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Repost is a term that is primarily used in message boards and social bookmarking sites to describe duplicate posts, meaning any recent user-submitted content that has already been posted before. It is most frequently used in online communities with a rapid post cycle and a daily active userbase such as 4chan and Reddit. The opposite of a repost is referred to as OC, short for original content.
According to Dictionary.com, “repost” has been used to describe resubmitted information to message boards or email lists since as early as 1982. One of the earliest archived uses of the word appeared in an etiquette guide for people using online services created by the Japanese Electronic Network Consortium in February 1996. Section five of the manuel was dedicated to describing how to properly repost another person’s work.
The term was frequently used on Usenet newsgroups, where more than 4 million posts containing the word have been archived. On December 15th, 2004, the first two definitions for “repost” were added to Urban Dictionary by two different users. Both of the definitions describe the act of reposting as someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing and that angers frequent users of the message board in question. The term is also used frequently by 4chan users, who established Repost Day as an internet theme day as early as 2008.
Reposting also occurs frequently on Reddit, where it is seen as a problem in the community, as the original creator will sometimes not get the karma for the content they’ve made. By October 2012, there were more than 46,000 search results on the site for “repost”. In September 2012, a question was posed on Quora seeking solutions to the problem of recurring old content. The top answer suggested that it should not be viewed as a problem, stating that reposting is necessary for a piece of content to grow.
I don’t think reposts are problem. Reposting is good. Reposting lives in the very heart of a meme. You see something interesting, you re-post it. It’s been like that and it is going to be.
And this is a good thing because if we tried killing reposts, we would probably have stumbled upon to less interesting content each day and websites like reddit would have seem pretty boring since you cannot post reposts and there is not many original content is being produced everyday.
Some sites encourage reposting, including Tumblr, which allows users to reblog each other’s posts, Twitter, which has a “retweet” button on public posts, Pinterest, which allows users to repin any photo in their feed, and Facebook which has a “share” button on all types of posts from photos to status updates. These tools allow users to properly credit the content creator when sharing the item with their followers and friends. “Repost” is also used as a tag to designate when something is not original content on Tumblr and Instagram, which has more than 8.4 million photos using the tag.
Search for “Repost” peaked in February 2011 when Stephen Colbert announced he would be launching a parody site of the Huffington Post called The Colbuffington Re-Post.
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