Three of Reddit’s biggest communities are no longer focused entirely on John Oliver in a form of protest against Reddit. The subreddits had made the switch in June to push back on Reddit’s API pricing that ultimately made some popular third-party apps shut down, but now, they’re operating pretty much as they did before the protests.
One of the subreddits, r/aww (which has more than 34 million subscribers), posted a long explanation for the change. While the r/aww community did vote “overwhelmingly” for the John Oliver rule, “it was never intended to be permanent,” a moderator wrote in the post, which was published earlier this week. “More than a month has passed, and as things on the internet go, the passion for the protest has waned and people’s attention has shifted to other things.”
The change did reduce traffic
The mod says that the change did reduce traffic to the subreddit. “After an initial spike to normal levels when the subreddit reopened, overall subreddit traffic fell to between half and a third of normal, though the influx of subscribers paradoxically grew more than the number of people unsubscribing,” the mod wrote. However, they added that “it’s unlikely that it had any significant effect on sitewide traffic, as other subreddits just filled the gaps in the endless feed of content most users consume.”
r/videos (with more than 26 million subscribers) actually dropped its John Oliver rule back in June; it was replaced by a new rule that all posts needed to contain profanity in the title after a community vote. Earlier this month, the r/videos moderators reverted the rules to what they were before the protests started. “For those who think our protest went on too long, you may want to remind yourselves why we did this in the first place,” a mod wrote in a post about the decision. “Reddit still has some issues to address.”