Hello everyone, I’ll try to keep this short as I know there’s been a lot going on over the last few days. When we made our announcement last week, we intended to get Reddit's attention on a subject that our team found extremely concerning. /r/Videos is joining a larger coordinated protest and signing an open letter to the admins found here.
The announcement was of exceedingly high API prices which we all know was to intentionally kill 3rd party applications on reddit (Apollo, Reddit is Fun, Boost, Relay, etc.) Since that post several things have become clear; Reddit is not willing to listen to its users or the mod teams from many of its largest communities on this matter. Yesterday all major third-party Reddit apps announced that they would be shutting down on the 30th of June due to these changes. There were no negotiations and Reddit refused to extend the deadlines. The rug was pulled out from under them and by extension all of the users who rely on those tools to use reddit.
In addition to this, the AMA hosted by Steve Huffman, CEO of Reddit, which was intended to alleviate concerns held by many users about these issues, was nothing short of a collage of inappropriate responses. There are many things to take away from this AMA but here are the key points. Most disappointingly it appears that Reddit outright misconstrued the actions of Apollo's creator /u/iamthatis by saying that he threatened Reddit and leaked private phone calls, something done only to clear his name of another accusation.
So what’s happening? The TL;DR? Effective tomorrow (6/11/2023), /r/Videos will be restricting posting capabilities. Anything posted before the cut off date will likely be the final front page of our community before we go private indefinitely. In the unlikely scenario that Reddit ownership has a sudden change of heart and capitulates on their decisions we will reopen, but until that happens /r/Videos will stay closed. Many other communities have come to similar decisions and we support those who have decided to take a stand.
Q: Won’t Reddit just remove you as moderators and reopen the subreddit?
A: This is a distinct possibility, Reddit has made it clear that the “health” of their site is more important to them. We as a team are prepared for this, none of us want to continue to volunteer for a company that disrespects the people who helped build it into the front page of the internet.
Q: An indefinite lockdown? I thought this was only supposed to be for 48 hours?
A: Originally it was our intention to spread awareness of these issues, but over the past week it has become clear that Reddit doesn’t intend to act in good faith, and our role in the protest became clear. The owners of Reddit have taken their users, community developers, and their moderator teams for granted and used them to build up a multimillion dollar company which is now focused not on the community, but on how many commas they can get out of Silicon Valley investors.
Q: What can we as users do to support this protest?
A: The best way you can make your opinion known is by stopping using reddit. At the very least you can try and reduce your usage of the site, consider using alternatives such as Tildes which I’ve personally found to be a nice change of pace from the traditional Reddit experience.
P.S. Thank you to everyone who has helped make /r/Videos a special place, it was a hell of a ride.
Mod Post /r/Videos will be going dark from June 12-14 in protest against Reddit's API changes which kill 3rd party apps.self.Save3rdPartyApps
Mod Post Why is /r/Videos shutting down on June 12th? How will this change affect regular users? More info here.
As mentioned in our announcement yesterday, we will now hold a weekly vote to add a new rule to /r/Videos. This thread will run from Tuesday to Thursday, and the most upvoted comment in this thread by the end of Thursday will be made into one of our new rules. Please note that we do have some restrictions on what the new rules can be:
- Rules must follow the site-wide content policy
- The subreddit must still be modded in accordance with the rules
0.All submissions must be videos, and must follow site-wide rules.
1.All videos must include John Oliver, and posts must have 'John Oliver' in the title.
RULE 4: POSTS MUST BE IN ALL CAPS
NO LOWERCASE CHARACTERS ARE ALLOWED.
OUR CURRENT RULES:
0.POSTS MUST BE VIDEOS
2.ALL POST TITLES MUST CONTAIN PROFANITY
3.ONLY TEXT POSTS DESCRIBING VIDEOS ARE PERMITTED, AND MUST DESCRIBE A VIDEO IN DETAIL. VIDEO LINKS ARE PERMITTED IN THE COMMENTS ONLY.
4.POSTS MUST BE IN ALL CAPS
For reasons we're still trying to figure out, reddit's spam filter decided to remove every post for the last 12 hours or so and not let anything through. The admins have been contacted, so we'll have answers roughly 10 days from now. Non-rule-breaking posts have likely been removed as spam inadvertently. Everything is on fire. The world is a nightmare. Please remain calm and direct your seething rage to this thread.
Edit: Astoundingly we've gotten communication back already, and they are investigating. In the meantime, we seem to have a bit more spam staying up on the sub. Please feel free to report any you see, or at least vote accordingly.
E2: Revelations: This is now being tracked here: https://www.reddit.com/r/ModSupport/comments/kftpjs/regarding_ongoing_issues_with_the_subreddit_spam/
Hello there. A sticky from us at /r/videos to announce a new policy change in this subreddit.
TLDR: 3rd party licensing agencies are now banned
Of late, we've seen a rise in the presence of licensing companies on /r/videos . What these companies supposedly do is contact the owners of popular videos, be they on YouTube, LiveLeak, etc... and shop the rights out for them to news agencies, websites, other content creators (maybe a t.v. show for funny clips, or educational videos for well produced content). They promise to do all the hard work for you...farm the clip out to their sales network, prosecute people using your content without your permission, and the like. All without annoying YouTube ads.
TL:DR : Companies promise to do hard work and make you money, while you sit back and relax. They promise you results.
Sounds lovely, in theory. These schemes always do. I mean hey, your content's getting re-uploaded without credit to fortune 500 firms Facebook pages, large radio stations websites, and the like. Surely you deserve some of the sales revenue they generate from inflating their visitor statistics off the back of your content, right? Especially when things like watermarks are commonly removed, and zero credit/link forwarding is given. It's a problem, and the solution isn't super clear. "Freedom of all things on the internet" is a great ideal, you could even argue people shouldn't expect to retain "ownership" of anything uploaded online...but when large companies are making bank off others content, with flagrant disregard for attribution, it leaves a bad taste.
In theory, it's great that someones taking a stand against it, and willing to go out there to bat for you. Make that money! However time and time again, we've seen the majority of these companies to date try gaming Reddit. At the minor end of the scale, they submit and upvote content from fake accounts. Sometimes they'll set up YouTube channels so they have total control over the spam chain. Employees fail to disclose their company affiliation, and outright try to socially engineer having their competitor's submissions removed and channels banned by filing false reports/comments on posts. Ironically, champions of rights are at war, and trying to take out other creators original content in the process.
We are concerned by the systematic culture of gaming websites and abusing them for corporate gain that seems to have become the norm in this role they are trying to perform. We are concerned that legitimate content creators may not be aware of how much these tactics are pissing off various forums, message boards, and subreddits that would otherwise be welcoming of their content. We are concerned that these creators may not even be getting a financially good deal from these companies.
These companies are also penny pinching from hosting platforms by bypassing their own monetization process...thereby giving back absolutely nothing to the platforms that actually host the content. In all honesty, it's a clever business model. In fact LiveLeak now owns "Viralhog", so they generate revenue in this manner (as they don't have traditional video ads).
The internet is a free for all. But in this subreddit, we want to create a corner of the net that's as-close-as-possible to being a fair playing field. As moderators, interested in the future of this subreddit and website as a whole, we all agree these companies stink.
Bottom line: 3rd party licensing agencies have been using vote manipulation and other deceptive tactics to gain an unfair advantage over other original content creators in /r/videos and we plan to put an end to it.
From this day forward any and all videos "rights licenced" by a 3rd party entity are banned from being submitted from this subreddit.
Any and all videos that become "rights licenced" post-submission to this subreddit will be removed, no matter how far up the front page they may be.
We can respect that.
And to be completely frank, trying to moderate this shitshow was geting on many of our nerves.
After careful all-night negotiations between the /r/Videos moderators, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell, Screen Actors Guild, and
ModColecoVision ModCodeOfConduct, we have agreed they will help us reset the sidebar and automod today (rather than Sunday, because THAT'S GOD'S DAY). Shortly we should be back to posting videos.
For those who think our protest went on too long, you may want to remind yourselves why we did this in the first place. Reddit still has some issues to address.
Now it's done, and it's time to move forward by moving backward. Back to a simpler time where we can insult each other just with our comments, rather than with our vertically formatted text video posts. Feel free to do so below.
We open on a close-up shot of a kitchen counter. It's a kitchen like many others, with a square white tile backsplash, yellowed grout, and a countertop. The countertop may be formica, it may be soapstone. Hell, it may even be epoxy. All that we know is that it's smooth, shiny and green.
Scattered on the counter is some sort of substance, which the savvy amongst us will deduce is breadcrumbs. Next to those breadcrumbs? Why it's a piece of bread, balanced vertically. This appears to be an anterior piece of a loaf of white bread, although it's distinctly possible that it's a posterior piece that has been turned 180 degrees. The bread is solid and has a nice golden crust. Unfortunately, in the time it took you to read this, the bread has fallen over.
Anyway, this thread is to vote on our next rule change! Vote on an additional rule or change an existing one, whatver happens is up to you, the community! This thread will run until Sunday night, after which the top comment will be added to the rules of /r/Videos.
Note that rules most follow the site-wide content policy, regardless of whatever hasty revisions may have been recently made to it.
Our Current Rules:
0.Posts must be videos
2.All post titles must contain profanity
3.Only text posts describing videos are permitted, and must describe a video in detail. Video links are permitted in the comments only.
Right now, the FCC is planning to dismantle Title II net neutrality protections that prevent companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from controlling what Internet users can see by throttling, blocking, and censoring sites and apps, or charging special fees that get passed along to consumers. Big Cable companies are pouring a ton of money into lobbying, misleading ads, and astroturf campaigns in an attempt to confuse the public. If they succeed, the Internet will never be the same.
We're joining an Internet-wide day of action (like the SOPA Blackout and the Internet Slowdown) on July 12th to help save net neutrality.
Regardless of your beliefs (or even whether or not you live in the US), this issue materially impacts all Reddit users: online communities like /r/Videos wouldn't exist without the principles of net neutrality that foster creativity and innovation on the web. We’ve worked together to defend the Internet before, now we need to do it again.
It's vital that we all engage in conversations about how we as redditors can organize together for July 12th to make sure that decision-makers in Washington, DC listen to real Internet users, not just telecom lobbyists.
Reddit itself has agreed to participate in the day of action along with popular sites like Amazon, Etsy, Kickstarter, Vimeo, GitHub, Mozilla, and Pornhub. >30 other subreddits have already joined too. It's going to be big.
But there’s so much we can do together, from flooding the FCC and Congress with comments and phone calls to organizing in-person meetings with our lawmakers.
Mod Post You've exceeded the number of video views your plan allows you to Subscribe to. Please upgrade your internet package to continue watching videos.
Hello, /r/Videos. Hope you're all doing well.
This is just a quick message to let you know that we're taking part in Reddit's Video Beta.
Here's how the admins describe it:
With this new feature, users can:
- Upload videos (MP4 or MOV, up to 15 minutes long) directly to Reddit
- Convert uploaded videos to gifs (up to 1 minute long). Directly uploaded gifs with the .gif extension will still be supported as before
- Trim uploaded videos within the mobile apps
- Read comments while watching Reddit-hosted videos
This won't be terribly interesting news to most people and shouldn't directly affect too many of you, but here's what else is worth knowing:
Normal rules still apply to uploaded videos.
Taking part is optional: you can still just post a link if you'd rather.
If you can't view native videos, you may need to select this setting. They're working on a fix for this.
If you have any other issues with this feature, you can leave them in this thread which we'll direct the admins to or start a thread on /r/Beta.
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.
It's come to our attention (through multiple submissions of the same video) that Fight for the Future has launched a highly time-sensitive campaign to promote fair-use by publicising the fact that the U.S. Copyright Office is currently receiving feedback on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
And—and here's the important part—they need your input before the end of the day on Friday. As in April 1st.
The timing is wildly unfortunate, but this is absolutely not an April Fool's joke.
We've spoken by phone to Evan Greer, Campaign Director of Fight For the Future, to confirm that everything is above board, and that the site which they've done a fantastic job in getting ready at such short notice is the best way to submit your comments. The official Copyright Office site has been under heavy load, but the Fight For the Future site (as I understand it) queues comments for submission, and so is the better choice here.
(You may remember Fight For the Future from their involvement in the anti-SOPA online protests in 2012; they're a great organisation that does important work in digital activism.)
Why is this here?
After a brief discussion amongst the available mods, and with several of you who have contacted us already via modmail, it's clear that this is an issue which is of direct relevance to the /r/videos community, and all those involved in creating and consuming online video more broadly. There's also not a whole lot of time, and so we've had to come to the fairly quick decision that this is of sufficient importance to warrant an exception to the rules.
Copyright on YouTube has, as you'll know, been a hot-topic this year (#TheReactioning), and the generously-speaking less-than-ideal state it finds itself in can be traced back to the issues with the DMCA itself:
With the current DMCA rules, copyright holders can censor and takedown practically any online content, just by saying that it infringes their copyright—no court order or oversight required. It's time to bring fair use back to the Internet.
We aren't here to feed YouTube drama: this is far bigger than that. The internet didn't stand for SOPA, and reddit was amongst the many hundreds of major websites which protested it by blacking-out four years ago. Given that this topic is so acutely pertinent to this community, we aren't comfortable ignoring it. It's just not in anyone's interest to do so.
What do I do now?
1. Visit takedownabuse.org, have a read, and submit your comment.
I strongly recommend that you edit or expand upon the default text to make it something more personal; it's far more effective to have varied comments than carbon copies. But if you don't have the time, this is certainly better than nothing.
2. Share the page wherever you can, if you feel inclined to do so.
The volume and quality of the comments are both important. This is a tight deadline, and has been
deliberately massively under-publicised. There were just 80-or-so comments before ChannelAwesome made the video linked to above, and now it seems to be >10,000. If you have something to say, now's the time to say it.
Still not sure?
I was about 50/50 on this being a hoax, and so we did our research.
You can see the official Fight For the Future Twitter feed endorsing it, and you can research that organisation to confirm its legitimacy. (See their work on SOPA, PIPA, and ProtectIP.)
You can see the regulations.gov page here - From what I can tell, this is where your comments on takedownabuse.org will be sent, just with the added bonus of not crashing the site again.
Hopefully, an/some representative/sEvan (/u/evanFFTF) from Fight For the Future will be showing upis in the comments at some pointto field questions if you have them.
You can read a detailed primer on the unintended consequences of the DMCA from the EFF here.
If you have any feedback, you can contact us as always via modmail
Thanks, guys, and have a good day.
Update: As Evan says in this comment, we're now at >50,000 submissions!