Reddit, Ready to Get Rid of It

Nikoo Alizadeh, Staff Writer

When most people think of Reddit, they think of the memes, funny stories, advice, and comments on controversial ideas. This is often how Youtubers depict themselves as well. While there are good and bad sides to all social media platforms, Reddit seems to have tipped completely into a negative environment recently. Reddit is toxic because there is very little regulation of the content that is posted, which can be dangerous for people, and also put teens at risk by affecting their mental health.

Many people complain that there is quite a lot of hateful content on Reddit, and that moderators are slow at deleting the comments that go against their guidelines. With platforms like Reddit, there comes a lot a people that are confident and feel more entitled while commenting under their username. There are many subreddits where people can freely share their opinions; however, many people choose to utilize these forums to scrutinize and bicker over their conflicting ideas rather than having a healthy debate. Some users also make very hateful, racist, or misogynist comments. A subreddit called “Fat People Hate” targeted and harassed overweight individuals. In other subreddits, some users have supported domestic violence and made comments about how women should not be given the right to vote because they are too emotional. Leaked information such as phone numbers, addresses, and nude photographs of celebrities have also been posted on Reddit. People with these intentions shouldn’t be allowed to be on Reddit, and even with the moderators regulating the website, many still come back with different usernames.

Reddit can also be dangerous for many different groups of people. Many pedophiles lurk on Reddit, and some other users post inappropriate sexual content. In a subreddit called “Jailbait,” users posted pictures of underage girls, and in the subreddit “CreepShots” sexual pictures of women were leaked. Is it really worth keeping this platform if it can put the lives of so many individuals at risk? Surprisingly enough, the group of individuals that can be affected the most are those who use the site the most. In 2016, Reddit revealed that 64 percent of its user base consisted of individuals from the age of 18 to 29, and it’s fair to assume that the majority of people within that category are actually under the age of 18, considering that you have to be 18 years old to be able to sign up. While it is not really smart to be interacting with strangers online,  that kind of toxic environment where people are being hurtful, rude, and sometimes even aggressive can really have an impact on a teen’s mental health. A study published in “Computers in Human Behavior” says that teens who are on these types of social media platforms have a higher risk of developing depression.

Some say that people have the right to free speech, and should be able to post whatever they want. Although this is true, social media platform regulators need to draw the line somewhere so that it’s content does not potentially put anyone in danger. Others, especially teens going into college, argue that Reddit can be useful because they can ask questions, and get advice from others. People can get help on a multitude of other sites that are actually made to help students. Sites like Quora are designed for students to get answers from experts about almost every subject. There are many more reputable and trustworthy websites that people can get their homework help or college tips on, and simultaneously prevent hate speech or pedophiles from sharing inappropriate information.