Update: Reddit servers are starting to go down, which is expected to be due to the protest. Reddit outage reports spiked around 03:37 pm BST / 07:37 am PT / 10:37 am EST, and the number of subreddits going dark continues to increase.
Original Story: They're calling it Reddark—a Reddit rebellion in which thousands of subreddits are going dark, in protest of potential for the site to start charging for third-party apps.
The protest has ensued due to new pricing plans for third-party app developers, such as Sync for Reddit and Reddit is Fun, that host the site's content for a more streamlined mobile experience. Many have made it clear that the premium charges would make their apps essentially unsustainable.
"We now have premium API access for third parties who require additional capabilities and have higher usage limits", Reddit admin FlyingLaserTurtle says in a recent post on the site.
"Until this change, for-profit third-party apps used our API for free, at significant cost to us. Of course, we have the option of blocking them entirely, but we know third-party apps are valuable for the Reddit ecosystem and ask that they cover their costs. Our simple math suggests they can do this for less than $1/user/month."
Evidently, this didn't go down well. Not least when it comes to the larger subreddits being run by nice people simply volunteering their time.
The list of subreddits switching to private is growing by the minute, so much so that someone made a special Reddark Twitch feed to keep track as the number mounts. Right now the number sits at over 7,100 subreddits gone private, out of the 7,265 that have promised to stand in unison with the movement.
Comment from r/redditdev
Out of the overall 2.8 million subreddits out there, seven thousand doesn't sound like a lot. But when you consider the combined subscriber count is currently sitting at over two and a half billion, with involvement from subreddits with over 30 million subscribers each—including r/funny, r/aww, r/gaming, r/music, and r/science, to name a few—it may well be enough to convince Reddit to do a U-turn on the policy.