Reddit announced earlier this year that it was working on a site redesign, and one of the biggest changes is the elimination of custom community styles via CSS. Moderators who have coded their beautiful subbreddits with CSS for years are protesting vigorously.
CEO Steve Huffman spoke with Reddit moderators directly on r/modnews. He insisted the rollout would be slow, as doing otherwise would be “suicide.” He also mentioned that this was primarily done for Reddit mobile users, as they account for half of the site’s traffic and most CSS designs don’t translate to mobile. He said, “We’d love for you to be able to bring your spice to phones as well.” Also, not everyone knows how to code with CSS, so a toolbox would make the site more accessible.
No matter how placatory he was, though, the moderators were having none of it. One took a survey, and, of the 251 responses, 83.9-percent said the removal of CSS was “unacceptable.”
I spend a lot of time on Reddit mobile. And I think Huffman has a point: the most beautiful, fascinating, customized subreddit will be lost on me because it’s not visible on mobile. While it would be sad to see some of the more beautifully-animated subreddits get a little more banal, it’s understandable that Reddit wants to make things a little easier on everyone who’s not a pro CSS coder.