While most subreddits which has become dark to object to the website API changes are back online and active, some moderators have not finished protesting the changes on the platform. As The edge reports, several popular subreddits that historically banned pornography have begun allowing users to post NSFW or Not Safe For Work content. These communities include r/interestingasfuck, r/TIHI (Thanks, I hate this), r/mildlyinteresting, and r/videos.
In the case of r/TIHI, for example, a sticky post says the subreddit is removing a rule that prohibits extreme NSFW content and will now welcome them, as long as they are legal under US law. A Similar position on r/interestingasfuck lists a set of new, smaller, less restrictive rules, including labeling whether a post is NSFW or not and banning sexual content with minors. By allowing their subreddits to be filled with posts deemed unsafe for work, moderators have ensured that Reddit cannot monetize them. NSFW subreddits were not eligible for ad targeting in yearsnor does the website allow advertisements for adult products.
Reddit’s response to the situation was swift – admins reportedly removed entire moderation teams for communities that tagged themselves NSFW. If you take a look at the r/interestingasfuck and r/TIHI subreddits, you’ll see that their moderator boxes are blank except for a note that says “This subreddit is not moderated. Visit r/redditrequest to request it.” Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt said The edge“Moderators who falsely mark a community as NSFW are a violation of both our Content Policy and the Moderator Code of Conduct.”
The other subreddits mentioned now have a full moderation team and no longer have explicit posts. It is unknown if the mods themselves decided to return to regular programming or if they were forced to do so. Several r/mildlyinteresting moderators told the publication that while it’s true that they were kicked out of their subreddits by a Reddit admin, they were reinstated by another admin. Said administrator also rescinded the seven-day suspension they had obtained.
All of these events stemmed from Reddit’s decision to start charging for access to its API. Reddit originally targeted companies scraping the website of content used to train the big language models for generative AI, but its decision also affects thousands of third-party customers and apps tied to the platform, including those with moderation tools. Thousands of communities protested against this decision by set their subreddits private and making them inaccessible.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, however, was insensitive by the demonstration and told the NPR“It’s a small group that’s very upset, and there’s no getting around it. We made a trade decision that upset them.” He also said BNC News that it plans to make it easier for ordinary users to vote for moderators based on their decisions. A company representative echoes this sentiment in a message on the website and added: “If a team of moderators unanimously decides to stop moderation, we will invite new active moderators to keep these spaces open and accessible to users”