The War Against Third-Party
Hi there! Long time no see. Happy pride month :D
Okay, okay, I know. I’ve been gone for quite a bit. I started college a few weeks ago and surprisingly enough I’m not able to update the site and blog with that ongoing. And with work. And hobby projects. And with life in general.
I’ve gone through a lot of iterations on the chat platform post, even going so far as to rewrite it in one lengthy post. I’m gonna have that out sometime soon. But in the meantime, I want to update everyone on how I’m doing, push some updates to the site, and take a quick detour through a subject I hold near and dear - privacy clients.
In case you don’t use Social Media, or you just really don’t keep up with tech news, Reddit’s made some API changes. What’s an API? Well, think of it like a market. There’s two primary audiences in this area - customers and vendors. For vendors, they need some way to communicate to the market. They need to place their products there, name them, set a price. And for the market, they need to give them the location, remaining quantity, how many people bought their product, and of course, payment.
Now, for Reddit’s case, they announced that they’re planning on charging developers exorbant amounts of money (millions a month!) if they use it too much. And here, the analogy kinda falls apart, since what they’re doing is creating a completely different (and better) storefront. You see, you don’t have to just use it for products - all you’re really doing is just asking and receiving information. You don’t even have to place a product up. APIs are versatile, and that’s their whole point - it’s so platforms can work with other platforms.
But what if that platform is just a better version of your store? Shouldn’t that be gone, or at least be giving you some of its profit?
That’s what I believe the Reddit staff’s mentality is like. It’s just a better version of your website, so why not get rid of it? Especially because these things can cost money. In fact, here’s a direct quote from the CEO saying that:
This was in an AMA thread done a few hours ago (at the time of writing.) Maybe he was just tired after answering so many questions?
Oh. He only responded 14 times. In an AMA with about 25 thousand comments.
Does his response hold any merit? Maybe it’s actually costing them millions of dollars…
And here lies the fallacy in their thinking. Not only do these clients actively bring in more users, thus creating an active audience and revenue either way, they’re just plain wrong. They are charging literally millions of dollars to these people:
It’s very clear that they aren’t doing this because “they’re not profitable.” They’re doing this because they don’t believe that they don’t benefit from a relationship with the developer. They believe they can make their own platform better by cutting them off and making a half-hearted attempt at recreation. They want them gone.
Reddit isn’t the only one doing this. YouTube is actively fighting against Invidious and its instance owners. Including, well, me.
Earlier today, during a busy 8 hour shift on a Friday, I got a notification that my instance has been IP blocked by Google. I am no longer able to use their services on my main server, at least not right now.
This affected the majority of people running it publicly, and literally came a day after they got a Cease and Desist email. So for the next few hours, while I was in the middle of a shift, I was trying to do everything I could to get it back up and running. It was the most stressful few hours of my life.
It’s up and running now. At the time of writing, it’s a band-aid fix, using a temporary server. I’ll be going through these until a more permanent solution can be made.
So, why did I bring this up?
Because we’re not going down without a fight. Hundreds, probably thousands of subreddits are going to be closed in protest of Reddit’s change. But the real answer to this is to keep fighting for that change, or to leave it all behind.
And for me, personally? Nobody calls me chicken.
I’ll see you all on the other side.