r/Haskell is going dark

What I see are some confused or irritated users. It is nothing unexpected, and nothing unexplainable using a pinch of good faith.


Buying corporate propaganda means one has been misled, not that one is freed of all agency in enacting the corrosive behavior that propaganda is meant to foster. It is important to recognize what parties actually hold the preponderance of power in these situations and challenge individuals who aim to obscure this relationship.

1 Like

I’m just checking here again as /r/haskell is one of the few subreddits I frequent which hasn’t still reopened, but let me take this opportunity to address that open letter from /r/modcoord that was posted earlier:

  • charging price having a prohibitive cost: they can and should charge whatever they want. In any other situation, e.g., you go to a restaurant or a store… and you come across something whose price you think is too high you just leave, you don’t boycott or cause a scene in such a way that you impact other people trying to eat, shop, etc.
  • lack of moderation tools: most likely they are ridiculously low in Reddit’s priority list because neither do they bring in additional revenue nor reduce existing expenses. That is frustrating, but if you need lots of powertools to keep up, something is fundamentally wrong: either you’re moderating more subreddits than you can handle, or the volume of posts is too much, or whatever.
  • concerns about NSFW content: even if their reasoning isn’t valid, they are free to add any restrictions, however absurd (let’s say they want to restrict posts where you use the word “amazing”, that’d be ridiculous right? but still within their rights)

The only point I may agree is regarding communication, however, I still don’t understand why mods decided to punish reddit by taking the subreddits private, when they could have just left the platform immediately and forever.

If the subreddit doesn’t reopen I’ll need to evaluate on an ongoing basis whether using discourse is worth it or if being in Libera’s #haskell is good enough.

1 Like

I’d say that some moderators have managed to convince themselves that they are not being hypocritical when they:

  • confiscate contents contributed by users in good faith over a power bargain with Reddit; even though
  • they would never have allowed such a power bargain in favour of a goal they didn’t agree with.

Good old “the-end-justifies-the-means” move to attach the Haskell cart to the bandwagon.

1 Like

In this case, the staff of this restaurant or store are unpaid, and currently engaged in a temporary work stoppage in protest of the owner’s decision to raise the price of using their website, which same website those unpaid staff use to maintain good order at the store. The unpaid staff do not have the means to pay for such functionality, and their jobs will become difficult enough that they will be unable to maintain good order without some concessions from the owner.


…is it too hard to assume there was no “sinister motive” behind this action?

If a moderator could walk away from all their person-years of work “just like that”, they probably would had done so much earlier for other reasons:

  • tired of ridding spam;
  • tired of annoying users;
  • had a bad day at (paid) work;
  • had a fight with their partner or spouse
  • etc.

I’ve never been a moderator myself, so I just guessing here: what would (at least to me) make one good at that task was perseverance - not wilting at the first moment of difficulty.

So by glibly saying they should have just “resigned” or “walked away”, you’re asking them to override what made them a good moderator to begin with. But considering the response made by a disgruntled few here and elsewhere who apparently think everything is now “powered by pixies”…maybe the moderator should should have a rest for a while, and watch quietly as the subreddits are swamped by spam and sleaze!


For sure a good moderator would benefit from discipline to not be discouraged by every tiny little thing, as would any person in any situation, but maybe by the same logic being a good moderator means they shoudn’t just react like “take the ball and leave (and it’s not even their ball)”, moreso when depending on who you ask there’s no point at all to the protests.

What you mention at the very end, they step down even if that doesn’t mean resigning and the subreddit carries on as normal, that’s the sanest approach, because then everyone does as they see fit, and I/you/whoever don’t choose for the moderator and they don’t choose for me/you/whoever either.

Very well said. Glib sloganeering about power hungry mods taking us hostage is disrespectful, not to mention alien to our actual community dynamics.


When someone posts to reddit, they grant reddit a license to sell the post to whoever they want.[1]

So if you would like to access /r/haskell, you don’t have to bother the volunteer moderators who decided to make it private, you are free to directly buy the archive from reddit. However as you say, they can charge you whatever they want.

Archiving stuff from reddit is against the user agreement. [2]

I’d say trusting a company like reddit with your data and/or community is a bad idea.

[1] “When Your Content is created with or submitted to the Services, you grant us a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, transferable, and sublicensable license to use, copy, modify, adapt, prepare derivative works of, distribute, store, perform, and display Your Content and any name, username, voice, or likeness provided in connection with Your Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed anywhere in the world. This license includes the right for us to make Your Content available for syndication, broadcast, distribution, or publication by other companies, organizations, or individuals who partner with Reddit. You also agree that we may remove metadata associated with Your Content, and you irrevocably waive any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to Your Content.” User Agreement - April 18, 2023 - Reddit

[2] “Access, search, or collect data from the Services by any means (automated or otherwise) except as permitted in these Terms or in a separate agreement with Reddit (we conditionally grant permission to crawl the Services in accordance with the parameters set forth in our robots.txt file, but scraping the Services without Reddit’s prior consent is prohibited);” User Agreement - April 18, 2023 - Reddit


But they didn’t react immediately to the original announcement - that happened twelve days later (presumably after much private discussion, and “getting nowhere” with Reddit management…).

There are lots of framings one can use to think about the situation. Reddit as capital, mods as labor is one. /r/haskell as a cafe is another. I think which framing one uses is likely to influence what conclusions one draws, which is awkward for several reasons. For one, the facts of the matter don’t change depending on one’s framing. For two, it means discussions can devolve into arguments where everyone thinks their own frame is just obviously correct and someone using any other frame is somehow evil or deluded.

I’m not going to try to describe the frame I use. That would take a lot of effort and doesn’t seem like it would actually help. But here are some opinions I have on the matter. I expect some of them will be broadly agreed-with, and others will not.

  • Taylor doesn’t owe the community anything.
  • The community owes Taylor a bunch.
  • In general, mods should be cut a lot of slack.
  • If Taylor wants to unilaterally take /r/haskell private or read-only for a while in protest, that seems fine to me. I don’t think this needs community consensus.
  • If there’s a rough community consensus that /r/haskell should go private or read-only indefinitely (e.g. permanently, or “until X” where X is unlikely to ever happen), that seems fine to me too.
  • If Taylor were to unilaterally take /r/haskell private or read-only indefinitely, that seems bad to me.
  • I’m not sure at what point things gradually slide over the line, for me, from “fine to do this without community consensus” to “I think you should get community consensus for this”. I don’t think it’s crossed that line yet. Maybe about a month?
  • I don’t know Taylor’s current plans. A lot of my interaction in this thread has been under the assumption he was doing the unilateral-indefinite thing. But I now realize I don’t actually know that. Taylor, if you’re reading this, I think I’ve been unkind to you and I apologize.
  • I don’t currently think there’s community consensus for extending the blackout (I don’t think Taylor needs it for that, but other people have mentioned it as a justification) or for making it indefinite (I do think Taylor should get it if that’s his plan). But when I can reread the thread that was linked, I might change my mind about either or both of those.
  • I don’t think Taylor needs to be explicit in public about his plans. That’s bad strategy and I imagine it would be exhausting anyway. I don’t even think Taylor needs to have firm plans yet.
  • “Community” consensus in this case should probably be the reddit community. I think that people who don’t use /r/haskell should mostly keep quiet on the question of what /r/haskell should do in protest here, for similar reasons that I don’t think truckers should vote on whether train drivers go on strike. It’s easy to talk about sacrifice if you’re not the one actually losing anything. If you think /r/haskell should get sunsetted for other reasons, that’s a different discussion and should be had somewhere else.
  • “Community consensus” does not mean “we must have a poll and follow the majority vote” or anything. Something like “Taylor takes the subreddit read-only, posts one thread for discussion, sees what people think, and makes a decision based on that” seems totally reasonable.
  • If the community consensus is to keep going, but Taylor specifically doesn’t want to keep moderating under the new rules, Taylor should be able to step down with thanks for a job well done.
  • I wouldn’t be surprised if the changes reddit’s making, make moderating significantly more unpleasant to do. I wouldn’t be completely shocked if that means /r/haskell ends up with no one willing and able to moderate it. That would suck.
  • Personally, I’d prefer to find out what happens than to assume it’ll be that bad.

because moderators are the people who are most affected by the changes, which is why moderators are making the protest. Reddit is completely dependent on volunteer moderators

it’s the exact same concept as any strike. i assume you wouldn’t say the same about a railway strike: “why am i forced to take other routes when i don’t think the railway workers have too low salary and poor working conditions?”

i understand that it can be frustrating, but so are the api changes for the people who rely on the api



We will ensure existing utilities, especially moderation tools, have free access to our API. We will support legal and non-commercial tools like Toolbox, Context Mod, Remind Me, and anti-spam detection bots. And if they break, we will work with you to fix them.

  • Mobile mod queue improvements - launching this week (announcement coming tomorrow)
  • Mod-centric User Profile Cards (faster loading time, more user information, mod actions are front and center) - launching the week of June 12
  • Mobile Mod Log - launching the week of June 26
  • Mobile Mod Insights - also launching the week of June 26
  • Mobile Community Rules Management (add/edit/delete rules) - launching the week of July 3
  • Enhanced Mobile Mod Queues (improved content density, focus on efficiency and scannability) - launching in September
  • Native Mobile Mod Mail - launching in September

The problem is that some people have been dishonest and sharing misinformation about how and where the api can be accessed, and pitching it as if mods are supposed to be protesting because they are being affected by the api change.

It is highly illogical that reddit, whose business model and value is based on the quality of information in it, built by users in the community, would want to hinder what mods do.

However, we are being gaslit here as if the users are the one joining hands with reddit to fight the mods for some reason, when reddit is pouring money into developing features to support mods and admins.

Framing someone as “dishonest” will do little good to the discussion. From the top reply on the thread you linked:

which, knowing very little about Reddit, seems a reasonable complaint.

Users being affected by a protest is nothing new (a protest without disservice is not a protest but role-playing).

I would still advise everyone to give it some time and space. I bet there will be proposals by Reddit management and some sort or bargaining. We can live without an aggregator for a couple of weeks more.

  • Well, there’s a contradiction right there - Apollo is an “existing utility” so it should “have free access to [Reddit’s] API”. But it won’t: its developer has been told that payments for the allegedly-“inefficient” app’s usage will be required.

  • Furthermore, shouldn’t all of these other changes and improvements (according to Reddit management) have occurred well in advance of the changes to API pricing, so that the moderators could at least assess their suitability (and perhaps even provide useful feedback, considering their combined person-decades of experience)?


I wouldn’t say a railway worker and a moderator are comparable in any way regarding this matter; the former is an employee of a company, who was hired by it, and has some contract with terms stipulated that need to be met, and so on, whereas the latter is a volunteer, which by definition is a person who offered themselves to perform some service, moderating a subreddit, willingly, without pay and without any conditions formally agreed. I most certainly support railworkers, nurses, teachers, airline employees… striking because we’re talking about their livelihood.

Is it frustrating? Of course, but I don’t believe for a second the blackouts have any justification. Moreover, I have never seen anyone being thankful verbally to reddit for having had free API for 7+ years, when no other company with their volume/users has ever done that.

Similarly, I’m willing to bet many of the more technically-minded users navigate reddit using ad-blockers and aren’t paying for a subscription either, so they’re just a burden financially speaking. At most some could say they contribute, but what good is content from a business point of view if the contributor and most of the readers of said content are just costing money and not paying a penny.

Finally, when I position myself against blackouts, don’t take me wrong in thinking I position myself in favour of reddit’s CEO, more like the opposite. What I care about though is the community, and if each subreddit ends up fragmented in completely independent communities, not many people are going to go through the effort of creating and managing accounts in all of them.

1 Like


…more precisely, your attention is the product that Reddit-the-business sells, by way of advertising:

  1. Would the mods just standing down affect this?

    No: people would still be able to see the ads, no matter what the content!

  2. Would making subreddits “read-only” affect this?

    No, again: people would still be able to see the ads, along with the ageing content.

So only by implementing a full “blackout” - thereby preventing people from seeing the ads - do mods have a chance of influencing Reddit-the-business.

A post found in the Django subreddit offers a few interesting details: Reddit - Dive into anything


Presumably, making a subreddit unmoderated will reduce the number of views (because the content will be less good and it will be a less fun place to hang out). And making it read-only will also do that (because there won’t be much content to read). So it seems false to me to suggest that these interventions can have no effect.


I just want to put my voice out there since it appears I’m the only one who feels this way. But my stance is quite simple and not part of any larger framework of beliefs or allegories about capitalism… I just really liked r/Haskell. It was probably my favorite place on the Internet. Now it’s gone, and that makes me sad.

I truly appreciate all the work that Taylor has put into the subreddit over the years, and it sucks if the changes Reddit is making would make his job there harder. But please consider bringing it back.

1 Like