steve spez huffman meme

Praise Spez / Heil Spez

Part of a series on 2023 Reddit API Pricing Blackout. [View Related Entries]

Updated Aug 04, 2023 at 10:13AM EDT by Zach.

Added Jul 18, 2023 at 06:27PM EDT by Philipp.

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Related Explainer: What's Up With People Saying 'Praise Spez' And 'Heil Spez' On Reddit? The Meaning Behind The Protests Against Steve 'Spez' Huffman Explained

About

Praise Spez and Heil Spez are catchphrases that gained prominence as titles for posts and comments on Reddit during the 2023 API pricing blackout controversy, used sarcastically to criticize Reddit's CEO and admin Steve "spez" Huffman (u/spez).

Origin

In mid-June 2023, massive protests over Reddit's decision to change its API policy took place on the platform, with multiple large subreddits going private on June 12th and June 13th.[1] Before and during the protest, Steve "spez" Huffman, Reddit CEO and admin, was a heavily criticized figure on the site. For example, an AMA held by spez on June 12th to address public concerns was downvoted to zero karma.[2]

During that time, the phrases "praise spez" (likely a reference to formerly popular meme Praise Geraldo) and "heil spez" (a reference to "heil Hitler") gained popularity on Reddit as post titles, used to sarcastically criticize spez. For example, on June 16th, 2023, Redditor Jeremiah_Beard posted a GIF caption meme titled "Praise Spez" to the /r/shitposting[3] subreddit, where it received over 37,000 upvotes in one month (shown below).


Praise Spez Reddit admins watching all the subs going dark (it will change nothing)

Spread

In the following days, the usage of the phrases as post titles gained widespread recognition on Reddit. For example, on June 18th, 2023, Redditor gsdkilocharge556 posted a meme that mentioned the phrase in /r/shitposting.[4] The post (shown below, left) received over 5,700 upvotes in one month. On June 22nd, Redditor GooeyDuck1 posted a question about the phrase in /r/askreddit[5] (shown below, right).


kevin Opens up reddit today Fucky wucky? heil spez? f--- What the hell happened here? What's up with posts saying "Heil Spez" and "Praise Spez"? I'm vaguely aware of the Reddit API and blackout/NSFW drama, but am not privy to why posts are praising Spez now. Are these posts actually in support of him or are they sarcastic in nature? Are they trying to label him as a dictator of sorts? A quick Reddit search returns many posts with tens of thousands of upvotes. They appear to be largely (if not all) from the r/shitposting subreddit. 7 Comments + Award Share

The phrases achieved virality in the /r/shitposting subreddit, where multiple posts titled in this manner went viral in June and July 2023.[6][7][8]

Various Examples


Heil spez F--- zodiac signs, how do you bypass "B"? |3 & My own way made with mematic HEIL SPEZ Bottom text Heil Spez WHAT A RESPECTFUL HANDSOME YOUNG MAN HE CERTAINLY ISN'T UP TO DO SOMETHING BAD
u/spez's karma if he posts anytime soon (59) Who recalls the legend? (HEIL SPEZ) WHO REMEMBERS? d h Su ELEWI ouce to go Praise Spez For The Quick Nap Experience Me waking up from a "quick nap" covered in sweat, dehydrated, shirt stuck to my back, not knowing whether it's 8 a.m. or 8 p.m., and this song playing on the TV www tu

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