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Reddit was founded in 2005 by Steve Huffman, Aaron Swartz, and Alexis Ohanian. Since then, it has become one of the largest and liveliest social platforms on the internet. Without Reddit, we might never have AMAs. It’s not quite as mainstream as platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, but Reddit’s seemingly infinite supply of communities — known as subreddits — has made it one of the web’s best sources of information and conversation. But Reddit has also been a magnet for controversy: Redditors have used the platform to spread misinformation and coordinate harassment, and it has been a source of illegal and problematic content for years. In 2023, Reddit brought more controversy on itself, announcing new plans to charge for its API that led to Apollo and other third-party apps shutting down along with a mass protest from users. And of course, like so many other things, the whole fight seemed to happen on Reddit.

Reddit updates its moderator policies to prevent dormant mods from taking over.

“Starting today, inactive moderators won’t be able to perform certain actions, including adding or removing moderators, or changing the community’s settings (type, description, NSFW status, discovery settings),” Reddit says. These seem like good changes!

Reddit announced some new ways it will be supporting mods.

It’s adding a “Mod Helper Program,” trophies and flair for users in r/ModSupport, an answer bot to help mods find Help Center articles, and a forthcoming merger of the platform’s Mod Help Center and the main Help Center. Some mods haven’t been particularly happy with Reddit as of late, so efforts like this and its mod roadshows could help Reddit regain some trust.

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Reddit shared the schedule for its mod roadshows.

They’ll be taking place through the rest of the year. There will also be a virtual Global Mod Summit on December 2nd. Reddit has had a rocky relationship with some mods because of the recent protests, so perhaps these events will help thaw some of that ice.

Reddit had announced a loose schedule for the roadshows in July. At the time, it also invited people to participate in an accessibility feedback group, though moderators of r/Blind said last week they won’t be joining it.

A new third-party Reddit app for iOS is now in public beta.

The developer of Narwhal 2 is now in beta, and you can read more about it on the r/Apple subreddit and sign up for the beta on the app’s website. Like some other third-party apps, Narwhal 2 will have subscription tiers at some point down the line.

Reddit says that it’s “in the early stages of revolutionizing the desktop moderator experience.”

Many mods relied on now-shuttered third-party apps for moderation, so maybe this new desktop experience will prove to be a good enough way for those mods to do their work.

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Reddit won’t have to rat out pirate users, judge rules.

A federal court has ruled that Reddit won’t have to reveal the identities of users that openly discussed torrenting on the platform, Gizmodo reports. As with a similar decision reported in May, the judge ruled that the First Amendment’s right to anonymous speech is more important.

Keybase seems to be running into Reddit API issues.

The identity verification service no longer seems to be able to verify identities on Reddit — at least, not for me and a handful of others who have tweeted about it. I’m guessing this is because of Reddit’s change to start charging for API access.

On the other hand, it could be because Zoom, which bought Keybase in 2020, seems to have mostly stopped updating the service. On iOS, it’s only gotten a single bug fix in the past year.

Reddit launched more NFT avatars.

The company announced its fourth series of Collectible Avatars on Wednesday. Reddit is putting some limits on who can buy them for the first day of launch as part of an “initial access” period.

Reddit first released Collectible Avatars last year, and they could be a way for Reddit to bring in some money as it tries to make a profit.

r/Place users are leaving one final message.

The collective project is ending soon, and users can only write in white, but they’re working on one last piece of protest art to send r/Place off. (Smaller versions of the message have been dropped in throughout the multi-day event.)

We’ve captured the final moments of r/Place in the gallery below.

A GIF zooming out on the r/Place canvas. At the end, it pauses on a large message written on the canvas that says “FUCK SPEZ.”


GIF by Umar Shakir / The Verge
The r/Blind moderators shared an update on how things are going with Reddit.

There are some positive updates — including the creation of a new email address to report accessibility issues — but overall, the moderation team still seems very dissatisfied. r/Place, for example, is “not blind, low-vision or even keyboard accessible.”

The Verge
The old Reddit app logo is back on iOS.

Recently, all of Reddit’s free iOS app icons were ugly — the default became a pixelated version of the usual logo seemingly to promote r/Place — but as of a new iOS update available Monday, the app icon is back to its usual, non-pixelated look.

On a perhaps related note, Reddit said Monday that its latest r/Place expansion would be the last one, so the collaborative art project might be wrapping up soon.

Let’s check in on r/Place.

Reddit has expanded the collaborative canvas multiple times since it first launched on Thursday, and while a lot of the protest art and messages have been largely buried amongst the many other designs, users are making a renewed push on a new section with a giant message cursing CEO Steve Huffman. “Targeted hate and harassment” are against the canvas rules, so I’m guessing the new message might not stay up for very long.

There is some legitimately awesome art on this year’s board, including an impressive recreation of the classic Charizard Pokémon card.

A screenshot of the r/Place canvas.
Screenshot by Jay Peters / The Verge
A Clippy Reddit alien: the adorable Thing That Should Not Be.

Apollo app developer Christian Selig dropped new wallpaper art of a cute hybrid of Clippy and the Reddit alien today.

Selig has been hawking fun wallpapers for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS via the Apollo app since Reddit started down a dark path of hostile changes earlier this year and Selig shuttered the popular third-party Reddit client. He’s also selling the wallpapers outside the app.

A screenshot of Christian Selig’s Mastodon post announcing he’d added the Apollopy wallpaper. It shows the wallpaper, which is artwork of Clippy but with the Reddit alien’s red eyes and antenna, and the paperclip body filled with a blue to dark, bluish purple gradient.
Christian Selig’s Apollo wallpaper set.
Screenshot: Wes Davis / The Verge
The r/place canvas expanded again early this morning, and protest messages are back.

And the German flag apparently expanded to fill the new space within under three minutes. How did they do it? According to Redditor HellsOnWheels45, a Discord server with 50,000 users in active coordination.

Also, protest messages have made a comeback on r/place after largely disappearing by Friday evening, with more “fuck spez’ messages near the center of the canvas.

A screenshot of r/place.
Protest messages come back to r/place.
Screenshot: Wes Davis / The Verge
The Verge
The r/Canning mods have been canned.

The moderators said they kept the sub private to protest Reddit’s API pricing after a community vote. But after getting some messages from the ModCodeOfConduct admin account pushing them to reopen, one mod said Friday they were removed from the subreddit.

“Please don’t feel bad for us — in the end, the ones being hurt here are Reddit itself and the r/Canning community,” the moderator wrote.

The community now open again, in restricted mode, and under the sole management of ModCodeOfConduct, like what I reported about r/malefashionadvice on Thursday. ModCodeofConduct is also the only moderator of r/homeautomation.

Reddit actually shared a time lapse of some of the r/Place art today.

Even though the canvas is littered with messages cursing CEO Steve Huffman, Reddit still posted a video of its evolution. If Reddit decides to take the video down, I’ve been adding screenshots of the canvas throughout the day to this article.

Reddit protest updates: news on the apps shutting down and Reddit’s fights with mods

Changes to the Reddit API have forced beloved apps like Apollo to shut down, and following the protests, mods are feeling threatened by Reddit.

The Verge
There’s already a subreddit to plan r/Place protest art.

The more than 300 subscribers on r/PlaceAPI are batting around ideas for protest art for the 2023 r/Place canvas that’s launching on Thursday.

In Reddit terms, that’s a comparatively tiny community, but they’re not the only ones thinking about how to use r/Place to share their discontent: a lot of people on Reddit’s announcement post are discussing ideas, too.

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Fandom culture gives everyone brain worms, Palantir edition.

At Fast Company, Katie Notopoulos takes a deep dive into the Palantir meme-stock community:

One person in the Palantir fan Discord quipped, “Next time someone says Pili is a vampiric data-stealing, Trump-backing, AI-imposter, secretive-data-selling spytech company, you can say, ‘Sir, I object, it’s a vampiric data-stealing, Trump-backing, AI-imposter, secretive-data-selling spytech HUMANITARIAN company.’”

The stonk market is alive and well, I guess.