AI News, Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters artificial intelligence


Posts are organized by subject into user-created boards called 'subreddits', which cover a variety of topics including news, science, movies, video games, music, books, fitness, food, and image-sharing.

As of February 2018, Reddit had 542 million monthly visitors (234 million unique users), ranking as the #3 most visited website in U.S. and #6 in the world, according to Alexa Internet, with 57.4% of its user base coming from the United States, followed by the United Kingdom at 7.5% and Canada at 6.3%.[5]

The site's content is divided into numerous categories, and the most popular posts from these 'subreddits' are visible on the front page to those who browse the site without an account.

Front-page rank—for both the general front page and for individual subreddits—is determined by the age of the submission, positive ('upvoted') to negative ('downvoted') feedback ratio and the total vote-count.[18]

Although most of the site functions like a bulletin board or message board, each subreddit has the option of having an associated wiki that can provide supplementary material like instructions, recommended reading, or collaboration for real-life events.

While logged in, Reddit users (known as redditors) have the ability to vote on submissions and comments to increase or decrease their visibility and submit links and comments.

Users with enough experience and accumulated points can also create their own subreddit on a topic of their choosing, and interested users can add it to their front page by subscribing to it.

Reddit comments and submissions are occasionally abbreviated and peppered with jargon, ranging from OP (for 'Original Poster'—the user who posted the submission being commented upon) to NSFW (for 'not safe for work'—indicating the post has graphic or sexually explicit content).[20]

Users earn 'post karma' and 'comment karma' points for submitting text posts, link posts, and comments, which accumulate on their user profile.

'Post karma' refers to karma points received from text and link posts, while 'comment karma' refers to karma points received from comments.[21]

'Reddit gold' unlocks several features not accessible to regular users, such as comment highlighting, ad blocking, exclusive subreddits, and a personalized Snoo (known as a 'snoovatar').[22][23]

Many discussion-based subreddits allow solely text submissions such as 'AskReddit'—where users are only allowed to pose broad, discussion based questions to the community at large.

Reddit communities occasionally coordinate Reddit-external projects such as skewing polls on other websites, like the 2007 incident when Greenpeace allowed web users to decide the name of a humpback whale it was tracking.

The commenting system and friend system, along with a certain 'Reddit ethos' (called reddiquette on Reddit), lend Reddit some aspects of a social networking service, though not to the extent of Facebook, Google+, or other social networking websites.

Subscribed subreddits appear on a user's front page and on a top navigation bar, and can deal with a large range of topics—such as video games, books, discussion, and music.

This includes an aggregation of content termed '/r/popular', featuring top ranked posts across all of Reddit, with the exception of controversial subreddits (including both pro and anti-Trump communities, as well as those related to Gamergate).[31]

In an interview with Memeburn, Erik Martin, Reddit GM, remarked that their 'approach is to give the community moderators or curators as much control as possible so that they can shape and cultivate the type of communities they want'.[32]

Colors were assigned based on a gradient from purple to red with purple signifying up to 60 seconds and red as low as 0 seconds.

The countdown reached zero several times due to technical problems but eventually expired without further problems on June 5, 2015, after which the subreddit was archived.[40]

After clicking a titular button, an IRC-like chat window was opened with one other user, and allowed a certain time to pick among three options: 'Grow,' 'Stay' and 'Leave'.[41]

'Grow' would join the chat with another group, 'Stay' would close the group chat and create a subreddit with that group as moderators and 'Leave' would close the group chat.

The subreddit contained a collaborative pixel art canvas, where a user could place a pixel every five minutes (the timer was temporarily ten and twenty minutes for a few hours on April 1).[42]

Clicking the 'join' button on another's circle would cause the owner's circle to grow bigger, while the 'betray' button would cause the owner's circle to no longer function (having 'betrayed' the owner's trust).

On the /r/circleoftrust subreddit, all users have a 'flair' next to their username that displays the number of users who've joined their personal circle, followed by the number of other circles the user has joined.

After Huffman and Ohanian left Reddit, Erik Martin, who joined the company as a community manager in 2008 and later became general manager is 2011, played a role in Reddit's growth.[61]

Reddit launched its Reddit Gold benefits program in July 2010, which offered new features to editors and created a new revenue stream for the business that did not rely on banner ads.[66]

After five years away from the company, Ohanian and Huffman returned to leadership roles at Reddit: Ohanian became the full-time executive chairman in November 2014 following Wong's resignation, while Pao's departure on July 10, 2015 led to Huffman's return as the company's chief executive.[34][76]

such as a new tool that allows users to hide posts, comments, and private messages from selected redditors in an attempt to curb online harassment,[79]

In 2016, Reddit began hosting images using a new image uploading tool, a move that shifted away from the uploading service Imgur that had been the de facto service.[98]

The new features included user-to-user chat, a theater mode for viewing visual content, and mobile tools for the site's moderators.[102]

The new site features a hamburger menu to help users navigate the site, different views, and new fonts to better inform redditors if they are clicking on a Reddit post or an external link.[77]

When Reddit revamped its website in April 2018, the company imposed several restrictions on how Snoo can be designed: Snoo's head 'should always appear blank or neutral', Snoo's eyes are orange-red, and Snoo cannot have fingers.[104]

Its demographics allows for wide-ranging subject areas, or main subreddits, that receive much attention, as well as the ability for smaller subreddits to serve more niche purposes.

For example, the University of Reddit, a subreddit that exists to communally teach, emerged from the ability to enter and leave the online forum, the 'classroom', at will, and classes ranging from computer science to music, to fine art theory exist.[117]

Additionally, the userbase of Reddit has given birth to other websites, including image sharing community and image host Imgur, which started in 2009 as a gift to Reddit's community.[119]

Its innovative socially ranked rating and sorting system drives a method that is useful for fulfilling certain goals of viewership or simply finding answers to interesting questions.

User sentiments about the website's function and structure include feelings about the breadth and depth of the discussions on Reddit and how the site makes it easy to discover new and interesting items.

In advance of legislation that endangers these redditors typically set up pages to organize protest, create or curate content, call responsible authorities and inform about their issues and e.g.

In 2010, the site ran ads promoting marijuana legalization without charge, after Conde Nast stated that they did not want to benefit financially from this particular issue.[164]

In February 2013, Betabeat published a post that recognized the influx of multi-national corporations like Costco, Taco Bell, Subaru, and McDonald's posting branded content on Reddit that was made to appear as if it was original content from legitimate Reddit users.[165]

Reddit's former Director of Communications noted that while a large number of Chief Marketing Officers want to 'infiltrate the reddit community on behalf of their brand,' she emphasized that 'self-promotion is frowned upon' and the site is '100 percent organic.'[166][167][168][169]

Taylor described these situations as 'high risk' noting: 'We try hard to educate people that they have to treat questions that may seem irreverent or out of left field the same as they would questions about the specific project they are promoting.'[176]

Lauren Orsini writes in ReadWrite that 'Reddit's huge community is the perfect hype machine for promoting a new movie, a product release, or a lagging political campaign' but 'very specific set of etiquette.

Journalists have used the site as a basis for stories, though they are advised by the site's policies to respect that 'reddit's communities belong to their members' and to seek proper attribution for people's contributions.[180]

In order for users to see crashed websites, several Reddit bots have been created that take a snapshot of the website before large amounts of traffic flood the affected website.

As a response to Glenn Beck's August 28, 2010, Restoring Honor rally (heavily promoted by him in his Fox News broadcasts during the summer), in September 2010 Reddit users started a movement to persuade satirist Stephen Colbert to have a counter-rally in Washington, D.C.[184]

Jon Stewart responded by saying that, though it was a very nice gesture, he and Colbert had already thought of the idea and the deposit for using the National Mall was already paid during the summer, so it acted mostly as a 'validation of what we were thinking about attempting'.[188]

In a message to the Reddit community, Colbert later added, 'I have no doubt that your efforts to organize and the joy you clearly brought to your part of the story contributed greatly to the turnout and success.'[189]

The website generally lets moderators on individual subreddits make editorial decisions about what content to allow, and has a history of permitting some subreddits dedicated to controversial content.[193]

Reddit has had a history of giving a platform to objectionable but legal content, and in 2011, news media covered the way that jailbait was being shared on the site before the site changed their policies to explicitly ban 'suggestive or sexual content featuring minors'.[200]

Following some controversial incidents of Internet vigilantism, Reddit introduced a strict rule against the publication of non-public personally-identifying information via the site (colloquially known as doxxing).

On December 16, 2010, a redditor named Matt posted a link describing how he has donated a kidney, and included a JustGive link to encourage users to give donations to the American Cancer Society.[201]

Reddit general manager Martin later issued an apology for this behavior, criticizing the 'online witch hunts and dangerous speculation' that took place on the website.[209]

Salon reported that 'the section's moderators explained in a post on Tuesday, the goal is 'to reduce the number of blogspam submissions and sensationalist titles.' The purge, the moderators explained, is also aimed at sites that provide lots of 'bad journalism.'[213]

Responding to the accusations of 'skewed enforcement', Reddit reaffirmed their commitment to free expression and stated that 'There are some subreddits with very little viewership that get highlighted repeatedly for their content, but those are a tiny fraction of the content on the site.'

On July 2, 2015, Reddit began experiencing a series of blackouts as moderators set popular subreddit communities to private, in an event dubbed 'AMAgeddon,' a portmanteau of AMA ('ask me anything') and Armageddon.

On November 24, 2016, the Washington Post reported Reddit had banned the 'Pizzagate' conspiracy board from their site stating it violated their policy of posting personal information of others, triggering a wave of criticism from users on /r/The_Donald, who felt the ban amounted to censorship.[261]

In the announcement, the CEO also apologized for personally editing posts by users from /r/The_Donald, and declared intentions to take actions against 'hundreds of the most toxic users' of Reddit and 'communities whose users continually cross the line'.[4][264][265]

In February 2017, Reddit banned the alt-right subreddit (/r/altright) for violating its terms of service, more specifically for attempting to share personal information about the man who attacked alt-right figure Richard B.

On July 12 the creator and head moderator of the GamerGate subreddit /r/kotakuinaction, removed all of the moderators and set the forum to private, alleging it to have become 'infested with racism and sexism'.

In January 2019, a Philippine-based subreddit, r/jakolandia was accused of 'distributing” posts of photos of women, including celebrities, apparently without their consent, similar to 'a number' of secret Facebook groups that had been engaging in illegal activity of sharing 'obscene' photos of women and possibly child pornography.[273]

Another study evoked a connection between cognitive and attention dynamics and the usage of online social peer production platforms, including the effects of deterioration of user performance.[275]