What is the Reddit app and is it appropriate for my child?
Here are 5 FACTS every parent needs to know about Reddit.
#1 Front Page of the Internet
Reddit is an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website.
The name “Reddit” is a play-on-words, as in: “I read it on Reddit.”
The website is comprised of user-generated content and discussions of this content in a bulletin board-like system.
There are three main types of posts you can create on Reddit:
- sharing a link
- posting a video
- posting an image.
Members then vote up or down this content. Posts are organized by subject into user-created boards called “subreddits”
The number of upvotes or downvotes determines the posts’ visibility on the site. Submissions with more up-votes appear towards the top of their subreddit and, if they receive enough up-votes, ultimately on the site’s front page.
Clicking on the title of a post will take you directly to that site and off the Reddit main site.
Reddit as a whole is governed by the “admins”. They are employees of Reddit who have vast powers across the site, including the ability to strip moderators of their privileges and even ban entire subreddits from the site.
There are more than 138,000 active subreddit communities. All subreddit names begin with “r/”.
By default, the front page displays the subreddit r/popular, featuring top-ranked posts across all of Reddit (excluding not-safe-for-work communities).
Other examples of subreddits are:
- r/science, a community devoted to discussing scientific topics
- r/television, a community devoted to discussing TV shows
- r/funny, boasting 26,239,736 posts, is one of the most popular amongst teens on the app
Anyone with a Reddit account can create a subreddit for any topic, as long as it stays within the site’s community guidelines. Moderators, who are volutneers, manage subreddits by editing the appearance of a particular subreddit, dictating what types of content are allowed, and even remove posts or content or ban users from the subreddit.
To find the subreddits that interest you, simply enter a topic in the search box in the upper-right-hand corner of the homepage and hit enter. Find the topic that interests you from a suggested list of subreddits and click on the green “subscribe” button.
#3 It’s Own Language
Like most online communities, Reddit has its own language.
There are 330 million Reddit users who call themselves “redditors”. These redditors tend to talk in abbreviations such as
OP = original poster
Mods = subreddit moderators
TIL = Today I learned
IAmA or AMA = Ask Me Anything
NSFW = Not Safe For Work
r/IAmA, which is the most popular community for AMAs is the eighth most popular subreddit on the site with 17.7 million subscribers. A few big names who have joined in on Reddit AMAs in the past are:
- Barach Obama
- Bill Gates
- Donald Trump
- Buzz Aldrin
“Reddiquette” is the commonly agreed upon behavior allowed on Reddit. Generally, self-promotion is discouraged as is submitting a lot of links very quickly. Therefore, joining Reddit with the intention to only post links to stories that benefit you in some way, could quickly flag you as a spammer and you might have your site privileges revoked.
“KARMA” is a reward system that Redditors can earn for their posts and comments. Your Karma reflects your standing within the community and contributions to Reddit.
#4 Premium Membership
Reddit Premium is the site’s membership program. According to the website, for $6 a month you get:
- access to features that regular users don’t get
- test out new features before they’re released to the wider Reddit community.
- no ads
- access to r/lounge, a super-secret subreddit where the brightest minds on Reddit assemble to engage in witty banter (or something)
- 700 Coins every month to spend on Awards.
Redditors can give awards to others to recognize and highlight posts they really enjoyed. These rewards cost Reddit Coins (500 coins for $1.99), which you can buy as a way of supporting the community.
Here’s a glimpse of what giving awards equates to:
100 coins: Shows a Silver Award on the post or comment and … that’s it.
500 coins: Gives the recipient a week of Reddit Premium (including 100 Coins) and shows a Gold Award on the post or comment.
1800 coins: Gives the recipient a month of Reddit Premium, which includes 700 Coins for that month, and shows a Platinum Award on the post or comment.
App Store: 17+
Google Play: Mature 17+
Brave Parenting: 17+
Reddit has banned sexual or suggestive content that shows minors, but there are no restrictions on other sexual content. Additionally, “adult only” subreddits have zero safeguards to prevent kids under 18 from viewing. It only takes one click to say they are 18 and can be watching porn within seconds. Also, while the links to news and information may be safe but, there’s no way to predict what users will say in their comments.
While the subreddit: r/funny or r/awww has funny memes and cute cat videos, the remaining content simply isn’t meant for young minds. If the app itself states an appropriate age of 17+, then Brave Parenting stands by that.