The Reddit blackout was pretty underwhelming

In the last 3 days I've been paying attention to r/all, expecting several posts about it and...


Wasn't expecting the website to literally shut down nor to monopolize r/all, because 3rd party users are the minority, but I hoped for more than whatever this was.

At least there's a silver lining, I discovered new alternatives that have healthier communities


It went about as expected, IMO. 90% of redditors just don't care that much - even if they agreed with the blackout in principle, most of them were likely just waiting patiently for their favourite subs to reopen so they could go back to browsing as usual. A quick browse through some of my subscribed (and still open) subs revealed a lot of commenters weren't even clear about what was going on.

But it has had the effect of essentially kickstarting a community here which seems to be taking shape nicely and there's finally a (small but growing fast) alternative to reddit - which didn't really exist before. I can see the following months and years seeing a gradual shift in user base from reddit to here.

Reddit's not going to die overnight; that was never going to happen. But it's possible it's the beginning of the end of their empire and the slow decline to the ranks of the remember-that-website-whatever-happened-to-that club. Time will tell I guess.


The migration will definitely pick up once the apps no longer work, and even if there isn't a seismic growth in users in the fediverse the seer size of reddit was both a blessing and a curse.

Hazbuzan avatar

I think Reddit has become too mainstream to die. I think it will simply continue to become mainstream, perhaps eventually become more like Twitter in terms of userbase. and the next generation of niche forums will be born, and therefor the next Reddit. But maybe I'm wrong, maybe reddit will 'never die.'


It will be like Facebook, once massive, now where genx parents get their ads and warn others to get off their porch

Rhaedas avatar

As a Gen-X parent, I've abhorred the look and feel of Facebook even from the beginning. When I first made an account I got connected with old high school people and thought it was pretty neat. But then I tried to share some thoughts for discussion like one would do on a BBS/forum/Reddit, and realized that wasn't what it was for. That was the last I posted. I know I'm in a minority and people who love it have a need for sharing everything they do, but that isn't me.

There's a saying I like: "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." I don't think this means that a person can only be one of those, but that in discussions there is a level of thinking going on with the category. I prefer the first one more, and even Reddit had places where you aren't going to find that...but it had some, and I enjoyed my time there.

Oh, and get off my lawn. You too, boomers. Everyone get off the damn lawn!

livus avatar

There are dozens of us!

I like that saying, by the way. I want to discuss everything, but when someone is limited to that lower level it's quite disappointing.


I'm also a Gen X parent on Facebook. I don't post anything, but so many groups use it as a public posting board. My kids sports leagues all have Facebook groups, my son's piano school use Facebook for news and information. It's really become indispensable as a collection of small, easy to use, newsgroups...

Catch42 avatar

The difference that I see between reddit and twitter is that reddit hasn't been purchased to be the plaything of a billionaire. This matters because unlike facebook and google, reddit and twitter aren't profitable. That means that reddit doesn't have to pockets to buy up competitors, lobby for beneficial regulations, focus on expanding overseas, or move into making hardware.

parrot-party avatar

Yet. It hasn't been bought up yet, but they really really wish they were. Reddit has flipped to profits only mode already and they're never going to change now. Being bought out during
IPO isn't going up change that either, only intensify it

Awwab avatar

Reddit is just the plaything of anonymous billionaires that's the whole reason they want the IPO at all costs because they can't cash out without it, even if it is less than they had hoped for.


Reddit isn't going to disappear, but that doesn't mean it won't die. Going public will kill Reddit. The parent company isn't profitable, and the product isn't profitable, and public investors will only tolerate that if growth suggests future gains.

Those future gains will be had by strangling Reddit and twisting its corpse into something much less useful, interesting, and fun.

Reddit's animated corpse will carry on for years, but that IPO will be a poisoned pill for what we know and recognize as Reddit.


They telegraphed this when they started forcing users to look at depressed buskers (in between ads for Jesus and pizza rolls) and making posts scream almost uncontrollably as you scroll by them. It's like someone really wants sfw OnlyFans, or Twitch without the video games, or YouTube except the content isn't very curated. Instagram but live? Anything but Reddit.

Gabbro avatar

So how do we stop that happening here? Do we just bounce between admins as they eventually can't pay for their servers?


Support your admins, if you can. But yes, bouncing around will happen. Hopefully with added development support coming from an expanded userbase, account migration can be implemented on both Lemmy and kbin and people can move around with relative ease, as the need or desire strike.


Digg was around for a long time after Reddit took over. Hell even fark is still kicking.

VulcanSphere avatar

Reddit has become one of that "primary reference" for answers, especially with Google search.

Helium avatar

Yep! Reddit won't die. It is becoming (and in some ways has been for some time) one of a very limited number of sites that the majority of the interconnected globe uses to exchange information, like Facebook. Even if it loses .5% of its current userbase to some alternative, it's barely a drop in the bucket to Reddit, but that number is HUGE if it's mostly dorks like us setting up a new home here in the Fediverse.

It's a win-win; we want quality discussion here. Your average modern Reddit user wants the information drip. (And I should say, it's entirely possible to be someone who uses both during this transition phase)

Forosnai avatar

Possible it'll go the direction of Neopets and stuff. Still around, but not what it once was.

livus avatar

Alternatively, it could go in the direction of facebook - still around, but packed full of everybody's racist great aunts, romance scammers, and weed dealers.

Hypx avatar

Even Digg is still around. But I think most people agree that it is "dead." Reddit will probably end up the same.

Lilkev avatar

Hell, even MySpace is still around.

QHC avatar

It did go away for awhile, though, and it took several attempted restarts before finally sticking on something that gained enough traction to (I assume) pay for itself.

chrimbus avatar

Your MySpace is dope bro!


@Hypx same with Tumblr. It exists, but the core reason I used it is now gone and so are many of its members.

@tango_octogono @TheAngryBad @Hazbuzan @Forosnai


"On a long enough timeline, the survival rate of everything drops to zero."


Also, when mods of subs announce that their “protest” has an end date, it’s not a statement, just a minor inconvenience


Reddit doesn't have to die. This place just has to be comfy enough for us to stick around. Not everything is growth over everything.

GreenPlasticSushiGrass avatar

I agree, but those who are left are either looking for easily digestible memes or content created by others. Without an engaged community, Reddit has to be afraid of the next shiny thing that comes along, and I think that TikTok has shown us that they don't even care if that next shiny thing is spying on them.

livus avatar

think that TikTok has shown us that they don't even care if that next shiny thing is spying on them.

I think "is spying on them" has been baked in since Snowden at least. The TikTok early adopters grew up in a post 9/11 world predicated on being spied on.

The only real difference is it was someone else's government doing the spying, for a change.

ripcord avatar

I'm actually pretty surprised with, despite how few people there are by comparison, how active and useful this has already been. And I'm expecring it to only continue to get better. Pretty sure I'll have little reason to go back to Reddit except for some useful historical posts.

Especially after apps are shut down I'm expecting another flood of new users. And the numbers keep climbing (today kbin alone has gone up another at least 10%)


Cheers to that ! Just decided to register here today. I won't ditch reddit entirely but will slowly migrate away.


I think the death of 3rd party apps in a few weeks could be another moment when we see a big change in consumption habits. I don't know that it'll push people here, necessarily, but I would imagine it'll hurt reddit traffic.

The other wildcard is what do mods do? If some big subreddits never come back, or a lot of moderators leave, what will that do to the quality of reddit?

I agree, this could be a slow burn, and these communities definitely have been kickstarted, which is nice. I just think the slow burn might be over the course of months, not years.

Craigerade avatar

I never would have found kbin if it weren't for the blackout. I plan on staying around too. I will still use reddit for the smaller subs I'm in were discussion threads are actually that, but I unsubed from all the news and politics type subs. I was weening off those anyway since they make me want to just go to comments for entertainment instead of reading the article.

ox avatar

Getting here, and to the fediverse in general, was the most important accomplishment for me at least.

You say that it's healthier here, and I can't agree with this enough.
I feel foreign at Reddit, with the few communities, that actually catches my attention, quickly being overrun by people I cannot resonate with.

This feels like what happened with Facebook, and I'm happy to have found my new place.
If the blackout was unsuccessful, and Reddit manages to retain its users, it wont affect me at all, because I don't have a relationship with that platform any longer.

BlackCoffee, (edited )
BlackCoffee avatar

The black out is still happening right now.

There are subs who are blacking out indefinitely still.

But I don't know what people expected to happen after 48 hours?

The subreddits who participated already told that it was a "warning shot" and new actions were to be taken accordingly after.

And r/all is not Reddit.

r/all is the tumor of Reddit itself. It is the instagram and facebook equivalant of the "feed page". It doesn't define what makes Reddit...Reddit.

Again something that RIF did for me, it made r/all bearable to scroll through.

It are the communities underneath who provide advice, information and a sense of comradery who define Reddit.

When those communities leave, then you can fasten your seatbelts.

Reddit and it's userbase are not gonna survive of what is happening on r/all.

It will be a marathon and we should probably see in a year or maybe 2 if what is happening was effective.

Redhotkurt avatar

I know, right? r/all is the sum total of all 3 million subreddits. Of course it's going to look supremely active like nothing's changed.

Rhaedas avatar

I disagree a little. I get your point that /all is not the best of Reddit, it's everything at once. But that's sort of what is missing at the moment in other places, a mass aggregate of things to pick from. Also missing is a default collection of the "best" of /all, the home or popular lists, because when you start out at one of the fediverse places you have to build your own from scratch/almost scratch. Perhaps that's better in the long run, but it is a bit overwhelming and I've seen posts already asking where to find lists of communities to join.

BlackCoffee avatar

I see your point but I think you misunderstand me a bit.

r/all is somewhat of a "front", it can show that the place is vibrant and that there is something to do and something to scroll through.

But for example I never saw anything from r/mealprepsunday on my r/all and when I had reddit it actually was an subreddit that I was subscribed to and used frequently.

If the subreddit above gives me a reason to stay on reddit and it would dissapear then an vibrant r/all isn't an incentive for me to stay.

Can you see where I am coming from?

a page like r/all has it's use. It can reel people in and give direction but it will not be the reason people will stay.

Rhaedas avatar

I get it. The reason will be community and common bonds, it's just finding each other that is the struggle right now, and how to bets build things anew and to last. Lots of development and growing pains to come, but it's a nice change I think, even if it takes a bit to get mature and pull more people.

Redhotkurt avatar

I've seen posts already asking where to find lists of communities to join

I have seen a lot of that, too, but I view that as a plus. I mean, you have all these people wandering around here, asking for directions to the equivalents of all their old digital gathering places, but they are engaging. Like, actually having conversations and building camaraderie and all that jazz that happens when you build a community, and that's just awesome to see, man. Where we all come from wasn't like that at all; smaller subreddits aside, it was like shouting into the crowd at a frickin Kid Rock concert, y'know? The atmosphere wasn't exactly conducive to conversation. Not to say good conversation was impossible in big threads; it happened all the time. But it was always just so frickin loud and obnoxious in there, ya know?

And now we have this new space, and its newness is forcing people to talk, and...ah fuck, I forgot where I was going with this. Um... Reddit bad! Me like Kbin! Or something. Have fun with settling in, and I mean that sincerely.

Rhaedas avatar

Yes, I tended to stay in the niche places I had found, only going out to the big ones during major events or news because of the same reasons. Smaller crowds feels like a discussion, big ones is a shouting match with only a few hearing you. I come from the days of BBSes, and this right now is exactly the same feel, only not just local people. Now we just have to figure out how it works, and how it can be improved.

Redhotkurt avatar

Ah, ye old Bee Bee Esses. Sadly, I missed the boat on that...I was definitely old enough and technically capable, but I didn't know they existed. I hear you though, my first real exposure to the internet was Gopher! You could find all sorts of stuff out there, like in people's shared directories, but more importantly, MUDs! Damn near flunked out of college because of them. Fun times, though! The internet was so much smaller back then.


Don't underestimate the power of disgruntled users. There is no place right now that can handle Reddit - all the alternatives that aren't monolithic corporations can't handle the traffic. Kbin included. So the best anybody can do right now is be on the lookout. This isn't like it was when people left Digg for Reddit almost two decades ago. It takes quite a bit of resources to manage a large migration - it will be in small steps, but rest assured.... Reddit's mods and their communities now are forever changed....

As a mod of some reddits that will go back online, we're now going to be actively promoting alternative sites to also post content on and congregate - we have to do it piecemeal because of the technical requirements. We'll also be expanding the topic of our subs to include any news that's critical of reddit proper and these issues, so we won't let things die.

AnonymousLlama avatar

I'm hoping that people who are annoyed by the direction Reddit is taking will help migrate over their subreddits to here.

There's been a huge uptick in users joining by the looks of it and hopefully that upwards trend continues, it'll take months or years I'm feeling to get to the million users mark but so long as there's somewhat of an active scene here then people will come..

Lilkev avatar

To be honest, I'm happy with how it went. I am excited to be off of Reddit and part of the Fediverse now. I never expected Reddit to fail, but I think there will be a drastic decrease in quality content.

CoderKat avatar

What I'm most happy about is that the Fediverse so far seems to be mostly actually pretty good people (though I've been largely chilling in kbin since the blackout started -- it only just turned on federation). Most past attempts to abandon reddit only saw the most toxic, horrible people leave. Sites like Voat were never an option because the users were awful. It's nice that so far, I haven't really seen any of that. In fact, it feels the opposite, with the people who left reddit being disproportionately great people, with the toxic people being more likely to stay on reddit.

I wonder if it'll last? I hope so. I wanted to leave reddit in the past but never felt like there was anywhere comparable to go that wasn't shit.


I wonder how kbin will be supported.

iAmTheTot avatar

I will echo this. I was skeptical that any reddit alternative wouldn't just be deplorables. I've browsed some sites with the most unbelievably racist stuff spewed. Pleased with kbin for now.

Hellsadvocate avatar

Kbin has been really great, everyone here is a lot more civil. I remember when reddit was like that prior to digg v3. And then eternal September. It took a while before reddit got to where it is now with almost everyone with any expertise on the website. But I think for the most part, decent people and decent communities are more fulfilling.


yeah i'm happy with kbin so far, it has legit potential to replace reddit

themadcodger avatar

There's a decent chance it will. The fediverse is—generally speaking—a fairly friendly and welcoming place. That's in part to it's decentralized nature and individual moderation tools. Bad actors can be blocked on an individual level (I just blocked /u/donaldtrump last night because I do not want to see stupid parody accounts and just like that he's gone) as well as on an instance level for anyone not following the rules.

Each instance has their own rules about how to behave, so the bigots and whatnot get booted if they cause problems. Eventually they find an equally terrible server that will have them and once they start up again, that instance can be defederated, which is basically like cutting off the bridge to their island… no way to communicate. Eventually they end up alone or with equally terrible people on other instances.

That's not to say that the fediverse doesn't have it's share of problems or is perfect, but we're working hard to try and keep this a decent place to be.

Hellsadvocate avatar

How are instances defederated?

themadcodger avatar

On the instance level. So defederated because of their extreme political views. So none of their stuff will show up on beehaw, but it will on


Saying you are going on a hunger strike but then announcing you'll only go on it for two days made it a long shot that other subs would push for longer.

Any idea how only a 48 hour black out even got started instead of longer? Who proposed only 48 hours to make it catch on as that short of a protest.


I wouldn’t put it past a Reddit admin to impersonate a mod to encourage something like that

Arystique, avatar

Reddit crashed, spez came out of hibernation, 5k subs are still down according to Reddark when initially there were only 2.5k that agreed to the blackout, we also hugged kbin and Lemmy to death 4 times to my count so its not too underwhelming although I get the sentiment though as these sort of things are a slow death particularly this one as moderators use old.reddit and third party apps the absence of moderators wont be felt immediately

VulcanSphere avatar

Incoming demise of third-party apps and (potential) IPO blackout should increase more interest towards fediverse link aggregator and discussion platforms...

Fediverse is neat and waiting to be discovered.

CinnamonTheCat, avatar

Exactly! For me it's like a whole new world out there

tal avatar

I think that it depends a great deal on what subreddits you use. I mean, I normally use only a small number, and they are all presently private or restricted, so it has an impact.

And if you specifically want information on something coming from Google and are trying to read old posts with information about, say, how to work around some bug, then that is disruptive.

But if you just hit Reddit looking for something interesting to look at or read, which is a legit use and how many people are going to use the thing, then I think that the impact is probably limited.


I'm not sure what you were expecting to see? /r/all was never going to look obviously different, there's just too many people on Reddit. 99.99% of Redditors could leave and the remaining 0.01% would still be enough to churn out a passable couple of pages of content on /r/all.

Plus the people who care about the situation are exactly the people who aren't currently participating on Reddit, so it's hardly surprising that no-one is really taking about it there.


I had a lot of hope in the lead-up to the initial 2 day blackout, but after seeing literally zero coverage about this across other media platforms I now know there will be no backpedaling on the API changes. The best we can hope for is affecting their income from ads a tiny bit.

pixel, avatar

Really? I literally got served a CNN article about the blackout, it's definitely getting coverage


I was surprised to see the blackout mentioned in a daily email I get with the top news highlights from the day before, so it’s out there.


It was getting coverage from CBC of all places... I would say the word got out onto mainstream media. However for most people on Reddit things might just keep on chugging on.


For me it's been pretty great. Lemmy and the fediverse kinda remind me of reddit circa 2007 or 2008 before the eternal September. I'm going to enjoy this for as long as it lasts.


the eternal september?


Its a reference to Usenet back in 1993, its essentially when an online community has to deal with a never ending influx of new users. So think of this as Reddit before it got big/mainstream.

mrmanager, avatar

I was using usenet a bit back then. I actually found myself debating stuff on usenet by going to Google groups and searching for my name. Have to say, I was expecting to be embarrassed to read it all again, but it wasn't too bad. What I wrote still makes sense to me now 30 years later. I didn't expect that.


It's a reference to a historical increase in internet and usenet usage, and a massive influx of users in many forums.


I'm definitely happy the blackout encouraged me to move to the fediverse.


Same, I could never really get into mastodon as I never liked Twitter much, so I'm pretty happy I found out about Lemmy. I know everyone on this site has been saying this, but it feels fresh, and the fact that it's all open source and community owned is great.


This is what I've been saying! Lemmy feels like what the old Reddit experience felt like and can become what reddit was supposed to be all along.

AnonymousLlama avatar

I never expected the site to just shut down and be in flames from a 2 day partial shut down. I'm pretty happy with the communities that have popped up and discussion about alternative sites.

There's been a heap of discussion on alternatives and without the blackout I wouldn't of even found great sites like kbin.

I expect that come the 1st July when third party apps stop working, we'll get another wave of annoyance and hopefully can use that to help people flee

I know that come the 1st if nothing has changed I'll be purging all my old comments and deleting my accounts.

zauri27 avatar

You have to remember that the internet in general has short term memory but surprising good memory at other things. It was good to see people actually get together for a few days and see that there are still subreddits that stayed dark. I know people are still leaving after these apps start to close down as well.

It's hard to fight EVERY corporation, but I feel like the amount of people that have been burned by Twitter will have that lingering thought in people's mind with Reddit as well.

Only time will tell, but I hope that people continue to fight these greedy CEOs that think that they can literally get away with literally anything...


There are several points to be made:

The Old Reddit, whatever it means, is long gone forever. Aaron is gone. Spez does not care. No apologies or retracting will be made and that's it.

Reddit must have calculated that there are enough 'casual' crowd (not a long timer, does not use or care about 3rd party apps or the old interface, comes for the quick laughs and watches ads) so they could withstand whatever pressure the 'hard-core' crowd (long timer, uses and cares about old UI and API changes, does not generate ad views in general, spends long hours in site) generates.

Reddit must have also considered the possibility of the second crowd simply going away. I suspect Spez or the investors simply does not give a damn about it. Ad revenues are everything and there's a loud minority that threatens to leave? Why should they care, after all? All they see is a potential for "more" growth.

What they do and must care is the eventual entrance of a sizeable competition that eats into their revenues - less visitors mean less ad revenues. Lemmy and Fediverse, as much as I love it and will keep using it, is not that threat - yet.

What will probably happen is that the wider internet will label the riot (as of now) a massive failure, laugh at the "bravery" of slacktivism or whatever the latest meme can be slapped at.

Despite that, it should mark the emerging of a sustainable group of Reddit-like communities that could, in one day, become the competition Digg never thought they would face.

No, I don't think Lemmy is perfect. I do have an issue with the dev's political stance. But as long as they don't become the Spez of what was supposed to be the Federation, and the software and the protocol and the community can sustain and rule themselves, things might be alright.

Reddit will eventually die, like many other internet websites. Perhaps not now. They won't go out in a spectacular way the Digg v4 happened, but simply wither away like Facebook. But we have another home, and it's all that matters.

OmnipotentEntity, avatar

Aaron is gone.

;_; RIP.


The other truth a lot of us don't want to face is that, in all likelihood, reddit wants the old heads to leave. We are not their demo anymore. Users with accounts in the 10-15 year range are in their thirties and forties generally. We're not their target demo, and they think our complaining about the good ol' days is probably keeping away some of their gullible you get demo that don't care that their data is being mined, don't realize when they're talking to bots, and are used to being assaulted by ads because they don't know any better.

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