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Following on from recent controversies surrounding Reddit, users have been looking for alternatives to the site. One of them, Lemmy – an open-source social link sharing platform, was being publicised on Reddit, before the original poster was banned by Reddit, alongside the sub /r/LemmyMigration.
Now, a day after the incident occurred, the banned account and subreddit have been re-instated, though Reddit have certainly imposed a Streisand Effect on their recent activity. Recent API changes have been at the heart of an incoming boycott of the site, which are going to clamp down on third-party applications making use Reddit’s platform. The changes, which are widely reported on as being unfair and expensive, have sent many looking for other platforms to spend their time – and Lemmy just so happens to be one of these.
Open-source and community run, the platform doesn’t impose the same restrictions that Reddit can. It’s for this reason that Reddit user /u/TheArstaInventor began posting in LemmyMigration. Two posts in, the sub, alongside Archit’s (TheArstaInventor) Reddit account, had been banned.
Apparently “due to being used for spam”, the ban gained widespread traction on sites such as HackerNews and /r/RedditAlternatives. Following the noise created by the ban, Archit’s account and subreddit were reinstated, though not before people begun noticing that Reddit may have been acting unfairly here.
Here’s Archit’s post on Lemmy written up before the Reddit account was reinstated, with commenters stating that they had also been “banned from a meme sub for making a meme about moving to Lemmy,” while others believe they were “shadow-banned as well for trying to promote the instance [they] host”. On Lemmy, an instance is a server for a community.
Following on from Archit’s return to Reddit, they posted the following statement, “this also proves that Reddit is now starting to worry about its competition”, alongside claiming that Reddit only returned the account as they were “scared of backlash”.
We can’t know for sure whether any of these bans were actually in relation to the implications of migrating to a Reddit alternative, but coupled with the recent clamp-down on third-party apps, it really doesn’t look good for a site which used to be a reliable bastion of the internet.
Thousands of subreddits will be going dark on June 12th in protest of recent API changes, with many also threatening to never return. Whether or not this has any impact on Reddit’s total userbase is not yet certain, though it’s certainly going to send them a message. Lemmy is just one of many Reddit alternatives gaining traction, though the reality is that none will ever reach the same popularity as the original. Alongside that, the open-source nature of these sites, alongside the lack of moderation is certainly something to consider if you’re considering migration – whether or not it excites you or worries you.