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Reddit Establishes New Parameters on Third-Party Data Usage

Reddit’s taking more steps to restrict third-party access to its content, as it works to maximize the value of its data, and bring in more revenue for the business.

Today, Reddit has announced a new “Public Content Policy,” which outlines how third parties can access and utilize Reddit data, and what’s not allowed without a commercial license with the app.

Reddit data usage parameters

As explained by Reddit:

“At Reddit, we believe in the open internet. We also believe that privacy is a right […] Unfortunately, we see more and more commercial entities using unauthorized access or misusing authorized access to collect public data in bulk, including Reddit public content. Worse, these entities perceive they have no limitation on their usage of that data, and they do so with no regard for user rights or privacy, ignoring reasonable legal, safety, and user removal requests. While we will continue our efforts to block known bad actors, we need to do more to restrict access to Reddit public content at scale to trusted actors who have agreed to abide by our policies.”

The new Public Content Policy will set more definitive parameters around such, while also giving Reddit legal recourse in cases of unlicensed and unauthorized use.

Reddit’s been working to restrict its data access over the past year, due to various large language models utilizing Reddit posts in their datasets. With those providers then generating revenue from their models, Reddit wants to ensure that it also gets fairly paid for such, though its price increases for API access have also caused conflicts, as they’ve also forced various third party Reddit apps out of the market.

But with the company now a publicly traded entity, it needs to ensure that it’s maximizing its revenue opportunities. And now, with this new policy in place, Reddit will be better placed to make money from its data, and combat unlicensed use.

Reddit also notes that it will maintain access for researchers “and those who believe in responsible non-commercial use of public data.”

“Researchers and academics contribute meaningful and important research that helps shape our understanding of how people interact online. So, we’re building out tools and an environment to help researchers access Reddit content.”

That includes a new subreddit, r/reddit4researchers, which is aimed at better supporting researchers and improving access to public data on Reddit. Reddit also notes that it’s in the early stages of a new partnership with OpenMined to increase research access and collaboration.

It’s a logical development for the company, which establishes clearer parameters around Reddit data use.

You can read more about Reddit’s updated access policies here.

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