back to article Elon Musk's Twitter moves were 'reaffirming' says Reddit boss amid API changes

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has come out and said what legions of redditors feared – that a business plan to turn a profit by increasing the price of API access has been "reaffirmed" by a look at the Book of Musk. Talking to NBC News late last week, he appeared to admit that Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter should be an example …

  1. Franco

    1. Steal Underpants

    2. ?????

    3. Profit!

    Seems to be Reddit's business model.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      1. Steal Underpants

      2. Fire all HR, fire all developers, stop paying office rent

      3. Profit

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Don't forget to add

        2a. Drink the Elon KoolAid, lick his boots and swing to the right politically

        Elon is not the new Messiah... He's not even a naughty boy. He's a grifter much like '45.

        1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Re: Don't forget to add

          What's a grifter? Or do you mean grafter? If you mean grafter then yes, I agree. He has his own way of running businesses, but when he selects the key personnel he knows how to motivate them. Of course that doesn't work for most, but he's made SpaceX an amazing success, poked a sharp stick in the eye of those businesses that relied on long term, open-ended contracts (as opposed to fixed-price), and totally upended the space industry.

          Read Liftoff by Eric Berger. That lifts the lid on some of his ways of working.

    2. Ordinary Donkey

      Elon's own tweet said that the goal was:

      1. Do lots of dumb stuff

      2. Keep what works

      3. Profit.

      Reddit does indeed seem to have some confusion about what point 2 was.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Plest Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Reddit is very definition of "toxic" internet culture

      Reddit's history in 3 easy steps...

      Hand control of forums to a bunch nutjobs with extreme dictator like complexes.

      Hand them so much power and control over millions of users to the point where "reddit mod" become a byword for psychotic, social misfit.

      Try to do something you want with your own business then wonder why the whole shebangs falls apart 'cos you can't wrest control from the psychotics you put in charge of the asylum.

      The site is a psychiatrists wet dream! Glad, much like Twitter, that I never took part in Reddit's cult of the nutter. It's fast going the way of Tumblr and good riddance!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I always thought that episode was an allegory of the Dot Com Boom businesses.

  2. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    Joke

    He needs an icon -->

    This is a joke, right? Coz no-one could look at Twitter's past year and think "Cor! I wish that was happening to my business.", could they?

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Go

      Re: He needs an icon -->

      Sure you can! There are tons of reasons. Especially burning [money] reasons and tax [deduction] reasons.

      1. Postscript

        Re: He needs an icon -->

        Tons of reasons including stock price manipulation, collaborating with other rich weirdos who want to crash the economy, and all the lulz of attacking scientists, women, trans people, etc. with the biggest platform on the planet.

        1. Orv Silver badge

          Re: He needs an icon -->

          Getting revenge on ex's seems to have been a big part of Elon's motivation.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He needs an icon -->

      This is a joke, right? Coz no-one could look at Twitter's past year and think "Cor! I wish that was happening to my business.", could they?

      Or maybe, just maybe, Musk knows a little bit more about running business than you and the rest of the haters that predicted twitter would fall over within a month of the takeover?

      It's notable that a bunch of other tech companies such as Meta, Microsoft and Google wielded the axe and dramatically cut headcounts after Musk led the way.

      1. Franco

        Re: He needs an icon -->

        It's also very noticeable that anyone defending Musk posts as an AC.

        1. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: He needs an icon -->

          If I were defending him I'd post AC too tbh

        2. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: He needs an icon -->

          I will defend Musk and I'm not AC, so shove it.

          1. Casca Silver badge

            Re: He needs an icon -->

            Of course you would...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: He needs an icon -->

            some dimbulbs always will support other fuckwits like elon

          3. iron Silver badge

            Re: He needs an icon -->

            Go on then, defend the Nazi bar that he has turned Twitter into.

        3. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: He needs an icon -->

          Oh?

          I'm happy to wait and see what happens at Twitter. Musk runs two of the most successful companies on the planet currently, and all the doomsayers who confidently predicted that Twitter would collapse a month after the takeover, then three months after the takeover, then six months, have been wrong. I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it, whatever you think about the direction it has taken.

          GJC

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

            What makes you think that? The massive drop in advertising revenue? The eviction orders?

            Or is it just that you know the rich can do whatever the fuck they want with no consequences?

            1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

              Combination of things, but you're not really interested in a debate, are you? So, as I say, let's just wait and see, which is a perfectly valid option. Not everything has to be predicted.

              GJC

              1. Derezed
                Go

                Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                I'm interested!

                What combination of things?

                1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
                  Pint

                  Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                  In the short term, advertisers still spending money, a small but solid base of paying subscribers, and a massive decrease in running costs, both on staff and other stuff like data centres.

                  In the longer term, the development of additional paid services (most notably subscriptions for content providers that Twitter take a chunk of), engineering solutions to further reduce running costs, and just generally having a business-focused leader who is good at process engineering and has a big pool of engineering talent to draw on.

                  And now, the downvotes and sneering will begin, of course. I don't care, you're only wasting your own time.

                  GJC

                  1. Derezed
                    Thumb Up

                    Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                    Sounds valid and rational to me.

                    Not sure on actual cost savings vs not paying for stuff. I'd be interested to see what twitter needs data centre wise vs what it has vs what it pays for. You can't just stiff your suppliers indefinitely.

                    On the engineering solutions front, do Twitter have an R&D function that would be able to progress those engineering solutions to reduce costs? That sounds like something someone else would do and Twitter would lease/buy in whatever they manufacture. Wouldn't this be largely what any competent company would do, not specifically Twitter?

                    I don't know about the business focused leader thing...I'll take your word for it, but the upshot appears to be:

                    1) Twitter had too many staff that cost too much and weren't required

                    2) Twitter had too much hardware that cost too much and wasn't required

                    I guess the proof of these statements will be in whether the service continues to be a service in the medium/long term.

                    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
                      Pint

                      Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                      Yup, your two points are the core of it. I understand they have already closed one of three existing data centres, and the services are all still running.

                      Where and how any future improvements are made is rather more nebulous, but the bottom line is that there is now someone at the helm with a proven record of cutting costs without sacrificing quality, and another one with a proven track record of making a profit from media companies, and a bunch of engineers under them who are used to making Musk's demands real. OK, those engineers work for companies other than Twitter, but that's just a paperwork problem :-)

                      As I said above, I'm not into making predictions about the future, I'm happy to sit back and see what happens. But I'm also not into jumping on the tribal bandwagon doing the "Musk is a prick, therefore Twitter will obviously fail" thing. Musk arguably is a prick, but he's a successful prick in multiple engineering businesses.

                      GJC

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                        the service breaks all the fucking time.

                        are you high?

                        1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
                          Pint

                          Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                          Not something I've ever seen, myself. And no, sadly, I have to work, so I'm not high.

                          GJC

                      2. iron Silver badge

                        Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                        > a proven record of cutting costs without sacrificing quality

                        Like reducing the number of sensors on Tesla cars which is causing them to have accidents?

                        What about the quality of Full Self Driving that was supposed to be working years ago?

                        1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

                          Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                          What about it? Have you been following the deployment of v11.4?

                          GJC

                          1. steviebuk Silver badge

                            Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                            The one where it "aimed" for a cyclist and they said "I guess we'll need to cut that bit out".

                            1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

                              Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                              No, I'm pretty sure that was a much older version. Post your sources, and we can all find out.

                              GJC

                              1. steviebuk Silver badge

                                Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                                https://youtu.be/N_iQSRMzmRQ

                                https://carbuzz.com/news/teslas-fsd-beta-abruptly-makes-model-3-charge-towards-cyclist

                                1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
                                  Boffin

                                  Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                                  OK, thanks. That's a year and a half ago, v10.9. The current version is 11.4.4. Completely different software stack and learning model.

                                  GJC

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                    of course you care, you wrote all that bollocks to seem as smart as elon and trump. (smart is exactly the opposite, of what they really are)

                    please go cry in the corner.

                2. Khaptain Silver badge

                  Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                  "What combination of things?"

                  It's very simple really, Elon Musk has successfully removed the Echo Chamber nonsense that was manipulating the previous version. This in itself is enough to make it much more appealing to all sorts of institutions. No one is really in a one sided argument. Look at the Left Wing / Right Wing sites, no one really gives a damned about them...

                  Elon has done something far more important than make a company eventually profitable, he has made the company interesting again.

                  Never forget that El Reg has a San Fran office who will do anything to get it's left wing readers to stir up nonsense about Musk, even though most of them are far more intelligent than they might appear, they will always defend the woke side of things because that what they do.... They have lost their objectiveness...

                  1. Orv Silver badge

                    Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                    It seems to be rapidly turning into an anti-vaxx echo chamber at the moment. I'm not sure that's the kind of bipartisanship we really need.

                    Also banning anyone who disagrees with him seems like an odd way to create a non-echo-chamber platform...

                  2. Casca Silver badge

                    Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                    You mean elon has made twitter a rasist, russian cess pitt...

                    1. Khaptain Silver badge

                      Re: I suspect that Twitter has a profitable future ahead of it

                      Would it safe to assume that either you don't use it or you are part of the problem ?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: He needs an icon -->

            "I'm happy to wait and see what happens at Twitter."

            !remindme six months

            1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Predictions

              I had plenty of people say that to me six months ago. Because I'm not a dick, I didn't make a list of people to go back and remind of their predictions. Maybe I should have.

              GJC

          3. iron Silver badge

            Re: He needs an icon -->

            Musk does not run SpaceX, Ms Shotwell does.

            As for Tesla, successful car companies release new models on a regular basis. Tesla hasn't released a new model in 4 years.

            1. Martin-73 Silver badge

              Re: He needs an icon -->

              And most of those they do are frankly hideous

              1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Car shapes

                I rather like the lines of the Model S, even now a decade or so after it was first launched, but it's personal taste. Buy what you like.

                GJC

                1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
                  Pint

                  Re: Car shapes

                  I find it very interesting that the Reg readership is so unthinkingly tribal that they will downvote an obviously personal preference for car body shape. You lot need professional help.

                  GJC

                  1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

                    Re: Car shapes

                    "I know not everybody has got a body like you" - but body shaming isn't nice, is it.

                    And nearly all cars look like running shoes now, except for SUVs which look like industrial workers' boots, and microcars which look like baby shoes. Just to my taste, it's not especially special.

                    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                      Re: Car shapes

                      The crossovers (Vaux Mokka, Range rover evoque etc,) all look like someone in industrial boots STOOD on them, what's with the letterbox rear window?!

                2. Martin-73 Silver badge
                  Pint

                  Re: Car shapes

                  Yep the model S was the exception I was thinking of, that one looks quite nice. And their new wall connectors (EVSE/Chargers) are pretty nicely designed. Have a beer in return. (of the type you like, naturally)

                  (I'm not into hating for hatred's sake, his Muskiness has done the world a service by forcing people to take EVs seriously, and space types love him for his spacey thing, but i still think he's a douchebag on an individual level, in much the same way I loathe Apple's business practices, but have to acknowledge they were the ones who forced everyone to smartphones.)

                  1. Orv Silver badge

                    Re: Car shapes

                    At this point I could never buy one of his cars because of all the bigotry I know I'd be supporting by doing so. Most CEOs are smart enough to not make a big deal of their personal politics.

                    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                      Re: Car shapes

                      If i was rich enough to be in the market for an EV it'd be either a hybrid, or if pure EV was required, a Polestar

      2. FIA Silver badge

        Re: He needs an icon -->

        It's notable that a bunch of other tech companies such as Meta, Microsoft and Google wielded the axe and dramatically cut headcounts after Musk led the way.

        You're 100% sure the global economic post pandemic / Ukraine war related slowdown has nothing to do with that?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: He needs an icon -->

          I think it has a lot to do with Tech firm, in fact MOST CEOs being useless fucks who have no original thoughts of their own, because that would entail taking responsibility.

          They all hired a bucket load of people during the pandemic because 1 other firm panicked and hired a bucket load of people during the pandemic.

          Then the pandemic ends and 1 firm figures out they hired too many people in their blind panic of stupidity then everyone else followed suit.

          Basically the ONLY firm that didn't hire a load of staff over the pandemic while everyone laughed at them is also the only firm it seems that isn't firing a load of staff while those same people laugh at them....which is Apple.

          Plus the Ukraine war...etc.

          But mostly in my view, stupid CEOs, promoted past their capacity for thought.

          anonymous because although I REALLY want to, I can't afford to retire yet and like an idiot I set this up with my real name :)

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: He needs an icon -->

            You have to make an exception for IBM & its dominions. They just fire people regardless.

            1. Blank Reg

              Re: He needs an icon -->

              IBM fires people according to the calendar, more specifically the employees year of birth

      3. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: He needs an icon -->

        And that worked out so well for the elongated rat didn't it?

        Pro tip, if you don't post as AC you'd be able to use the 'coat' icon... or 'troll' icon.

        Musk knows sodall about running a business. Like most (not all but most) rich people, he knows how to inherit, how to be a complete douchebag, and precious little else.

      4. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
        Holmes

        Leading the Way

        Child: "But, Mommmm ... Billy Smith and all the cool kids are doing it! Why can't I do it?"

        Mother: "If Billy Smith jumped off the roof of a 50-story building, would you do that, too?"

        Child: "Nooo ..."

        Too many executives never had this conversation with their mother, or never absorbed the lesson contained therein.

      5. iron Silver badge

        Re: He needs an icon -->

        Musk certainly knows more about running the Nazi bar than I do and he's welcome to it.

      6. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: He needs an icon -->

        Elon lies a lot

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYURUiOjZSw

      7. CommonBloke
        Facepalm

        Re: He needs an icon -->

        > Musk knows a little bit more about running business than you and the rest of the haters that predicted twitter would fall over within a month of the takeover?

        Does he know how to run a business? Possibly. Does he know how to run twitter? Of course he does: running it into the ground, that is.

        Most people predicting twiter going down under in a month were using hyperbole. When you buy a company for 44 billion and its estimated valuation drops to 15bn in ~8 months, you're obviously doing something very wrong. When companies are reluctant to spend money advertising on your platform, it means something is wrong. When mr owner throws insults at said companies that no longer spend money, it sends a clear message of "Your ROI in advertising here is nonexistent". Dismissing money from a single source can make sense. Dismissing money from several sources because you loudly called them poo-poo heads is anything but an indication of "knowing how to run a business"

      8. loops

        Re: He needs an icon -->

        Proof indeed that Musk simps are the most embarrassing people on the planet.

      9. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: He needs an icon -->

        Microsoft and friends it has nothing to do with Musk. Leadership are one trick ponies, they have no technical or business skills and have to pretend to be doing something, and this means sometimes they hire and sometimes they fire. I mean you dont expect them to code or fix bugs or submit patches ir PRs do you ?

    3. FeepingCreature Bronze badge

      In Defense of Musk at Twitter

      Say about Musk what you want, but he was not imitating anyone or blindly (or at all) listening to anyone when deciding what to do at Twitter. I think if there is a lesson here with Reddit, it's that imitating Musk's behavior, at least, rarely goes well. Musk has this weird techbro charisma thing going on that makes him get away with being an asshole to employees because they truly believe he's doing it for the goal. But part of that is that he at least has a theory about the business that's based in some way on trying to understand down to the tech stack level how it should operate. (You may disagree on the merit of that theory, but he has one.) I don't think anyone believes that about spez.

      1. Herring`

        Re: In Defense of Musk at Twitter

        Has Musk sued yet to be listed as a founder of Twitter?

      2. abend0c4

        Re: In Defense of Musk at Twitter

        "Say about Musk what you want"

        But not on Twitter, obviously. And I'm not sure that Musk is getting away with being an asshole for anything other than the reason that a lot of his remaining staff depend on him for a visa or that he has any theory about or understanding of the business beyond the opportunities it provides for self-aggrandisement.

        However it is incredibly amusing to see Huffman playing Nadine Dorries to Musk's Johnson.

      3. trindflo Bronze badge

        Re: In Defense of Musk at Twitter

        was not imitating anyone or blindly (or at all) listening to anyone

        He was reading nonsense from shady parts of the internet, bought into it, and like most conspiracy theorists was convinced everyone would jump on his bandwagon once they were shown the "truth".

        Such cults have existed almost as far back as written history.

    4. jmch Silver badge

      Re: He needs an icon -->

      "look at Twitter's past year and think "Cor! I wish that was happening to my business.", could they?"

      With the giant caveat that I don't know the internal financial situation at Twitter, but they WERE losing money with revenues of 5 *billion* before the Musk takeover.

      What I can work out from quick Googling is a current staff count of 3900 at average $150k. Call it close to $200k when you have to factor in employer social security, health insurance, bonus allocations.... comes to an annual wage bill of around 780M. Taking a (very generalised) estimate of staff costs being 40-50% of expenses, total expenses are less than $2bn, which means that even with half the revenue of pre-takeover days* would be comfortably profitable.

      Pre-Musk, the headcount was 7500 employees, and even if the average cost to Twitter to employ them was $250k (totalling almost $1.9bn), it means either non-staff costs were well over 60% of costs, or the staff were on average overpaid compared to what they brought to the company. Either way, however successful or not it was as a platform, it was, financially, a shitshow.

      Or to put it another way, pre-Musk Twitter was a cesspool that was deeply unprofitable, but loved by investors because, giant user base and somehow we'll make some money eventually (probably by selling our overpriced shares to the next mug rather than any hope of profit-sharing dividends when there's no inkling of profit). Now, it's a cesspool where a lot of the murky water has been drained out, leaving a far higher concentration of turds, but still with a pretty large user base and much lesser costs, ie it's more of a shitshow but might, just might, be able to turn a profit.

      *Yes, that's a big assumption I know.

      1. BartyFartFast

        Re: He needs an icon -->

        All that hosting, server farms, bandwidth, offices in multiple countries, legal 'stuff', financials, interest on loans, not cheap at all and I have a feeling your estimates of salary costs don't cover the actual cost of staff.

        So, yeah, twitter isn't turning a profit any time soon, Musk needs real deep pockets (while he's incredibly rich on paper it's really not that easy for him to find cash without having an adverse effect on his other businesses which is why he had to beg for loans to back up his idiot mouth), and plenty of prayers that it's not regulated out of existence because of his disregard for trivial stuff like laws and lawmakers.

        I reckon those investors who were loving on Twitter "somehow" made their money and ran when Musky sprayed his techbro small dick energy around and chained himself into a moronic purchase offer he couldn't escape from.

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: He needs an icon -->

          "All that hosting, server farms, bandwidth..."

          None of that is any different from AWS, Azure, Apple, Google, Facebook, none of whom seem to have a problem making humongous profits and margins in the 30-40% range

          "... offices in multiple countries, legal 'stuff', financials, interest on loans..."

          None of that is any different from any big international company, all of whom can be and are highly profitable

          "I have a feeling your estimates of salary costs don't cover the actual cost of staff."

          Both my personal experience and external quick-search (link below) tell me those numbers *should be* in the ballpark. If the actual cost of staff was higher, Twitter were, on average, overpaying their staff compared to the value provided.

          http://web.mit.edu/e-club/hadzima/how-much-does-an-employee-cost.html

          Once again, I'm not making any claim that the financial side of Twitter is any more profitable now than it was before, but it almost certainly isn't worse off as a going concern using normal financial metrics. Not because it could be particularly healthy now, but because it was disastrously unhealthy before.

          1. BartyFartFast

            Re: He needs an icon -->

            "None of that is any different from AWS, Azure, Apple, Google, Facebook, none of whom seem to have a problem making humongous profits and margins in the 30-40% range"

            It really is different though, Azure, AWS, Apple, Google, Facebook all pay the same bills as Twitter but, pay attention, here's the crucial part, they have the *REVENUE* to cover those bills, Twitter doesn't.

            Your business is dead if its outgoings are higher than incoming revenue anbd the boy genius Musk doesn't seem to have done any due diligence before he shot his mouth off and got nailed into a deal that was patently stupid to anyoen who was paying attention.

            Sure, you could claim the employees are overpaid, they may well be, my point was that even chopping the 780 million wage bill, (perhaps more because 'murrican employment law and costs aren't the same as the rest of the world where employees have rights and are treated like human beings instead of consumables) won't make twitter profitable because their outgoing costs are higher than incoming revenue even after that.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: He needs an icon -->

          "not cheap at all"

          It is when you don't pay your bills.

    5. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: He needs an icon -->

      That depends, do you currently have a business that is interfering with elections and hiding evidence of wrongdoing by its preferred presidential candidate from the public as well as surpassing legal speech and you wish that it would stop doing that?

      Because if you do, maybe you wouldn't mind a bit of what's happening at Twitter.

  3. DS999 Silver badge

    Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

    They are easily replaceable. It isn't like Facebook where getting another single site with that large a percentage of active internet users may never happen again, nor is it like Twitter which doesn't have nearly so many users but had over the years become sort of the defacto place for the modern day equivalent of "press releases".

    Reddit is just like yesteryear's dialup BBSes just on a far grander scale. Other than losing history there's nothing stopping the userbase from moving elsewhere - and the barriers to entry for someone trying to replace them aren't all that high. He pisses people off long enough and he'll find this out. Though he may not care - he's probably got a golden parachute if the company crumbles, even if it is his fault.

    He seems to have taken the dumbest possible lesson from Twitter by trying to charge a small fortune for third party API access. He's dreaming that everyone training an AI is going to want to pay for reddit's database to do it, but other than having the biggest concentration of discussions in one place it has no advantage over the million other forums on the internet - including this little site we call The Reg. I'm surprised he hasn't announced some sort of verified user program, maybe he could call it Reddit Blue!

    1. EvilMonkeySlayer

      Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

      I've seen his mindset in others. From what I understand he only made $10 million from selling out to conde nast.

      What I think is happening is he wants a big payout from an IPO, he wants to be as rich as all the other silicon valley types. He doesn't care if he burns down reddit as a result, as long as he can get that IPO payout.

      Like a lot of his sort (Musk, Huffman etc) think they're geniuses when all they really are, are people who got lucky, profited off the work of others or inherited wealth.

      Huffman himself is well known to be a prepper and thinks in some doomsday he'd be a leader. Rather than, you know dead within the first five minutes.

      This is a literal quote from Huffman (I am not kidding, it's from the new yorker):

      “Being around other people is a good thing. I also have this somewhat egotistical view that I’m a pretty good leader. I will probably be in charge, or at least not a slave, when push comes to shove.”

      Says it all, doesn't it?

      1. Postscript

        Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

        "What I think is happening is he wants a big payout from an IPO"

        Every time a golden goose is born, some CEO comes along to strangle it. When your business model depends on literal free labor from your users, including building tools to make your business usable, shitting on the users isn't a good idea. He could have found ways to enter into profit sharing agreements with subs to allow AI scraping, maybe use it to pay moderators, charge a small subscription fee, let subs compete for charity and a small cut, reward high-karma posters in some way, etc. Pay someone to do some research and find out what users actually want and would pay for. But just like every other social media CEObro, he thinks he is entitled to other people's free labor and will throw public tantrums until there's nothing left to enshittify.

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

      The thing is, any other company that moves into Reddit's space is going to face exactly the same challenges that Reddit now does.

      How exactly do they make money without someone, somewhere paying for it?

      It seems to me that Reddit's problems would be (relatively) easily solved by simply buying one of the more decent apps used by their moderators, and making it an officially supported interface. But what do I know.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

        How exactly do they make money without someone, somewhere paying for it?

        Ads. Facebook makes a mint with ads, so why can't reddit? If some altruistic rich guy or group of people created a non profit to operate something like that as a public good (which is basically what people have been treating reddit as for the past decade anyway) you wouldn't need all that many ads given the number of visitors a site like reddit has, though if you're a for-profit you will eventually do like Facebook and push and push until there are more ads (sorry "sponsored posts") than actual content from your friends and pages.

        It is weird that instead of pursuing ads he decided to go after API users, and not in a little way with a long term "boil the frog" strategy of slowly increasing prices, but tossing the frog directly into lava on day one.

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

          In the first place, Facebook has way, way more data about its users than Reddit does. They can make a much better pitch for targeted advertising. And they can target ads at each individual user, which is something Reddit can't reasonably hope to do.

          In the second place, third-party apps would presumably bypass all Reddit's ads anyway. Which is just another good reason to shut them down.

          In the third place, Facebook and Google already have a stranglehold on the online ads market. There wasn't enough left to sustain Twitter. Why would Reddit do better?

          In the fourth place, advertisers would demand active and consistent moderation, thus putting more of a burden on the moderators, and making Reddit's current mod model look dangerously amateurish. Costs ahoy!

          1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

            Have we reached peak ad ?

            Whats going to happen, is everyone in a few years just going to be selling ads to everybody elses ads ?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

              whoever decided at the start of this shit show to make Ad revenue the leading way to charge should be shot.

              Facebook could have easily charged $5/month and people would have paid AND we wouldnt have been stuck in a position where they literally facilitate genocide for a 3 cent click.

              I remember Friends Reunited in the UK...free to use, but £5/year if you wanted all the features. Fair enough, that was probably too cheap, but for a Facebook with no ad's and no constant data scraping $5/month would have been great.

              I'm interested to see how the figures at Netflix goes now they have their Ad tier compared to people like me who pay not to see ad's.

              1. sabroni Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Facebook could have easily charged $5/month and people would have paid

                That's right! You only have to look at all the other social networks that people pay to be on to see that.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Facebook could have easily charged $5/month and people would have paid

                  becasue you already had free internet sites everywhere.

                  THAT's my point. News site like the Guardian and Times now charge for content and people pay.

                  Patreon and Substack, Netflix, disney+ ..even onlyfans.

                  If the whole thing in the early 00s had setup with a charging model, then the idea that everything on the internet has to be free would never have kicked off.

                  Don't forget NOTHING on the internet IS free.....YOU'RE the product for Facebook, YouTube, Instagram etc. Firms that for a $0.03 view will facilitate genocide or drive the teen girl suicide rate in the US through the roof.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: THAT's my point. News site like the Guardian and Times now charge for content and people pay.

                    I read the Guardian all the time, I've never paid for it.

                    You don't know what the fuck you're talking about kid.

                  2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

                    Re: Facebook could have easily charged $5/month and people would have paid

                    what makes you think advertising doesnt drive teen suicide in other countries ?

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

                you'd have to be a fucking idiot to pay $5.00 a month to post your own data to the internet. only narcissist's wanting attention pay to post their drivel

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

                  nice voting narcissist's. you should really post your names so we know how great you are!!!

              3. Agamemnon

                Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

                I can actually answer that.

                *sigh* It was us...

                HotWiReD. We served the first ad on the Web in '95. (AT&T).

                We were spooled out of WiReD, which cost more to print than the cover price. The Absolute Vodka asdvertisments on the back cover made the difference plus all the crazy shit we packed inside.

                Leadership thus decided Ad Revenue was The Way™ for HotWiReD and here we are with this hellscape.

                Don't shoot Andrew, it wasn't his fault and he's really a nice guy... especially for a CEO.

                Fun Fact: On April 1, my friend and colleague decided as a joke to make an ad banner for the local dive bar a block away and inject it into the Ad Rotation at 100% page views from the Internal site ... only that got pushed to the Live Site (because...oops). It was very funny.

              4. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

                Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

                You dont undertand greed. DOnt worry FB will charge everyone for ads and membership if they think or measure it makes money.

        2. CountCadaver Silver badge

          Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

          Redditors are notoriously hostile to advertiser's (marketing journal even commented on that this week) only seeing more ads as Reddit have been trying to cosy up, but this situation is giving brands cold feet as they don't want to get involved in what's going on so it doesn't sully them also.

      2. FIA Silver badge

        Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

        How exactly do they make money without someone, somewhere paying for it?

        Charge a sustainable amount?

        Their pricing model puts it about 1 cent for 40 API requests. If that's anything near reflective of your costs + a sensible profit margin then there's some serious underlying inefficiencies.

        For example, this works out at about $0.60 for 2400 API calls.

        Amazon will deliver you a million HTTPS notifications for the same $0.60 from their SNS system.

        They also charge 9 cents a gigabyte of data transferred out (again for SNS), which for reddit would equate to each API returning a payload of about 100MB.

        I picked SNS because it happened to be the first thing I found pricing for, but it does illustrate what a fairly profitable cloud service thinks is acceptable for API/data usage.

        I do actually think services like Reddit should charge for API access (and offer some kind of unpaid access to encourage app development), but the pricing should be realistic. Don't get greedy, it's likely apps of the future will end up having to pay for several different types of API access, they need to be sustainable too. Do what Amazon and others do, price it like a utility. It's the digital equivalent of water or electricity after all.

        After all, most of these sites are built atop of Amazon, Azure, et al., no one suggests they shouldn't pay them, it's the same model just the next level down.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

          Amazon are charging assuming you are going to have an ongoing usage. Charging the same amount for a AI to scrape all your data once isn't sustainable.

          It's difficult, what would Netflix's monthly price have to be if your only intention was to download all their content once to watch later ?

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

            It is kind of pointless because all the big AI players have already grabbed reddit's entire site thanks to this whole fiasco letting them know they better do it before the end of June, and even players with the necessary resources who may not be in LLMs today (at least not publicly) like Apple and IBM probably have grabbed it too even if they don't need it right now.

            So all they will lose is access to reddit's future content after this fiasco, which will be irrelevant if reddit blows up and they'll find other places to get more "current" content that is free or at least has reasonable pricing. To put it in the terms of your analogy, for training purposes it doesn't matter if the AI watches Netflix's content or Paramount+ or Disney+ or Pluto TV, so if Netflix raised its prices crazily on the assumption that it was download once then never pay again they'd just point to one of the other streamers that's cheaper.

          2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

            "It's difficult, what would Netflix's monthly price have to be if your only intention was to download all their content once to watch later ?"

            You'd miss next month's blockbuster, and if you are the sort of person who doesn't care about that then there is enough art that is out of copyright to keep you going for a lifetime.

          3. ibmalone

            Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

            Well, this is the fundamental problem with what reddit is doing, isn't it? Because pricing API access on the assumption that this is how they're going to cash in on machine-learning uses of their data automatically kills API use for user clients as it prices them right out, despite being orders of magnitude more than you'd expect it to cost them to serve those requests. And the result is the current anger from a user group they rely on to maintain the quality of the content they hope AI companies will want to scrape, it's almost the textbook example of killing the goose that laid the, perhaps not golden, but at least silver, egg.

            And there is literally nothing, *nothing*, to stop them from, for example, putting contractual use restrictions on different API pricing tiers if they so choose, which could be checked against vendor and user ids. The even more ridiculous thing is that the horse has probably already bolted, the early starters have already pulled this data so all they can hope for is next round hopefuls.

          4. FIA Silver badge

            Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

            Amazon are charging assuming you are going to have an ongoing usage. Charging the same amount for a AI to scrape all your data once isn't sustainable.

            But it is enforceable in API terms and conditions.

            I'd argue it's enforceable technically too, an API used by an app surely is a lot of small requests from many IPs rather than 'can I haz all your data' from a few?

            (I'm assuming Reddit API works similar to twitters used to).

        2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

          Its not about efficiencies, its about greed. WHere have you been dont you understand the American mindset ?

          Go watch American tv, music, media, the only god in america is the dollar. You can be the worst scumbag on earth, but if you are a ceo then you are a god.

    3. Bebu Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

      "Reddit Blue!"

      Wrong colour. Perhaps more acurately: (he) "Blue it!"

    4. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

      > other than having the biggest concentration of discussions in one place it has no advantage over the million other forums on the internet

      To be fair, Reddit content does have the ability to totally screw up GPT models, as demonstrated here:

      Glitch tokens (Computerphile) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WO2X3oZEJOA

    5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

      Just a couple of notes but Facebook's revenues stagnated a few years. Luckily the Zuckermonster had bought Instagram (very profitable) and WhatsApp (still trying to work out how to be profitable) before investors realised they were holding a turkey.

      Twitter may have been de facto the place to make announcement but that's no longer the case. Instagram has more eyeballs for celebs and messengers, particularly Telegram do a much better job.

      1. Derezed
        Devil

        Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

        As soon as Facebook "works out" how to make money out of WhatsApp I'll ditch it like a politician in a COVID enquiry...it won't be for my benefit!

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

          Agreed, though I think they've at least managed to stop it being a cash incinerator. The plan was to sell ads once the user data was merged with everything else… But I think they are covering some costs with the pay-to-play API for "customer service".

    6. CountCadaver Silver badge

      Re: Reddit's CEO doesn't realize

      Reddit already has a monthly paid membership option

  4. Steve D
    Facepalm

    Nobody Mentions Why the Mods Are Upset

    This comment on Techdirt (https://www.techdirt.com/2023/06/14/reddit-communities-decide-to-extend-boycott-after-ceo-says-its-almost-over/#comment-3046724) is insightful:

    Almost all of the reporting, including here, has missed the reason why moderators are upset.

    Reddit does not provide a viable way for the mods to actually moderate. The official apps are garbage which gave rise to many 3rd-party apps. These 3rd-party apps give the moderators the tools needed to provide free work for reddit. Charging everyone for API access makes the apps too costly to run.

    Now, moderators will have to use the official apps slowing down their work. This will result in more spam and hate-speech, especially in the large forums.

    Eleswhere (https://www.techdirt.com/2023/06/16/reddit-ceo-triples-down-insults-protesters-whines-about-not-making-enough-money-from-reddit-users/#comment-3048063) the attitude of the owner is summarised as

    “We don’t do things for free, so all the unpaid mods should get back to work”

    1. Scott 26

      Re: Nobody Mentions Why the Mods Are Upset

      perfect summation.

    2. Nate Amsden

      Re: Nobody Mentions Why the Mods Are Upset

      What surprises me a lot about this situation is apparently Reddit has some critical new moderation tools coming soon, their CEO mentioned having to "nail" that release. What confuses me is why did they rush to make these policy changes that they knew would upset people BEFORE having these tools out there and people using them/giving feedback etc? Maybe they will be out before July 1 but they really should of been out months before this ever came to a critical point.

      Can only guess they are super desperate and about to go broke because the "free money" has dried up(Wikipedia says their last round of funding was $200M in 2021). If the Apollo author is to be believed(seems to me that he is), then Reddit themselves told him earlier this year there would be NO changes like the ones that are pending coming until at LEAST 2024. Then the strategy at Reddit shifted urgently for no reasons people have been able to confirm(that I have seen anyway).

      Worst case I would of brought the main developers of 3rd party apps in under NDA and told them the real situation(assuming things were as desperate as they appear to be) and try to work on a plan together.

      I'm happy to pay $10/mo to continue using Reddit on Boost myself. I don't use any streaming services(though have a ~4000 disc BD/DVD collection that is ripped that I watch from), my phone says I download about 90-100GB/mo(over wifi) using boost every month past few months anyway.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nobody Mentions Why the Mods Are Upset

        Apparently the "new moderation tools" have been promised several times over a period of years. The general consensus seems to be that they don't actually exist.

    3. ChoHag Silver badge

      Re: Nobody Mentions Why the Mods Are Upset

      The mods are upset because now they will have to pay to have their ego sucked off.

      1. Derezed
        WTF?

        Re: Nobody Mentions Why the Mods Are Upset

        How does one suck off an ego?

      2. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

        Re: Nobody Mentions Why the Mods Are Upset

        >>The mods are upset because now they will have to pay to have their ego sucked off.

        What puzzles me about this sort of response (both here where, TBF, I didn't expect it) and in many Reddit Subs (where I did), to the whole Reddit debacle is that /u/spez could replace all the mods of all the protesting subs at the drop of a keyboard; just remove their mod privs and install his own. Yet he doesn't.

        The current mods obviously provide him some value for money (as they are unpaid, their worth can be seen as infinite or 0, I guess) so he appears to be attempting to keep some on-side rather than just dropping the ban hammer.

        I find the whole concept of getting people who work for free to pay for the privellige wrong headed (but good for the bottom line if you can pull it off); either Reddit starts paying the mods sufficient to defray their costs billed throught he API or they come up with a better sledgehammer to crack the nut. Rate limiting API calls, which would knock the data miners on the head a bit? allowing users of 3rd party apps to pay for their own API calls (can't do this currently because, rumour has it, dev api keys are hand generated) ok they would need a user API system which might take some development?

        Its all a bit too messy to be solved by either "mods are simps and should suck their own" or "give us all unfettered access" however /u/spez seems to be an avid Musk follower in business practise so I am not expecting a more nuanced approach from Reddit any time soon.

      3. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: The mods are upset because now they will have to pay to have their ego sucked off.

        Awww, did your offensive post get moderated?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nobody Mentions Why the Mods Are Upset

        People do unpaid work and to you they ought to pay to get to do the work? First-class dimwit.

    4. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: Nobody Mentions Why the Mods Are Upset

      THe truth is reddit looks like it was coded by kids in highschool. Everything about its pathetically simple layout and as you mention API and UI is terrble.

  5. that one in the corner Silver badge

    Twitter? Profits? Ever?

    > He also said that he often wondered why Twitter couldn't turn a profit under previous management

    > my takeaway from Twitter and Elon at Twitter is reaffirming that we can build a really good business in this space at our scale

    Implying that he believes Twitter is now making a sustainable profit under Elon.

    Ok, have I missed something? Last I recall, Twitter was having problems getting the advertisers back, still owed a lot of money in unpaid bills and we were all waiting for the understaffing to really bite.

    Not a great model to be talking about if you plan to IPO - *unless* perhaps he is trying to convince Elon to buy all the shares at IPO (after all, he bought one bag of flaming poo...)

    1. CrackedNoggin Bronze badge

      Re: Twitter? Profits? Ever?

      And not paying the rent, leading to eviction. A judge in Colorado recently authorized law enforcement to evict Twitter from an office building in Boulder, according to news reports.

      Could Mr Huffman be intentionally messaging? -- "I'm prepared to pull the pin on this grenade and die - taking you all with me."

    2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: Twitter? Profits? Ever?

      CEO Steve doesnt believe anything. Why do you pretend he is a child ?

      He is a greedy arsehole who thinks well all those idiots have given away 100s or more hours building this and that up, if they are thaat dumb why not charge them. WHo knows he probably cant even add and just made up a number and thinks why not.

      All CEO steve cares about is Steve, and all he wants like all CEOs is to be paid zillions for basically doing nothing.

      Hard to blame him just look at American media, its almost like all CEOs are super genius gods who can do no wrong, and well Elon gets double or triple points there.

  6. Ian Mason

    "reaffirmed" by Elon's actions

    That's a bit like saying "Charles Manson made me really reassess my attitude to mass murder, Hey, do you want to listen to The Beatles?"

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: "reaffirmed" by Elon's actions

      Comment of the day. Maybe of the week, or year but let's not get ahead of ourselves. In any case charge your thunder jug with some of this foaming nutbrown ale!

  7. lukozyzi

    Funny that Spez took a page from Elon's book, especially when Twitter has not seen very many, if any, people signing up for $42k per month API access.

  8. Blackjack Silver badge

    I I was a Reddit investor I would be selling my shares after this idiot praised what Musk is doing with the Blue Bird.

    Like, why not praise someone who is actually you know, successful?

  9. Nate Amsden

    every time he opens his mouth

    (the CEO of Reddit) he just seems to make the situation worse. It's really strange/sad.

    Pretty much everything that they've said and done has been the worst way to handle things. Do they really believe that OpenAI and other type folks are going to just toss them millions if not tens of millions for their data?(same for twitter) I really doubt it. They have what they need already, horse has left the barn. The added benefit of getting newer data is going to by tiny relative to the data set already in hand. I have to believe these AI folks also keep copies of their training source data so they don't have to go download it from the source again as well.

    I like(d) reddit, used it for about the past 4-5 years, 99% just browsing. I haven't since last Sunday, maybe never will again not sure. It was never a very useful place for me to learn stuff. Have been surprised to see how many networking and systems folks seem to rely on Reddit for some of the most trivial things though.

    1. deceptionatd

      Re: every time he opens his mouth

      > Have been surprised to see how many networking and systems folks seem to rely on Reddit for some of the most trivial things though.

      I've found Reddit posts often cover really obscure edge cases. Sometimes it's not a full solution, but it gives me a direction to start looking. I can usually solve those problems myself by digging through documentation and/or source code, but I have found issues only documented on Reddit.

      A couple of examples: I was having sorting issues in KDE Dolphin, and the r/KDE subreddit is now private. I solved that issue with the KDE forums, but I've also had issues with old servers that were only documented on Reddit. It seems that when official forums either never existed or have been shut down, people often default to Reddit.

      That being said, there's nothing special about Reddit from a technical standpoint and I'm glad to see decentralization. But this may cause a similar problem to the MS Technet shutdown a few years back, where there is suddenly a lack of documentation on very old/niche issues. Network and systems folks are often the ones who end up maintaining ancient systems long after they are out of support, which is probably why you're seeing so many complaints from us.

  10. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    I'm a bit confused about this. According to Reddit, AI bods are sucking up their content (doesn't the content belong to the poster, or is ownership passed to Reddit upon posting?) in order to train models.

    Reddit wants to make money from that, so are charging for API access. But what is to stop the AI bods from simply scraping the site, rather than using the API?

    Furthermore, wouldn't they want to save a local copy while they're busy scraping, to prevent them from having to do that all over again when they want to train their next generation mega model? Indeed, wouldn't they have already done that?

    I bet the likes of Google don't use the API when they index Reddit, so why would the AI bods? Can't help thinking that Reddit either hasn't thought this through or it it isn't really about AI training or I'm overlooking something.

    1. Nate Amsden

      I don't know myself but the situation is a bit amusing/sad. I read another article(maybe on Wired I think, actually signed up for $5 for 1 year yesterday to give me something new to read since I don't have reddit at the moment, happy to toss money to el reg too again as I mentioned before, been reading el reg since probably 1998ish), recently that talked about some groups concerned with AI ripping off copyrights and stuff, and they plan (or have already) a new way to try to protect that, sort of a "robots.txt" just for AI scrapers(to indicate how to compensate copyright holders for their data). I read that and sort of laughed, I mean that may work for some scrapers but without locking the content up you won't exactly stop the less honest folks from nabbing your data. I'd wager more likely that data gets scraped anyway, and "anonymized" in some way that it makes it difficult to determine what the source data was, and then that data is then re-sold or re-distributed between orgs, rather than having orgs going to the source to get the data.

      I feel sorry for the folks that will be/already are impacted by this stuff, seems mostly on the creative fronts right now anyway.

      Myself, I haven't had any interest in chatGPT or anything similar. Maybe someday I will.

    2. Killfalcon Silver badge

      An API has already done a lot of the hard work for you, and will get you the data much, much faster.

      APIs are vastly more efficient ways to pull data than webscraping. The format is fixed and tidy, you don't have to deal with a graphical UI on every page load, etc. It's just faster and easier.

      I've built terrible webscrapers myself in the past - they're viable, but you need to think of everything that might go wrong yourself, handle all the edge cases, identify page elements like "load more posts" or "next page" and hope they don't get changed, and it's still going to take a second or so per page to load. Those page loads add up rapidly if you're trying to feed a LLM a few million posts.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        This is all true, but assuming the companies making AI models are really the targets, we're talking about companies whose primary business model is spending millions and waiting months for something to finish training. They can afford to have a bunch of servers pulling pages and scraping them if they decide the training data is useful, and the cost in time can be decreased by spending a bit more on lots of nodes doing the work. For the same reason, they can also justify buying the API credits to pull it themselves, depending on how many new posts they want to retrieve. The problem is that nobody else can, so Reddit appears to be building their entire business model on hoping that AI companies will be consistently interested in their data when most existing companies already have most of it and hoping that outweighs the unhappy users who make that content.

        1. Killfalcon Silver badge

          True - but if they can afford to spend more time on compute just loading web pages, there's clearly a price at which they can afford to pay for the API [namely, the power bill you get waiting for page loads, plus the dev costs of building/maintaining the web scraper.

          I'd question if Reddit have hit that mark.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            It depends how much stuff they want to pull. I don't know how much one API request can get you. If it's anything like their web interface, then my guess would be exactly one post because their interface seems designed to make me press about twenty buttons before I find the text I was looking for when DDG sent me there. That would be stupid, though, so let's assume it can pull an entire topic. If the company wants to pull, say, a billion topics, then the price to run the API requests would be $240k. You can write a pretty good scraper for $120k since it only has to work right now, not forever, leaving you the other half for buying resources on which to run it. It's at a level where it might be more worth it just to pay that bill (assuming that my estimates of a billion topics to retrieve and what an API request gets are accurate). However, you'd need a lot of people to request that dataset for those API requests to add up to much.

            The other problem is that I used the billion figure as a somewhat rough guess for how much data there is on all of Reddit. I may be off by a bit, but probably not a lot as Wikipedia informs me they had about 3.9 billion posts in 2020. The big models have already either gathered most or all of Reddit's data or decided not to, so if they're just pulling updated information, they're probably running 5% of that. I'm sure the $12000 payment will be appreciated, but I doubt it will do much for the company. This is probably the better option for Reddit. If it turns out that my estimate on how many requests you need to get the lot is incorrect in the other direction, then the price for using the API gets much larger, whereas making a scraper will cost about the same and running it scales linearly from its already low level.

      2. Orv Silver badge

        And then you have to monitor the results carefully or your LLM will suddenly realize that "500 Internal Server Error" is an all-purpose conversational opener.

  11. Martin-73 Silver badge

    Okay Okay, enough already

    This has gone beyond parody, can someone tell me how long it's been April 1st?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reddit?

    No.

    In 20+ years working with the Internet, I’ve never had a need to visit Reddit.

    Or Facebook for that matter.

    Strange but true.

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: Reddit?

      Reddit threads narrated on youtube can be an amusing distraction, but yeah the site itself is a MESS

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Reddit?

        The thing about Reddit is the character and quality of it varies a LOT from one subreddit to another.

  13. Pelican Express
    Boffin

    Then Elon is THE solution

    The obvious solution is to have Elon to purchase Reddit. For $40B. Simply b/c he would be the best to apply his own principle. First day coming to the office carrying a toilet sink. Then fire the CEO the same day. Then ... well I am not going to give free management advice here. The first order of business is to bait Elon into buying the company. To achieve this goal, the Reddit executive board would need a consultant of my caliber.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Then Elon is THE solution

      Nah

      Elon is too scared.

      Hey Elon, huh?

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So, Reddit is a democracy now ?

    Where's the voting booth on the position of CEO, then ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So, Reddit is a democracy now ?

      At the company board meetings.

      The "people" are the shareholders. One share, one vote.

      The mods and users aren't "people" as such, just resources to be consumed.

      Nobody said there would be universal suffrage.

  15. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    I dont understand why people would invest so much time to build antyhing on public social media. THey are simply fools working for nothing adding value that is leveraged by the parasitic leadership of the platform. THis is exactly what has happened here, CEO Steve thinks his shit dont stink and given the media worshipping leadership thinks he can do no wrong. He is basically right in this case just look at the morons giving so much time for yeaars, which his company has made zillions selling ads. When you see fools working like this its hardly a shock he tries one more time for one more money grab.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      "normal" social media I'd agree with you but Reddit also has a large portion of reddits that are basically what the old style BBS forums would be, but in a centralized location. It's about sharing knowledge in the hopes that you and others will benefit from it in the future or because you enjoy doing it. And that is also what Spez doesn't understand. There is nothing that special about Reddit except ease of use . People won't shift because of lazyness and built up history, but once the push becomes big enough (and it will for a lot of subreddits once mod tools become ineffective) then shifting to something like Lemmy becomes the more attractive option.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I dont understand why people would invest so much time to build antyhing on public social media"

      So to you exchange of knowledge is worthless. I can see that. CEO is so disconnected from reality he has no idea why the whole site attracts users. I see you being in the same team.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I actually think John Oliver has got more handsome as he's aged.

    1. Orv Silver badge

      He's one of those people who stayed baby-faced into middle age and then went off a very abrupt cliff to looking like an old man. The results aren't necessarily bad depending on what you're into.

  17. localzuk Silver badge

    Gets data for free, charges for access

    Their model of business is basically "leeching".

    They don't pay mods. They don't pay people generating content. They are now actively treating both groups with disdain.

    All to earn a quick buck. It will bite them in the arse, that's for sure - for the simple reason that an alternative will come along, without these destructive attitudes, and take over. Just look at what happened to Digg when they didn't listen to their community.

  18. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Is it time for everyone to switch back to Usenet? It's still there.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Honestly, I'm considering it very strongly. I was in fact trying to find a decent Usenet server last night.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Check with your ISP, some of them resell Giganews. My current ISP is one of those. Prior to that I used Individual.net

    2. Orv Silver badge

      Last I looked Usenet was a vast wasteland of spam.

    3. Stork Silver badge

      Is anyone there? And do they rely on ascii emojis?

  19. aerogems Silver badge
    Coat

    That typing you hear

    The furious sound of typing around the halls of Reddit HQ after this announcement weren't the freshly motivated employees hurriedly going about their work as a CEO might be tempted to think, but rather the sound of the entire workforce updating their resumes and Linkedin profiles, sending out feelers for other positions.

  20. Herring`

    Just as a thing

    They are screwing over the blind and partially sighted with this. Not that they care. However, not caring may have legal ramifications.

  21. Ordinary Donkey

    Dirty Protest

    Just to warn people, a lot of subreddits have been forced to re-open and have opted for a minimal moderation approach, citing a lack of third party moderation tools.

    If a subreddit is now tagged NSFW and wasn't before then you'll probably see something you don't want to if you look in there.

    Just figured people should know.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Basically....

    Musk took dramatic steps, gained a lot of hate, but Twitter is still online, still a major go-to for MSM, and still uses by millions.

    So, currently, it's a success and in no worse a position than before, with plenty of non-jobs gone to rationalise what was a bloated business model.

    Reddit etc could easily follow suit, because as has been shown, people might leave, but not enough to matter.

    This is because the majority of users just don't actually care, as long as the service is still there.

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Basically....

      Journalists will prop up Twitter as long as possible because they're addicted to the adulation they get there, and because it makes their jobs a lot easier -- why go out and do actual journalism when you can just report on who tweeted what?

      Reddit has never had the same reputation among the press, so I'm unsure they can rely on the same strategy working for them.

    2. localzuk Silver badge

      Re: Basically....

      That's a fairly short term way of thinking though. The new way of doing things at Twitter have only been in place for a very short period of time. What about in the years to come?

      Musk hasn't just burnt people once with his new management style, but keeps doing it. He's being sued left right and centre for failing to pay his bills.

      It is only a matter of time before Twitter fades due to his behaviour, and something else takes over.

      1. Stork Silver badge

        Re: Basically....

        Sure, short term does matter. In the long run we’re all dead as Keynes said.

        1. localzuk Silver badge

          Re: Basically....

          Short term thinking is no way to run a successful business.

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Basically....

          This requires specification of the undefined terms "short" and "long". When we're referring to long-term events which will happen in decades, then most people don't care (though they should at least somewhat), and that's part of what Keynes was talking about. That's not what this is. Twitter under Musk's leadership has been running for a little under eight months. That does not prove it will continue running for the next eight months, let alone eight years, but it is structured in a way where that is the goal and necessary to meet its obligations. That's also no guarantee that it can't, but saying that it has worked acceptably so far so it will be fine is akin to saying that, because you haven't died of hypothermia or shock after swimming in the Arctic ocean for a minute, you're good to spend the next hour there. In order to understand whether it's possible or feasible, you need to investigate the current situation and likely pressures, not extrapolate from a tiny chunk of the past.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Basically....

          Short term matters only to stock market clowns and the long term is also wrong, you need to have income to *have* a long term.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Basically....

      "Musk took dramatic steps, gained a lot of hate, but Twitter is still online, still a major go-to for MSM, and still uses by millions."

      All true, though it's online status is a lot shakier than before due to the cuts in their engineering department.

      "So, currently, it's a success and in no worse a position than before, with plenty of non-jobs gone to rationalise what was a bloated business model."

      And here's where the wheels fall off your argument. Musk cut too many engineering jobs, leading to outages and downtime for various aspects of Twitter's operations. He also cut too many moderators, which has made the place a lot more toxic. He probably did cut a lot of non-jobs, but there were an awfully large amount of babies that went with that bathwater.

      Advertisers have noted all the above, and as a bloc have decided to significantly cut back on their spending on the site. As this is the bulk of Twitters revenue, this is a HUGE problem. To be fair to Musk, some of this was due to twitter apparently not being all that efficient a place to advertise in general, and anyone taking over would have led to reviews and eventual cutbacks in spending. However, by removing so many of the moderators, then fanning the flames by restoring access to the platform to a variety of degenerates who were previously banned for their toxicity, Musk has been indicating to all and sundry that Twitter is an even less safe environment for advertising than it used to be. If this direction of travel doesn't change then Musk's advertising problem is likely to get worse over time, not better.

      Musk's attempts at bringing in new sources of revenue have been laughable so far. Twitter blue never had a hope in hell of filling the hole blown in the advertising income, and if anything it's just antagonised the people who actually provide most of the value on Twitter (i.e. content creators).

      Finally, due to the stupidly inflated price Musk got himself tied into, Twitter has taken on a huge amount of debt as part of his buyout. IIRC it's on the order of 1Bn per year just to service the interest. So Musk's starting point was a 20 to 25% hole in the balance sheet of Twitter as a whole, and his missteps since have just put him further under. Framing the current situation as a success is incredibly delusional.

      "Reddit etc could easily follow suit, because as has been shown, people might leave, but not enough to matter."

      They could, and it looks like they probably are. The problem is that the people worst affected by removing 3rd party apps are the people who post and moderate the most - i.e. the power users on the site. Picking a fight with these people is incredibly short sighted: without good original content the site will become boring, and without proper moderation subreddits can quickly descend into absolute hellholes. If Twitter is anything to go by, if they follow this path advertising revenues (already relatively slim compared to twitter) will tank for Reddit too. Sure, it'll still have a massive userbase (the vast majority of which are just lurking, after all), but how long will that last if the ratio of interesting stuff to nazi propaganda starts taking a nosedive?

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Basically....

        My current theory is that Musk *wants* it toxic, because he wants an outlet for his own toxic beliefs. And given how much he's worth, he can keep propping the place up for as long as he likes regardless of what advertisers do.

  23. steviebuk Silver badge

    Wrong

    "he appeared to admit that Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter should be an example for Reddit to follow"

    Apparently, can't remember where I read it, Twitter is still bleeding cash, people are deciding $8 £8 a month isn't worth it for stupid blue tick.

    Also doesn't help that Reddit Steve has shown himself to be as much of a prick as Elon.

    Shame, I only just got interested in Reddit for the likes of the Datahoarders subreddit, now he's decided to kill it.

    If the IPO doesn't fail, watch everyone pump and dump the shares.

    1. Phones Sheridan Silver badge

      Re: Wrong

      It's from the horses mouth, so take it with as large a pinch of salt as you like, but he's saying that they're breaking even at the moment.

      https://time.com/6271042/musk-twitter-bbc-interview/

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Wrong

        He keeps saying it, but no outsiders seem to be able to figure out how that can be possible. That said, it's a private company so they can keep their books however they like.

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Chika

    I have little or no interest in Reddit generally but I can appreciate that it has been used over the years as a repository of information for so much, both in the IT industry and outside. It was only a matter of time before it, like Twitter before it, would be used as a cashcow so I'm not sure if the whole blackout thing was worth the effort beyond the obvious news grab.

    The one thing I would say, however, is just one word. It's all that Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and any other company needs to remember before they try risking their positions for the sake of money.

    MySpace

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