What is reddit?
Reddit is a source for what’s new and popular on the web.
Users like you provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what’s good () and what’s junk ().
Links that receive community approval bubble up towards #1, so the front page is constantly in motion and (hopefully) filled with fresh, interesting links.
What does the name “reddit” mean?
It’s (sort of) a play on words — i.e., “I read it on reddit.” Also, there are some unintentional but interesting Latin meanings to the word “reddit”.
What is that alien / bug thing?
That adorable and informative creature is the mascot for the reddit community. It is also a registered trademark owned by reddit. You can visit redditalien.com for an archive of his past adventures.
Can anyone submit a link?
Yes — all you need is an account! However, there is a cap on how many things you can post per time increment, this is to prevent spamming. This restriction is the same for both reddit gold members and non-gold members.
Continue reading more below, or click the button to get an account today…
How is a submission’s score determined?
A submission’s score is simply the number of upvotes minus the number of downvotes. If five users like the submission and three users don’t it will have a score of 2. Please note that the vote numbers are not “real” numbers, they have been “fuzzed” to prevent spam bots etc. So taking the above example, if five users upvoted the submission, and three users downvote it, the upvote/downvote numbers may say 23 upvotes and 21 downvotes, or 12 upvotes, and 10 downvotes. The points score is correct, but the vote totals are “fuzzed”.
Why does a dot sometimes show up where the score should be?
For the first few hours after a submission is created, the score is not displayed. This is intended to mitigate the bandwagon effect.
I made a mistake in my submission title, how can I edit it?
Submission titles cannot be edited. However, you can simply delete it and resubmit it. The sooner you do this, the less likely you will lose any votes or comments.
What is that number next to usernames? And what is karma?
The number next to a username is called that user’s “karma.” It reflects how much good the user has done for the reddit community. The best way to gain karma is to submit links that other people like and vote for, though you won’t get karma for self posts.
Why should I try to accumulate karma?
Why should you try to score points in a video game? Why should your favorite sports team try to win the championship?
Or, to look at things from a less competitive and more altruistic perspective, read what philosophers have said about the matter – namely, don’t set out to accumulate karma; just set out to be a good person, and let your karma simply be a reminder of your legacy. Note: Reddit makes no guarantees about attaining Nirvana.
Update: A redditor named jumpercable tried to redeem his karma. See how it went (your mileage may vary).
What can I do to get my submissions noticed?
Remember that adage about not judging a book by its cover? No one actually follows it. So choose your title carefully — make it useful, provide context, and be descriptive. Be careful though, if you’re too aggressive it could backfire. Phrases like, “Vote this up to spread the word!” or “AMAZING!” tend to annoy most redditors, who will make sure your post doesn’t see the light of day.
Why don’t my submissions show up on the New page?
I don’t know. They really should. Maybe your account has been blocked for some reason.
Is reddit available in languages other than English?
Yes! In the upper-right corner of the page, there should be a link that says, “English”. Click it and you’ll get a popup where you can change to another language.
I want to change my username. Do I have to start a new account?
Yes. Once a user account is created, the username cannot be edited. You can create a new user profile but cannot migrate karma, comment karma or trophies to the new username.
Will you remove something defamatory about me or “my friend” from reddit?
In light of the protections afforded to online hosts of third party content, such as reddit, we rarely remove such material, but we reserve the right to do so for legal or other reasons.
Please note that reddit does not remove posts for containing insults or negative commentary, but leaves such decisions to the moderators of particular communities. Those moderators are not employees of or retained by reddit‚ they are the persons who initiated the particular community and their appointees. While posts that contain such content can be distasteful, reddit is not in a position to arbitrate disputes. Posts should be consistent with the rules of the community to which they are posted.
The best way to deal with incorrect information on the Internet is to post the correct information next to it. The reddit community is usually very supportive of such a response, and will likely vote to give the correction greater prominence than the original post. Redditors love a good counterpoint.
Is posting personal information ok?
NO. Reddit is a pretty open and free speech place, but it is not ok to post someone’s personal information, or post links to personal information. This includes links to public Facebook pages and screenshots of Facebook pages with the names still legible. We all get outraged by the ignorant things people say and do online, but witch hunts and vigilantism hurt innocent people and certain individual information, including personal info found online is often false. Such posts or comments may be removed by moderators or admins. Repeated offenders may be banned. Posting professional links to contact a congressman or the CEO of some company is probably fine, but don’t post anything inviting harassment, don’t harass, and don’t cheer on or vote up obvious vigilantism.
Is posting political campaign information ok?
Yes. Reddit does not discriminate among candidates or differing political viewpoints in any way, nor does it discriminate between political and non-political topics. Reddit’s terms of service require all users not to violate any law, statute or regulation in the course of their use. Reddit provides its basic service to all users without charge and its provision of basic services for free is not a contribution to any candidate, political committee, or political party committee. Reddit does not control links to political sites, does not endorse them, and is not responsible for any aspects of those sites.
Which staff member should I write to if I have a problem or question?
- Erik is our general manager and nerd herder. He has an awesome dog named Mog who can often be found around the office.
- Jason is our senior sysadmin, and when he’s not busy saving the internets and putting out melting servers, you can probably find him browsing /r/starcraft sans cape.
- Neil is our lead programmancer with a focus on tools and the backend, likes /r/doctorwho, and has an epic beard.
- Brian is one of our backend programmers. He likes to browse /r/all, /r/woahdude, and has an unhealthy passion for Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Max is a developer with a focus on the frontend. He just turned 21, so he’s legal now, ladies! He enjoys /r/AskScience, /r/starcraft, and /r/IAmA.
- Logan is a front and backend programmer who will take you for a spin on his sportbike between /r/motorcycle browsing sessions.
- Keith is a programmer working on fixing the tiny annoyances and perhaps making search slightly less awful. He might be found in /r/Python or /r/Games
- Kristine is our self-serve advertising guru, and a direct community helpline. She spends entirely too much time browsing /r/LadyBoners.
- Ricky is a sysadmin and our personal puertoricano pyromaniac pilot. The best days for him involve home made sangria, wrangling servers, and plenty of small fires.
- Jeff is a part time developer and pixel ranger. He works on our mobile site, among other projects, and is a big fan of rage comics.
- Alexis is our part time advisor, and also a co-founder who complains about how hard life used to be back when he had to draw each pixel of the reddit alien every single morning, by hand, in the snow.
- For anything else, see the “Anything we didn’t cover?” question.
I want to make something with the reddit alien on it. Whom do I contact?
We have a whole page on licensing.
What do all of these acronyms mean?
Well there are a lot of acronyms in use on reddit, so this is just a list of some of the main ones you’ll see.
- ELI5 means “Explain like I’m 5 (years old)”
- DAE means “Does anybody else” or “Does anyone else”
- FTFY means “Fixed that for you”
- IAMA means “I am a”
- AMA means “Ask me anything”
- TL;DR means “Too long; Didn’t read”
- IANAL means “I am not a lawyer”
- TIL means “Today I learned”
- YSK means “You should know”
- NSFW means “Not safe for work” (sexual content)
- NSFL means “Not safe for life” (gory or gross content)
- IMO/IMHO means “In my opinion” and “In my humble opinion”, respectively
Is there a reference guide for the reddit comment syntax?
Yes — the commenting help page explains all the details, pitfalls, and workarounds.
What does it mean when an asterisk appears next to a comment?
This just means that the commenter has edited it. (On reddit, you can go back and edit your comments in order to fix mistakes, add new information, or be annoying.)
How is a comment’s score determined?
According to the same principles as a submission’s score.
A comment’s score is simply the number of upvotes minus the number of downvotes. If five users like the comment and three users don’t it will have a score of 2. Please note that the vote numbers are not “real” numbers, they have been “fuzzed” to prevent spam bots etc. So taking the above example, if five users upvoted the comment, and three users downvote it, the upvote/downvote numbers may say 23 upvotes and 21 downvotes, or 12 upvotes, and 10 downvotes. The points score is correct, but the vote totals are “fuzzed”.
What are reddits?
Reddit is made up of hundreds of sub-communities, each focused on a specific topic. There’s a reddit for science, a reddit for music, and probably a reddit for your nearest city. By default, new users are subscribed to a selection of the most popular ones, but you’ll get a lot more enjoyment out of the site if you take the time to subscribe to ones that appeal to you. After doing so, the front page will change to show a customized listing tailored to your interests.
How can I find and subscribe to reddits?
There are several ways. If you already know what you’re looking for, or simply want to browse the list in order of popularity, the reddit search page will be most direct. There are also a number of external, unofficial but authorized sites that provide different interfaces, e.g. metareddit.com, subredditfinder.com, subreddits.org. To see new reddits as they’re created, subscribe to the subreddit /r/newreddits. Finally, to find a random reddit, visit /r/random.
You can browse a reddit before subscribing to it, and if you decide to join, there’s a “+frontpage” link on the right side of every page. If you’re already subscribed you can click “-frontpage” to unsubscribe.
How many reddits can I subscribe to?
You may subscribe to as many reddits as you like! However, on any given visit, your frontpage will only select up to 50 reddits to show you (100 for gold users). This selection is refreshed every 30 minutes. When you view the ‘MY REDDITS’ dropdown, you are seeing only the current 50 selected. The only place to see *all* the reddits you are subscribed to is here.
Do any reddits have their own FAQs?
Yes — you can see the list at http://www.reddit.com/help/faqs
What is a moderator?
A moderator is just a regular redditor like you except with a few humble duties within a particular community:
- They configure parameters for the community, like what its description should be or whether it should be considered “Over 18″.
- They set the custom logo and styling, if any.
- They can mark their own links or comments as the community moderator’s submission, which just adds an “[M]” and turns their name green.
- They can remove links and comments from their community if they find them objectionable or off topic.
- They can ban a spammer or other abusive user from submitting to their community. (This has no effect elsewhere on the site).
- They can add other users as moderators.
Again, moderators have no special powers outside of the community they moderate, and are not appointed by reddit.
Why does reddit need moderation? Can’t you just let the voters decide?
The reason there are separate reddits is to allow niche communities to form, instead of one monolithic overall community. These communities distinguish themselves through their policies: what’s on- and off-topic there, whether people are expected to behave civilly or can feel free to be brutal, etc.
The problem is that casual, new, or transient visitors to a particular community don’t always know the rules that tie it together.
As an example, imagine a /r/swimming and a /r/scuba. People can read about one topic or the other (or subscribe to both). But since scuba divers like to swim, a casual user might start submitting swimming links on /r/scuba. And these stories will probably get upvoted, especially by people who see the links on the reddit front page and don’t look closely at where they’re posted. If left alone, /r/scuba will just become another /r/swimming and there won’t be a place to go to find an uncluttered listing of scuba news.
The fix is for the /r/scuba moderators to remove the offtopic links, and ideally to teach the submitters about the more appropriate /r/swimming reddit.
What if the moderators are bad?
In the few cases where a moderator has lost touch with their community, someone has created a competing community which quickly siphoned off subscribers and become the new dominant one. The fear of this has tended to keep moderators in check in the past.
If you see a problem, try contacting the moderator first to see if it’s just a simple misunderstanding. If you don’t like the response you receive, you can escalate to a higher moderator. If the moderator in question is the top moderator (and is probably that sub-reddit’s creator) then the best you can do is appeal to the other, lower, mods to help you out. If that doesn’t work then consider the situation properly before making a self-post about what happened. What has this moderator done wrong? Does he/she really deserve to be called out on this, risking a witch-hunt against him/her? Try to avoid creating a post about the situation, chances are the moderator isn’t actually bad, but has a different perspective to you and is just doing his/her job.
How do you get to be a moderator?
If you create a reddit, you will automatically become its moderator. If you’d like to become a moderator of an existing reddit, ask one of the community’s moderators! It’s mostly a thankless task, though, but that does mean that moderators are usually looking for
How can I tell who moderates a given reddit?
While visiting that reddit’s front page, there should be a box on the right with the names of all its moderators. If you can’t find it, just go to http://reddit.com/r/<name-of-reddit>/about/moderators directly.
Spam, Cheating, and the Like
Is it okay to create multiple accounts?
Yes, you can create multiple/throwaway accounts as long as you do not do so to ghost vote your own submissions.
Why isn’t my submission / comment showing up?
Submissions can take a few minutes to appear on the New queue. But it’s also possible that a moderator deemed your post to be spam — or the automatic filtering program did. If you feel this was a mistake, try sending a message to a moderator of the reddit in question. If they do not respond after a day or so, post a question in /r/help.
What is the “report” button?
The report button, shown on all links and comments, is a way for the reddit community to send feedback to the moderators that something is spam or otherwise violates the rules — for example, pornographic content submitted to a non-adult reddit, or a .PDF posted to /r/videos. If your reason for reporting is non-obvious, please leave a reply or send a message to a moderator explaining your reasoning.
You can also report spam by submitting the offending user’s overview page to the /r/reportthespammers subreddit, upvoting if an entry already exists.
What happens when something gets reported?
It will be reviewed, either by a person or a program. The more people who report it, the more likely some action will be taken. Reporting spam is the single most important thing a user can do to help keep reddit clean.
What constitutes cheating?
Besides spam, the other big no-no is to try to manipulate voting by any means: manual, mechanical, or otherwise. We’re not going to post an exhaustive list of forbidden tactics (lest we give people ideas), but the two major ones are:
- Don’t use shill or multiple accounts, voting services, or any other software to increase votes for submissions
- Don’t be part of a “voting clique”
A voting clique is a group of people who send links to their submissions around via message, IM, or any other means, with the expectation of “you guys vote for my stuff and I’ll vote for yours.”
Cheating will result in your account being banned. Don’t do it.
What constitutes spam?
It’s a gray area, but some rules of thumb:
- It’s not strictly forbidden to submit a link to a site that you own or otherwise benefit from in some way, but you should sort of consider yourself on thin ice. So please pay careful attention to the rest of these bullet points.
- If you spend more time submitting to reddit than reading it, you’re almost certainly a spammer.
- If your contribution to Reddit consists mostly of submitting links to a site(s) that you own or otherwise benefit from in some way, and additionally if you do not participate in discussion, or reply to peoples questions, regardless of how many upvotes your submissions get, you are a spammer.
- If people historically downvote your links or ones similar to yours, and you feel the need to keep submitting them anyway, they’re probably spam.
- If people historically upvote your links or ones like them — and we’re talking about real people here, not sockpuppets or people you asked to go vote for you — congratulations! It’s almost certainly not spam. But we’re serious about the “not people you asked to go vote for you” part.
- If nobody’s submitted a link like yours before, give it a shot. But don’t flood the new queue; submit one or two times and see what happens.
To play it safe, write to the moderators of the community you’d like to submit to. They’ll probably appreciate the advance notice. They might also set community-specific rules that supersede the ones above. And that’s okay — that’s the whole point of letting people create their own reddit communities and define what’s on topic and what’s spam.
Anything we didn’t cover?
If you have a question that isn’t answered here, you can get near-instant assistance by posting on the /r/help reddit. We also have a list of press contacts available, and a page for those looking to advertise on reddit. If you’re new to reddit and want some more information on interesting reddits, confusing acronyms and so on, try this post.