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What’s a Reddit?

What’s a Reddit?

By Israel Gutierrez 

Put simply, Reddit is a social media platform. However, there is more there than meets the eye. 

Reddit’s unique logo. Photo by Reddit. 

If you have an active online presence, whether it be on Instagram, Twitter, or any other popular social media platform, chances are you have come across Reddit before. 

Reddit is known for having a great front page that shows trending content from all around the world about many different topics. This is reinforced through their slogan, “The front page of the internet.” It is the fifth most visited site in the U.S. and has over 430 million monthly active users.1 

The company provides a statement saying, “Reddit is home to thousands of communities, endless conversation, and authentic human connection.”2 This is one of Reddit’s most differentiating qualities. 

r/food, need I say more? Photo by Israel Gutierrez. 

On Reddit, there are communities both small and large which are organized around specific interests called “subreddits.” 

These are essentially topic-focused forums where any users interested in the same topic can share related content, participate in discussion, and enjoy laughs together. These subreddits are named beginning with “r/”. For example, r/food would be filled with content about food. 

There are upvotes and downvotes which are essentially likes and dislikes. Each subreddit has settings for how you view content. Typically, the default setting is “hot,” in which the most popular current submissions on the subreddit are shown. 

Another unique aspect of Reddit is a thing called “karma” which is essentially an earned reputation of a user that shows they are not a spam or bot account.3 

Sounds straightforward, right? Well, here’s the catch: each subreddit has its own set of rules that must be followed. If they are not followed, users risk being banned from the subreddit. 

The people who decide what is appropriate for the subreddit are called moderators, or mods for short. They are essentially volunteers who spend their time sorting through the content uploaded to the subreddit to make sure users don’t break any of the rules. 

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The typical Reddit user. Photo by Unknown. 

What makes Reddit so great is you get to decide what type of content you want to see. With so many different subreddits, you can spend time on the ones you like the most and communicate with other people with the same interests. Just type whatever you want in the search bar and chances are there is a community for it. 

In pop culture, Reddit users get made fun of a lot. Memes about how they talk or what people think they look like are all over social media. The language that big-time Reddit users communicate with is another thing that people unfamiliar with Reddit think is funny. 

This includes statements like, “Thank you for the gold kind stranger,” which refers to an award system they have, and terms like “updoot” which is basically a like. It can be confusing if you aren’t on Reddit much, but the same goes for any other social media platform. 

If you haven’t used Reddit before, I recommend trying it out. It could prove to be a fun addition to your daily social media rotation. You will likely find at least one community there that has the same interests as you.  

Citations 

  1. Reddit. (n.d.). Dive into anything. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://www.redditinc.com/. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Kenny, J. (2019, January 10). Understanding Reddit karma. Medium. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/3ejNOG8.  
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