In July of this year, Reddit’s parent company, Advance Publications, implemented a new policy that charges third-party apps to access data on the social media platform. This decision sparked widespread protest, with thousands of Reddit discussion forums, including popular subreddits like r/videos and r/music, going dark. Nearly 9,000 subreddits participated in the protest, highlighting the concerns over content moderation and accessibility on the platform.
While Advance Publications clarified that the fees would only apply to forums with a significant userbase, many critics argue that these changes undermine the ability of volunteer moderators to customize their platforms effectively. Moderators rely on third-party tools to aid in content moderation, combating spam, hateful and offensive content, and ensuring accessibility for users.
One of the underlying issues that Reddit faces is the lack of incentive for moderators. According to a Fortune article, moderators are not paid, which can lead to a power dynamic where moderators may engage in discriminative banning or removal of posts. This can ultimately impact the safety and inclusivity of the platform.
Furthermore, Reddit’s karma system has often been criticized for its negative impact on user experience. While the upvoting/downvoting system can help improve conversations, it is often misused. Users may downvote content simply because they disagree with it, rather than evaluating its contribution to the conversation. This allows other users to control the visibility and overall experience of content creators, creating an unbalanced and unfair system.
These issues have contributed to a decline in users, with a significant drop in visits to the site. SimilarWeb data shows a 23% decrease in total visits to Reddit in September 2023, resulting in a loss of over 400 million monthly visits.
As users seek alternatives to Reddit, they encounter centralization, accessibility, and censorship issues on other popular social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. However, the emergence of Web 3-based social networks provides hope for improved social interaction on the internet.
Companies like Phaver are utilizing blockchain technology to introduce decentralization, transparency, data ownership, and non-censorship to social media. Phaver is a multi-protocol platform that allows users to build their social platform on various blockchains, providing wider coverage and convenience. Unlike Reddit’s API policies, blockchain technology gives users control over their accounts, protecting them from centralized actions.
Phaver also introduces a reputation system called Phaver Cred, similar to Reddit’s karma system. This proprietary system gamifies building a reputation on social media, with scores influenced by daily activity, wallet assets, engagement statistics from other genuine accounts, and high-cred profiles. Active users are rewarded, offering a unique opportunity for professional creators and dissatisfied Reddit moderators to earn valuable incentives.
The rise of social media platforms on Web 3 brings a clearer future for social media. These platforms address persistent issues in Web 2 social media, such as centralization, privacy, and incentivization. While the industry is still in its early stages of development, the increasing demand for better platforms with valuable engagement rewards is driving the adoption and growth of Web 3 social networks.
In conclusion, the implementation of new policies by Reddit’s parent company has sparked significant backlash and protest. The decline in users and the rise of Web 3 social networks highlight the need for platforms that offer decentralization, transparency, data ownership, and non-censorship. Companies like Phaver are leading the way in introducing blockchain technology to address these issues and provide improved social interaction on the internet.