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Reddit is a social news aggregation website that ranks content based on a scoring system determined by user votes. Its users are often referred to as “Redditors”, and belong to what has been called “one of the most influential communities on the Internet” in an article on Voltier. The site has played a significant role in the spread and creation of Internet memes.
Reddit was founded in 2005 by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian when they were both 22-years-old. According to an article in The Guardian, the site received its original seed funding from startup funding firm Y Combinator. On October 31st, 2006, reddit was acquired by the magazine publishing company Condé Nast. An announcement posted to the official reddit blog on September 6th, 2011, revealed that the company had become reddit Inc. and was now owned by Advance Publications, the parent company of Condé Nast.
On February 2nd, 2011, the official reddit blog announced that they had reached over 1 billion pageviews in a single month, and posted a Google Analytics screenshot as evidence. As of September 30th, 2011, reddit.com has a Quantcast US rank of 66, an Alexa US rank of 43, and a Compete rank of 1314.
Registered users can submit posts to the site in the form of links or text only submissions. Posts, and comments within them, can be voted upon by clicking the up arrow to “up vote” or down arrow to “down vote”. The posts and comments are then scored accordingly, and can be sorted from high to low. Reddit contains thousands of individual “subreddits” that can be subscribed to that cover an immense variety of topics and interests. Unregistered users can browse existing posts and read comments, but cannot subscribe, vote, comment or submit posts.
According to the official reddit blog, the site switched programming languages from Lisp to Python in 2005. On July 21st, reddit announced that they would be outsourcing their search to index handling service IndexTank. Reddit has strong ties to popular image hosting website Imgur, which was created by Redditor mcgrimm. Mobile applications that use reddit’s API include Android apps “reddit is fun” and “reddit pics”.
- /r/AdviceAnimals: Advice animal image macros. No vertical comics, Stare Dad or other non-advice animal images allowed. (1,503,192 subscribers)
- /r/announcements: Important items from the official Reddit blog.(2,498,852 subscribers)
- /r/AskReddit: Discussion-inspiring questions directed to the Reddit user base. Personal information, NSFW material, personal information, polls and yes/no questions are forbidden. (2,335,406 subscribers)
- /r/atheism: Posts related to atheism, agnosticism and secularism. (1,245,359 subscribers)
- /r/aww: Photographs of cute animals. Captioned images are not allowed. (1,436,638 subscribers)
- /r/bestof: Notable stories, comments and posts by other Redditors. No self posts are allowed unless they contain discussions about the subreddit. (1,462,052 subscribers)
- /r/blog: Posts made to the official Reddit blog not related to website functionality changes are submitted here. (2,326,563 subscribers)
- /r/funny: Humor-related links and discussions. Image macros, politics, rage comics and screenshots are forbidden. (2,565,017 subscribers)
- /r/gaming: Content related to video games. Reaction GIFs and advice animals are forbidden. (2,125,696 subscribers)
- /r/IAmA: “Ask me anything” (AMA) posts in which the original poster must be verified by a moderator. Famous actors, artists, scientists, internet personalities and other celebrities frequent the subreddit. (2,072,327 subscribers)
- /r/movies: Discussions, news, reviews and media about various films. Promoting illegal filesharing, image macros, punchline jokes, flame wars, racism and homophobic remarks are strickly forbidden. (1,504,903 subscribers)
- /r/music: Posts sharing and discussing various types of music. No images allowed. (1,567,108 subscribers)
- /r/pics: Photographs and pictures. Image macros, screenshots, comics, infographics, text, gore and porn are strictly forbidden. (2,503,738 subscribers)
- /r/politics: News related to United States politics only. (1,980,961 subscribers)
- /r/science: News related to scientific research and discovery. Image macros and jokes are forbidden. (2,117,305 subscribers)
- /r/technology: Technology-related news. No images or Kickstarters allowed. (1,881,793 subscribers)
- /r/todayilearned: Verifiable discoveries that are older than two months. Political discoveries and obvious facts are not allowed. (2,154,821 subscribers)
- /r/videos: Videos on various websites including YouTube, Vimeo and Liveleak. Political videos are forbidden. (1,986,305 subscribers)
- /r/worldnews: News from around the world with the exception of the United States. (2,240,235 subscribers)
- /r/WTF: Unusual, disturbing and weird content. Image macros, rage comics and politics are forbidden. (2,096,937 subscribers)
Other Notable Subreddits
- /r/askscience: Questions directed toward’s Reddit’s scientific community. All discussion must be scientific, civil, on topic and free of layman speculation. (632,650 subscribers)
- /r/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu: Rage comics. No image macros, comparison comics, reposts or comics less than two or greater than eight panels. (558,131 subscribers)
- /r/programming: News and discussion about computer programming. (395,830 subscribers)
- /r/gifs: Animated GIFs with the exception of reaction GIFs. (357,710 subscribers)
- /r/trees: Marijuana-related news, media and discussion. (326,433 subscribers)
- /r/minecraft: Minecraft -related news media and discussion. (239,295 subscribers)
- /r/sex: Discussions about sexuality and sexual relationships. (212,614 subscribers)
- /r/4chan: Content related to the image board 4chan. Posts typically consist of links to screen captures of 4chan threads. (190,735 subscribers)
- /r/woahdude: Interesting and captivating games, video, audio and images meant to view while under the influence of drugs. (142,170 subscribers)
- /r/circlejerk: Self posts sarcastically mocking cliché beliefs, practices or phrases associated with the Reddit community. (118,274 subscribers)
- /r/twoXChromosomes: Discussion related to topics related to gender from a female perspective. (109,207 subscribers)
- /r/foodporn: High-quality photographs of well-prepared food. Videos, galleries and articles are forbidden. (89,850 subscribers)
- /r/gentlemanboners: Classy photographs of attractive women. No pictures of women in jeans are allowed. (84,040 subscribers)
- /r/seduction: Advice for men seeking to have sexual relationships with the opposite sex. (83,878 subscribers)
- /r/mensrights: Discussion related to the Men’s Rights Movement. (48,129 subscribers)
- /r/ladyboners: Photographs of attractive men. (47,786 subscribers)
- /r/subredditdrama: Discussions about dramatic events from other subreddits. (37,955 subscribers)
- /r/nottheonion: For legitimate news stories that seem to be as absurd as an article in The Onion. (32,973 subscribers)
- /r/shitredditsays: Posts on Reddit that have been deemed offensive by members of this subreddit. (23,785 subscribers)
- /r/spacedicks: Gore, porn and other unusual media. Kitsch artworks circulating around the theme of penises. (17,853 subscribers)
Since April 2010, the website KarmaWhores.net has been tracking Redditors who have gained the most karma on the site, breaking down top 20 users in 4 categories: Comment Karma, Link Karma, Well-rounded (a currently unknown calculation) and Top Combined Karma. Though not a full database of Reddit, the site tracks more than 17,000 users with more than 253 million karma amongst them as of October 2012.
As of October 2012, Apostolate has the most comment karma, 1,128,525. Maxwellhill has both the most link karma (1,572,943) and combined karma (1,579,188). Other notable accounts on the list for top comment karma include andrewsmith1986, Trapped_in_Reddit, who has been accused of gaming Reddit karma, Shitty_Watercolour, who goes through the front page and paints linked images, text posts or commentary, ProbablyHittingOnYou, TheAtomicPlayboy, Drunken_Economist, and NotaMethAddict.
The other top users of link karma include Scopolamina, who posts pornographic images in a variety of subreddits, mepper, DrJulianBashir, the deleted users MindVirus, Mind_Virus and violentacrez, the moderator of more than 400 subreddits including /r/Jailbait, who deleted his account on October 10th, 2012.
Several celebrities keep moderately active public Reddit accounts that they have continued to use after doing Ask Me Anything threads. After joining in September 2011, American actor Zach Braff has submitted several videos and commented in /r/pics, /r/funny and /r/wtf. Scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson and 74-time winning Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings will occasionally comment on posts about themselves.Breaking Bad‘s “Marco,” Luis Moncada, often participates in the show’s subreddit, commenting on fan art as well as live episode discussions.
According to an article in Venture Beat, reddit started one of the largest Secret Santa programs in the entire world with over “17,000 Reddit users from 90 countries are exchanging gifts” in the 2010 holiday season. The r/secretsanta subreddit was created on November 10th, 2010, and has 14,154 subscribers as of September 30th, 2011.
Global Meet Up Day
In addition to the Secret Santa event, Reddit community regularly holds regional meet-up events throughout the year, including the annual Global Meetup Day which takes place in mid-June. The idea for a global day of meet up was first proposed by Redditor TheSilentNumber in a series of threads submitted between December 25th and 29th, 2009. The inaugural meet up event was eventually held across at least two dozens of cities between June 19th and 25th, 2010, including one in downtown Los Angeles where it was attended by the co-founder of Reddit Alex Ohanian. The complete listing of meet up events was made available in a FAQ page.
The second annual weekend of meetup took place during the same weekend of June 25th in 2011, which resulted in a turnout of more than 196 regional meetups for 4,000 Redditors in 40 countries across the world. All of the regional events were organized through RedditGifts.com, which provided a directory of related threads for local events and a Google map displaying the time and location all planned meetups across the world.
The third annual event is scheduled to take place around the same time as the years before in late June 2012. As of June 25th, more than 477 local meetups have been arranged via RedditGifts.com.
Reddit has been known for its altruistic community that have participated in several charity events. On December 10th, 2010, a post was made by Redditor Denny-Crane outlining details about a holiday charity drive competition between the r/Christian and r/Atheism subreddits. The r/Islam subreddit ended up joining in as well, and according to an article on The Huffington Post the three communities managed to raise $45,000 combined (the atheists community raised the largest amount).
As of Dec. 16, the 105,587 members of the atheist group had raised $32,802 of their $42,000 goal. The Christian group, with 9,017 followers, had raised $11,443 toward its $12,000 goal. The Muslim group, with 2,224 followers, had raised $360 of its $5,000 goal.
In October of 2010, a story was posted to the site about how 7-year-old Kathleen Edward, who was dying of Huntington’s Disease, was harassed by her neighbors who made fun of her illness. Redditors responded by pooling together to buy the girl a shopping spree. Afterwards, Kathleen made a sign thanking the reddit community for their generosity.
The subreddit dedicated to non-nude photos of teenage girls r/jailbait has sparked several debates about whether or not it should exist on reddit. According to a Gawker article by Adrian Chen, the section was shutdown due to an “internal power struggle between moderators” on August 17th, 2011.
One of the most popular of these sections was Jailbait, with over 20,000 subscribers. Jailbait featured pictures of tween girls in various compromising positions, many apparently taken from social networking profiles without their knowledge. There were rules, like “please don’t post pictures of girls with tattoos”: “Generally, girls have to be of the age of consent to get a tattoo, so if she has a tattoo, she’s probably also of legal age, and therefore not jailbait.”
According to a followup article on Gawker, the subreddit was reinstated after problems with the moderators were resolved on September 1st, 2011. Reddit General Manager Erik Martin claimed that jailbait’s return was not a result of the move from Condé Nast to Advance Publications.
No, Martin said, “the two are completely unrelated.” In fact, Conde Nast was totally chill with Jailbait, despite an increasing amount of media coverage of it and other stomach-churning subsections dedicated to dead babies and beating women.
On September 30th, 2011, a thread titled “Anderson Cooper Accuses Reddit Of Spreading Child Pornography” was posted that linked to a YouTube clip of the CNN show Anderson Cooper 360 attacking the site’s subreddit and claiming it was essentially child pornography. Cooper read a statement from reddit CEO Eric Marden regarding the decision to not censor the subreddit.
Cooper contacted reddit CEO Eric Marden, who responded with the statement: “We’re a free speech site and the cost of that is there’s offensive stuff on there…Once we start taking down some things we find offensive, then we’re no longer a free speech site and no longer a platform for everyone. We’re exerting editorial control and that’s not what we are.”
Several pages worth of fan art can be found on the website deviantArt under the tag “#reddit.” Fan art often includes depictions of the reddit alien mascot.
As one of the most influential communities in facilitating the creation and proliferation of viral internet media, Reddit has been credited as the birthplace of many internet memes and its userbase recognized as a driving force in Internet trendsetting. Among the most notable memes from Reddit include popular Rage Comic characters like Yao Ming Face and Obama’s Not Bad Face, viral media celebrities such as Ridiculously Photogenic Guy and Overly Attached Girlfriend, as well as a variety of Advice Animal image macro series. For more comprehensive listings of internet memes that have originated from Reddit, check out KYM Tag – Origin:Reddit. For an index of notable memes that have been widely adopted by the userbase, browse KYM Tag – Tags:Reddit.
Mister Splashy Pants
Mister Splashy Pants is the nickname given to a humpback whale that was tracked via satellite by the environmental organization Greenpeace in 2007. The name was chosen after it won an online poll conducted by Greenpeace which garnered much attention from Reddit.
The Narwhal Bacons at Midnight
The Narwhal Bacons at Midnight is a catchphrase that was created for Redditors to identify themselves in public places. It is used in fanart, rage comics, and is often referenced as an inside joke in Reddit threads.
Waffles? Don’t You Mean Carrots?
“Waffles? Don’t You Mean Carrots?” is a non-sequitur phrase invented by a group of Redditors in order to stir confusion among other users of the site who had attended Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington D.C. in late October 2010.
Downvoting Roman is an image macro series featuring a stillshot of actor Joaquin Phoenix as Emperor Commodus in the 2000 epic film Gladiator. The image depicts a stone-faced Commodus giving a thumbs down and the overlaid text usually conveys dissatisfaction towards a post on a website or forum where a voting system is present, especially on Reddit.
Upvoting Obama is an image macro series featuring President Barack Obama with a beer giving a thumbs up while making a frown sturgeon face, which bears resemblance to one he wears in the Not Bad rage face. The images are primarily used on Reddit to express one’s approval of a post.
Aaron Swartz and #pdftribute
On January 11, 2013, Aaron Swartz – one of Reddit’s co-founders – committed suicide after dealing with legnthy legal proceedings over his alleged abuse of the MIT public internet system and alleged “hack” of JSTOR, a database of scholarly articles and journals. Swartz had been charged with accessing MIT’s network illegally through a non-public port in an unlocked closet, and then subsequently accessing JSTOR to download hundreds of articles in bulk to be read later. He faced 35 years in jail for his alleged crimes. The case had already elicited controversy – but MIT and JSTOR refused to press charges, and several experts were lined up to testify in Swartz’s favor.JSTOR later issued a statement expressing its regret over the tragedy. Following his death, a campaign was started on Twitter to encourage people to upload copyrighted articles to Google Docs or other public databases, and to then tweet the URL with the hashtag #pdftribute. A petition was also created, asking President Obama to remove Carmen Ortiz – the district attourney responsible for the Swartz case – from office.
Search queries for “reddit” have risen steadily since the site launched in 2005, and have yet to hit their highest spike as of September 30th, 2011.
The Huffington Post – Christians and Atheists Square Off In Online Battle To Raise Money For Charity
Urlesque – Kathleen Edward, Harassed Girl With Huntington’s Disease, Thanks Reddit":http://www.urlesque.com/2010/10/12/kathleen-edward-girl-with-huntingtons-disease-thanks-reddit/