Social Network Spotlight: Reddit

Reddit is a massive community of 250 million users built around the concepts of user-created posts and comments sorted by votes. Reddit is comprised of over 50,000 “subreddits,” which organize posts and comments into categories such as “world news” or “funny.” The subreddits are created by the community and can focus on any imaginable topic.

Pros

  • Seemingly endless possibilities for information on any topic
  • Wide community of thinkers and rich content
  • User-created content provides real opinions untainted by advertising
  • Easy to search and contribute
  • 18+ subreddits require approval, so adult content can be avoided actively

Cons

  • Contains numerous graphic subreddits with sexual adult content
  • Subreddits on topics such as beatingwomen, fatpeoplehate and watchpeopledie
  • Anonymity allows for the occurrence of unfiltered and abusive content
  • Difficult to supervise usage with such a large community

Tips for educators

  • Reddit is considered “the front page of the Internet,” so the content available is diverse as any source online.
  • Although there are numerous subreddits containing useful information, there are plenty of other resources online that will keep students safe from inappropriate content.
  • Signing up requires only a username and password and with that comes the pros and cons of anonymous accounts.
  • If Reddit is used as a resource, constant supervision is recommended.
  • Users do not need an account to view content.

Wrap up

Reddit is a free-speech haven and contains opinions from all over the world from people of all backgrounds. While this is an excellent resource for someone who wants to view the “front page of the internet,” for every subreddit with interesting and compelling content, there is another with potentially offensive or extremely graphic content.