Here’s What You Can Do To Get Answers From Reddit During The Blackout

reddit block

If you frequent Reddit, be it simply you are an active participant in the community or simply because Google often leads you there, then you’re likely aware that many communities are taking part in a 48-hour blackout to protest its upcoming API prices, among other things. Though by the time you read this article, those who are only protesting for the aforementioned 48 hours would be back up. But what if your internet surfing lands you on a subreddit that is extending their protest, whether indefinitely or otherwise?

If you’re there for the community conversations, or even for the trolling in the less savoury communities, then you’re stooled out of luck. But if all you need at the moment are answers for specific topics, then not all hope is lost. There’s an easy way to get around this, and while it may not be the thing that people might think of, it would feel so obvious that you might end up beating yourself up for not thinking of it on your own. And the way in question is by making use of the Wayback Machine, or an alternative to it like CachedView.

The way services like these work is by taking a snapshot of a webpage from one point in the past, and serving a version of the page to you instead of its current one. Even if all you see on Reddit now are private communities, you can simply take a look at the webpage from, say, the past weekend before the blackout started.

Reddit Malaysia blackout
Source: Reddit.

Of course, it’s not a foolproof method. Visiting older iterations of a page, or a post in the current Reddit example, this means that you will only get access to old answers. But at the same time, it’s not like new information can be added to any subreddit while they are locked off.  And as mentioned, while you can see the community’s thoughts about a certain topic, that’s about all you can do using this method.

On a related note, I will just take this opportunity to point out that, as a person who doesn’t actually use Reddit, I’m quite surprised at the frequency that Google points me towards the site when I’m looking up something. To be fair, half the time this happens it’s because I was looking for something related to video gaming, which leads me to the title’s subreddit.

Looking up the way a specific mechanic or build works in The Division 2? I end up in one of two subreddits. Wondering if anyone is facing a similar bug as I am in Warframe? The game’s subreddit appears in the search results, often above its own forums. Tips in practicing a specific execution-heavy sequence in a fighting game like Street Fighter or Tekken? You guessed it – Reddit.

Reddit NFT NFTs profile picture photo feature
Reddit’s CryptoSnoos NFT collection (Image: Reddit)

Why this is the case isn’t really surprising, if you think about it. Sure, some users can be especially vitriolic with the way they disagree with each other. But if you filter them out, it’s not uncommon to see arguments be presented with supporting evidence, and fact-checks being accompanied by the same. While more of this will still be flowing in for subreddits that are lifting their blockade, those that remain locked will only be accessible by mods, and few else.

And perhaps a controversial opinion to have, but it should stay this way for awhile more. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has already sent a memo to staff saying that he expects this to just blow over like most controversies do. While I have no horse in this race beyond the occasional need for hyper-specific answers, no change will be had with a protest so temporary that it was not only predicted, but prepared for. But it remains to be seen if communities can be united enough to pull that off. Judging from Netflix gaining more subscribers after the password sharing crackdown, it’s possible that we’ll be seeing withdrawal symptoms instead of any meaningful change.

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