Reddit threatens to remove moderators of subreddits that are still closed

The moderators and communities are protesting changes to the Reddit API, which the company looks ready to squash.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Reddit website
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Reddit is now informing the moderators of many of the still-private subreddits that they will be removed by the end of the week unless the subreddits reopen. 

As Reddit wades through another week of protests to its API changes, it's now decided to push back harder to end the challenges. Different moderators claim to have received messages from an admin account on Tuesday, ModCodeofConduct, pressuring them about keeping their respective communities private and giving them a 48-hour deadline to respond.

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But as the deadline expired, The Verge is claiming the same account wrote in a note on one of these private communities that "This community remaining closed to its [millions of] members cannot continue. This community will not remain private beyond the timeframe we've allowed for confirmation of plans here." 

The ModCodeofConduct admin account, which a Reddit employee presumably runs, is on the offensive, advising the protesting moderators in the private communities that they will be removed unless they reopen.

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The messages were sent to the moderators of at least two separate subreddits and said, "This is a courtesy notice to let you know that you will lose the moderator status in the community by the end of the week."

We could find at least one subreddit, r/longhair, that seemed to have lost its moderator team completely, as evidenced by the comments in reply to the admin account's post in search of new moderators. 

"As the former main mod of the subreddit, it's heartwarming to see so many supportive comments here. Thank you. Moderating is a thankless job sometimes and takes a lot of mental energy." One commenter said, "The app I use to access Reddit is shutting down later today. As a result, I will likely not use Reddit much going forward, especially not for moderating."

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Reddit announced changes to its API pricing that will go into effect on July 1, hiking up the prices to access its data and making its API inaccessible for many smaller developers, effectively doing away with popular third-party apps, like Apollo and Sync, that can't afford the new costs. This includes apps with accessibility features that the official Reddit app doesn't have, like features for visually-impaired people. 

Reddit moderators made over 8,000 of the most popular communities private or unavailable as a form of protest to these changes, but the company has refused to budge or negotiate. 

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