Reddit? Let’s Get-it

Reddit’s platform allows everyone to find a place within a community to seek help, access memes, and connect with others.


Nancy Zuo, Staff Writer

Our society’s power stems from interacting with each other, yet this can be challenging when it comes to reaching out to individuals on Facebook or Instagram, wherein the power of connectivity is restricted to added “friends” or “followers.” Reddit is different: it streamlines the help process found in Yahoo Answers and Quora threads with close-knit communities that are open for the user populace. One glance at the constantly-changing Reddit front page at any point in the day reflects such cognitive simulation. Even without an account, users instantly have access to the latest news, trending memes, most provocative questions from r/AskReddit, and much more. While the limitless possibilities of the Reddit platform inevitably have byproducts called “toxic communities”, the benefits of Reddit outweigh the harms, and Reddit still serves as one of the best resources for information for students, educators, and experts.

Reddit is the middle ground between a social media and a question-asking platform. Like Quora, users can “upvote” posts so that they are more likely to be seen by others. Like YouTube, users can “subscribe” to certain communities, called “subreddits,” to view relevant posts on the home page. Within communities, moderators, admins, subscribers, and other users monitor posts to make sure that they are relevant. The forms of command are like a democratic government, run by the people and for the people, so the vast array of subreddits makes it easy for everyone to find a place to fit in. From r/MakeupAddiction for makeup enthusiasts to r/Tinder for funny relationship laughs to r/BayArea for relatable Bay Area Shen Yun memes, everyone can easily find a community to belong to. Unlike Yahoo Answers or Quora, Reddit successfully categorizes topics, and allows the questions and content to be shared on a Facebook-like timeline to view top posts from communities easily.

The subreddits on Reddit serve as great resources, making it the epitome of online networking. Through its global reach, the audience of Reddit users, or “Redditors,” has grown to include a vast number of experts in various fields. Users can access r/ApplyingtoCollege for college application advice, r/SAT for SAT practice problems, r/Relationships for anonymous intimacy-related issues for any age, and more—all completely free. In the subreddit r/ApplyingtoCollege, users (prefixed with a “u/”) like u/WilliamtheReader, students at universities, and alumni offer application advice and essay editing services. As a former college admissions officer, u/WilliamtheReader has extensive experience and offers unfiltered essay guidance unavailable anywhere else. Additionally, u/admissionsmom, a Moderator for r/ApplyingtoCollege, frequently comments on posts, and comments hotlines for those who are seeking help after experiencing difficult events.

In accordance with the Amendment 1, Reddit allows free speech, but with safety regulations such as censorship of age-inappropriate content. The multitude of interests among the user base include topics that are not suitable for every audience. Thus, NSFW (Not Suitable for Work) topics are censored, and users who wish to view these posts would have to further click on the post to view the content. Among users, individuals can block other users, downvote hate comments, and report content that is not appropriate. Downvoted comments become hidden so that users would have to further click to see it again, reducing exposure to content that most others do not want to see. Additionally, user’s content is monitored closely by subreddit moderators. As with other user-driven social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube, online conflicts are bound to happen when the user base is so large. The blame should not be driven to Reddit itself, rather, users should take precaution on the subreddits they follow and the content that others post.

Though Reddit’s interface has raised some concerns, this is because the media focuses on the extremes—the negative aspects that pique the interests of the audience. Rarely do the New York Times report on the positive sides of Facebook and Instagram. Who would want to read an article titled “Facebook is a Great Form of Social Media?” As with all forms of social media, I encourage users to give Reddit a try before forming an opinion based on one scandal among the millions of subreddits.