The largest Reddit community that is still private as part of the Reddit protest is now encouraging its users to congregate elsewhere: Discord and Substack.
If you are currently trying to visit r/malefashionadvicewhich has over 5 million subscribers, you will be greeted with a page that suggests you visit the communities Disagreement And Substack instead of. r/malefashionadvice has been a great resource for fashion talk and guides, and the Discord and Substack provide alternate homes for those resources. Specifically, the Discord lets community members chat and post with each other about things like fits and inspiration, while the Substack provides a lot of guides.
Screenshot of Jay Peters / The Verge
“One of the other mods writes ‘I’ll never go back, it’s much better on Discord’, and that sentiment is pretty much shared,” the mod, who asked to go by Zach, says in an email to The edge. “The community is much better at self-moderation, thanks in large part to the fact that the ratio of existing regulars to new people is extremely high right now.”
The Substack is not intended to be “subscription-based”; instead, it was a good place to transfer the subreddit’s guides and keep the formatting, says Zach. The greatest guide Building a basic wardrobeis on over 2,000 views that came “almost entirely from Discord”.
That said, both the Discord and Substack are much smaller than r/malefashionadvice’s subscriber base: the Discord has over 2,000 users, while the Substack has nearly 560 subscribers.
Reddit and many of its largest communities have been at odds over new API pricing that has forced some popular third-party apps to shut down. At the height of the protest in mid-June, more than 8,000 communities were private, but many have since reopened, and some did so after Reddit informed the mod teams that they would be removed if they did not reopen.
Reddit apparently isn’t happy that r/malefashionadvice is still private. On Thursday, the subreddit’s moderators received the following message from a Reddit admin (employee) telling the team that they would be replaced if they don’t reopen the community:
You are receiving this message because your community has been closed for more than 1 month.
If you are interested in actively moderating this subreddit, please reopen it and reply to this modmail within the next 3 days to outline your plans for the future.
If we don’t hear back, we’ll remove your moderator status and form a new moderator team
In response to the admin, Zach wrote that the team has been actively reviewing and addressing content in the moderation queue and moderation messaging system. Zach added that the community is only closed for 13 days.
(In June, the subreddit reopened after it was closed, but only allowed posts about 18th century men’s fashion after the community voted for the change. The mods soon switched the community back to the private side, we realized that a better way to make an impact would be to go private again indefinitely,” says another mod, who asked Walker to go, The edge.)
Despite the message, the moderation team intends to stay until they are removed. “We expect to be removed [r/malefashionadvice] as a mod team relatively quickly based on communications from the admins,” Walker wrote in a post on the Discord. “We would like to take the time to thank everyone who has contributed so much time and effort over nearly 14 years of submarine history.”
As Reddit installs new mods that reopen the community, Zach believes that while many people will go back, “most regulars probably won’t return,” he says. “Dozens of bots (and human bad actors) bullying [r/malefashionadvice] on a daily basis, and without the right mod tools, keeping them out becomes even more difficult.
Reddit did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Other communities continue their protests in other ways. r/AccidentalRenaissance, a subreddit focused on images resembling renaissance paintings, is now private after the moderators have resigned and encourages people to join offshoot communities on Reddit alternatives Kin And Lemmie. r/PICS, which only allows posts about comedian John Oliver, asks Oliver himself join the moderation team. (Warner Bros. Discovery did not immediately respond to a request for comment asking if he would.)
More than 2,000 subreddits are still dark in protest, according to the Reddark tracker.