BCM · Categories · Media, Audience, Place

The Reddit Research Project


 The Interview:

Me: “What do you think about Reddit’s privacy policy?”

Redditor: “Well personally I like that they give you the option to remain anonymous if you want, it’s a welcome change from the other major sites that require like 8-step verification.”

Me: “So you’d say you’re pro-anonymity? Would you like to see other major sites take up that practice.”

Redditor: “ah I don’t think I want to see other sites do it, maybe less verification in general, but generally I don’t mind it, but that could also just be my complacency. I simply like that Reddit doesn’t require any verification at all to do anything on the site.”

As you can see, anonymity is definitely a core concern amongst this Redditor, it’s plain to see that this is something he/she has thought about before, or at least considered when signing up for Reddit.

Me: “What do you think about censorship on Reddit? What censorship are you aware of, if any?”

Redditor: “As far as I’m aware, smaller subreddits censor whatever they want in accordance to the rules of that subreddit, but bigger subs, like all the defaults are censored at a managerial level. I think generally, management of content is pretty good, and if ever there were an incident of censorship that was considered too harsh or not justifiable I know the community would speak up until facts about why it was censored were released or the post was put up again.”

Here we can see that while undue censorship is an issue sometimes, the perception is it’s either justified or quickly solved through community intervention.

Me: “How do you feel about getting information on a topic from Reddit?”

Redditor: “With mainstream topics it’s fine, like if you wanted to build yourself a desk or chair or something that has nothing to do with opinion, it’s quite easy to look up the answers you seek. But if you want to know something that’s niche, or that has some faint whiff of being opinion based, or something that usually requires qualifications to know, you have to get a secondary source on the info. Like I wouldn’t trust some dude who told me oh yeah you can definitely claim that on tax, or something like that. At least not without them providing proof. So yeah definitely need some secondary sources for important info.”

Here we can observe just how the average Redditor would go about obtaining information from the site, and the personal policies in place while looking.

Me: “Alright, how do you feel about cross-posting, or content duping?” (These are terms used to describe copied content)

Redditor: “To be completely honest, and I know every serious content producer out there is going to get mad, but I don’t really care. I know some people go nuts if you don’t accurately credit the original content or properly label it as a cross-post, but I just don’t care. It’s just not an issue because RES like deletes duplicate imgur links that you’ve already seen as well, so maybe that has to do with why I don’t see it happen that often.”

Here my opinions were challenged, through my use of Reddit I got the impression that absolutely everyone gets mad if you cross-post without labelling and copy content, but here we see your average user doesn’t value the source of the content that much. His use of RES (Reddit Enhancement Suite) is interesting to note, and the feature he mentioned that deletes duplicate links that have already been viewed from your homepage is obviously more powerful that I had imagined. I myself use RES as well, but I did not actively notice that feature.

Me: “Do you think the Reddit community has significant man-power? Or ‘do’-power if you like? That is if enough Redditors are committed enough to one cause they have the power to make a difference?

Redditor: “Absolutely the Reddit community has power, while the hug of death doesn’t happen all that often, there are plenty of other examples of the Reddit community coming together to make a difference. r/legal advice is one place to see law students and even fully accredited lawyers give out free advice to people who might need it. I can’t name like a specific example of it off the top of my head, but there are definitely large groups of people helping others in need of help on Reddit. I know sometimes Reddit can seem like a pretty toxic place, especially when it comes to stolen content, but there is definitely a nice side.


Anon, (2016). Mental Health Discourse on reddit: Self-disclosure, Social Support, and Anonymity. [online] Available at: https://www.sushovan.de/research/reddit-icwsm.pdf [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016].

Apple-xs-1.scmp.mq.edu.au. (2016). Scan | Journal of Media Arts Culture. [online] Available at: http://apple-xs-1.scmp.mq.edu.au/scn/journal/vol10number2/Emily-van-der-Nagel.html [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016].

Bergstrom, K. (2016). “Don’t feed the troll”: Shutting down debate about community expectations on Reddit.com. [online] Firstmonday.org. Available at: http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3498/3029 [Accessed 10 Nov. 2016].

D’Onfro, J. (2016). Reddit CEO Resigns Because Of A Disagreement About A New Office. [online] Business Insider. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/reddit-ceo-resigns-2014-11?r=US&IR=T [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016].

Duggan, M. and Smith, A. (2016). 6% of Online Adults are reddit Users. [online] Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/07/03/6-of-online-adults-are-reddit-users/ [Accessed 10 Nov. 2016].

Johnson, B. (2016). Privacy no longer a social norm, says Facebook founder. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2010/jan/11/facebook-privacy [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016].

Leavitt, A. (2016). “This is a Throwaway Account”. [online] Available at: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2675175&CFID=693201586&CFTOKEN=38175847 [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016].

Singer, P., Flöck, F., Meinhart, C., Zeitfogel, E. and Strohmaier, M. (2014). Evolution of reddit. Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web – WWW ’14 Companion, pp.517-522.

Smith, C. (2016). 60 Amazing Reddit Statistics. [online] DMR. Available at: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/reddit-stats/ [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016].


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