Thousands of Reddit communities have closed down in protest of changes implemented by the company, and the automotive realm is among them. The shutdown began on 12 June and is slated to last 48 hours, though some subreddits could stay offline indefinitely.

A Twitch live stream monitoring the situation shows nearly 8,000 communities are now dark. That includes r/Cars, arguably the place on the internet to chat about all things car-related with 4.9 million members. It's the largest subreddit for cars, but it's just one of many automotive communities presently set to private, effectively removing it from the public eye. Other large auto-related subreddits currently private include r/Autos, r/Spotted, r/IdiotsInCars, r/AskCarSales, and dozens of manufacturer and vehicle-specific groups.

The Reddit world isn't entirely closed for business, however. As we publish this article on the afternoon of 12 June, r/CarTalk and its 650,000-plus members is still active, as is r/Mechanic Advice with 1.1 million members. With more subreddits closing on seemingly a minute-by-minute basis, it's possible these sites could be private by the time you read this.

This is all in response to changes at Reddit regarding third-party apps. According to The Verge, Reddit is hitting third-party developers with API costs that effectively force them to shut down. API stands for application programming interface, which is basically software that lets different applications communicate. Such apps are commonly used among Redditors, and they're apparently helpful tools for moderators to keep their respective subreddits running smoothly. One developer says he will have to shut down his app at the end of June, as the API charges would cost over $20 million per year, according to NBC News.

At this time, it's unclear if r/Cars will return on 14 June or remain private. reached out to the moderators of r/Cars for some additional insight on this situation, but a reply wasn't immediately received. We will jump in with an update should more information become available.