If protesters get their way, Reddit will soon be the only place where pictures of John Oliver can be found.
Following user votes, some of the largest Reddit communities now only allow photos and videos of the comedian.
In protest against changes to the way the site is run, thousands of subreddits on Reddit were made inaccessible earlier in June.
Thousands remain inaccessible, despite the fact that many have since reopened.
And now, some of the biggest reopened subreddits, like r/aww, r/pics, and r/gifs, have held votes that have led to the communities being named after Oliver.
A forum on the Reddit platform known as a “subreddit” is actually a group of people who meet to talk about a particular topic.
Instead of following individual users on other platforms, Redditors, or users of Reddit, will typically join a variety of subreddits and view posts from these communities in their feed.
The website relies on tens of thousands of unpaid moderators, or mods, in addition to a few paid administrators, in order to remain functional.
These moderators might devote one or two hours each day to ensuring that their subreddit does not become overrun with comments that are irrelevant to the topic at hand, content that is prohibited, or even content that is illegal.
According to the moderators of the r/pics subreddit, although the current rules only permitted users to post images of John Oliver “looking sexy,” any image of the comedian was actually permitted “because John Oliver is always sexy.”
The comedian, who is British and American at the same time, laughed off the posts on Twitter, calling them “excellent work” and telling Redditors to “have at it” before posting a series of pictures that go beyond the meaning of “sexy.”
Reddit has introduced contentious fees for third-party app developers, which are used to browse the social media platform. This has sparked protests from users.
The official app for Reddit, which bills itself as “the front page of the internet,” was developed in 2016, many years after the website’s founding.
Third-party applications like Apollo, Reddit is Fun, Sync, and ReddPlanet were developed as a means for users to access the platform from mobile devices.
These apps have declared that they will not be able to pay for the proposed changes, which has resulted in the protest.
In opposition to the changes, over 7,000 subreddits were completely shut down, and an estimated 3,600 subreddits are still inaccessible.
r/science and r/music, two of the platform’s ten largest subreddits, are now open, but new posts are being blocked by moderators, with the exception of a video featuring Oliver that was posted to r/music, perhaps unsurprisingly.
A moderator for r/gifs stated that John Oliver’s selection as the protest’s face was a direct response to remarks made by Reddit CEO Steve Huffman. However, it is unclear why John Oliver was chosen as the protest’s face.
Mr. Huffman said in an interview with NBC News that he was thinking about making changes so that Redditors could vote to remove protest moderators.
Additionally, he stated to The Verge that users no longer supported the protests and that he thought they were not “representative of the greater Reddit community.”
Because of this, a number of subreddits decided to hold online votes to see if there was truly public support.
Subreddits were given a choice by moderators: either return to normal operations or change the community to only allow Oliver-related images.
The outcomes were staggering. 37,331 users voted in favor of “only allowing images of John Oliver looking sexy,” while 2,239 users voted against. Similar outcomes were seen in other subreddits.
Reddit is also up against more than just John Oliver.
In a similar manner, other subreddits are keeping their communities active while adapting to Reddit’s guidelines. For example, r/iPhone is now dedicated to “dashing images” of Apple CEO Tim Cook, and moderators of r/scams deliberately approve content deliberately slowly, taking up to 14 days to review a post as opposed to a few minutes.