be ignored in their attempts to contact Reddit.

As reported on by The Verge’s Jay Peters, some third-party developers have not been heard back from Reddit after attempting to discuss the new API pricing changes. Drama ensued when a redditor asked Huffman during the AMA about the accusation the CEO told moderators that Christian Selig, the Apollo developer, had “threatened us.” Huffman had previously accused Selig of inefficiency and poor API-use. The founder cited Selig’s supposed inconsistent communication and extortion and concluded that the company had no plans to revise the upcoming API changes.

Huffman additionally addressed the concerns surrounding explicit content on third-party apps and explained that due to various legal and regulatory concerns, the API changes disallow NSFW content (pornography, gore, etc.) to be viewed on third-party apps. Reddit is also looking to improve its own app, including its moderation tools and accessibility features. Despite backlash and sitewide protests, Huffman and Reddit remain committed to their decisions.

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