Reddit kicks out moderators, takes over one of the biggest protesting subreddits

Reddit has taken over r/malefashionadvice, a subreddit with 5.4 million members, and has removed all the moderators that were keeping the subreddit private to protest against the company’s API changes.

| Updated on: Jul 21 2023, 19:30 IST
r/malefashionadvice is now open but only certain members can post on the subreddit. (Bloomberg)
r/malefashionadvice is now open but only certain members can post on the subreddit. (Bloomberg)

Reddit protests have been going on for more than a month now over the company's API pricing changes. Over the course of this period, many third-party applications shut down their operations citing the excessively high prices for API requests. Showing solidarity with the app developers, many subreddit moderators took their subreddits private for 48 hours, meaning no one could view, post or comment. The pressure tactic did not work, however, and some subreddits chose to stay dark for an indefinite period of time. One such protesting subreddit was r/malefashionadvice, but yesterday it finally surfaced after Reddit took over the subreddit and kicked out the moderators.

According to a report by The Verge, the moderators of r/malefashionadvice made the subreddit private last week and began urging its member base of 5.4 million to join their Discord server and Substack instead. At the time, the moderators also received a message from a Reddit admin (Reddit employee) who warned that if the subreddit was not made public, they would be replaced. However, they continued with their protest and r/malefashionadvice was kept dark.

Reddit takes action against moderators

The moderators told The Verge that they were removed by Reddit yesterday. “We more or less have been expecting the removal for the past few days,” one moderator said. Once the subreddit came back live, it only had one moderator on the list, ModCodeofConduct, the same Reddit admin who sent the warning message.

Even as the subreddit has seen the light of day, it remains restricted, which means while people can view posts and comment, only certain people have the privilege to post. As of yesterday, the is only one new post that is urging users to join the r/malefashionadvice Discord.

Discord has emerged as one of the major alternatives for those who are not happy with Reddit's current direction. The MFA (malefashionadvice) Discord has gained 3000 new members since the last week and now has a total of 5000 members.

After r/malefashionadvice was brought back, the biggest protesting subreddit is r/streetwear which continues to stay private with its community of about 4 million members.

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First Published Date: 21 Jul, 18:37 IST