subreddit

[suhb-red-it]

What does subreddit mean?

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subreddit is a specific online community, and the posts associated with it, on the social media website Reddit. Subreddits are dedicated to a particular topic that people write about, and they're denoted by /r/, followed by the subreddit's name, e.g., /r/gaming.

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Examples of subreddit

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Examples of subreddit
Dracula goes on the incel subreddit and makes a thread after getting turned down "WHAT IS A MAN?"
@Musicedge2, October 2018
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Two weeks ago, a user named WeHaveAllBeenThere went to the “Find a Reddit” group in search of a place “where you post a picture of the inside of your refrigerator and people guess how old you are or what your job is.” Within an hour, someone had created a subreddit called Fridge Detective, and in the thirteen days since twelve thousand more sleuths have signed on to examine, in minute detail, the interiors of one another’s refrigerators.
Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, October 2018

Where does subreddit come from?

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Launched in 2005, Reddit (a play on the phrase I read it on the internet) is a massively popular hub for online discussion on seemingly endless topics. The subreddit is the heart of what makes Reddit…well, Reddit. Sub- is a prefix meaning “under,” so we can imagine subreddits as communities that fall under that broader Reddit umbrella.

Subreddits are notated as /r/subreddit name. Users log onto Reddit and receive a news feed from the subreddits they’re subscribed to. Each subreddit acts as its own forum. The first two subreddits to exist were /r/reddit and /r/NSFW. (Because of course NSFW.) Users were allowed to make their own subreddits beginning in 2008.

To create your own subreddit, or “community” as Reddit calls them, you click on the button on the website that says Create your own subreddit. There are rules to make sure you are an active user before you can create a subreddit. Once created, subreddits can’t be deleted by users, only closed down by Reddit administrators.

Reddit

As of June 2018, there were over 850,000 subreddits on everything under the sun, from movies to motivation tips. That goes to show just how popular the website is. Some subreddits have boosted the website’s reach, in particular /r/AMA (Ask Me Anything), where celebrities and other public figures submit themselves to questioning by Redditors.

Another notable subreddit is /r/AskReddit, where people crowdsource Redditors for their answers to various questions, and on /r/aww, people post cute pictures and stories (usually of animals). There’s even a subreddit for helping you find subreddits on a topic you find interesting: /r/findareddit. Cool, right?

Some subreddits have proven controversial—and have been banned. The subreddits r/incel, for instance, was dedicated to incels, men who blame women for their sexual failings. The community was banned for promoting violence and hate speech against women and has been associated with men who have committed mass shootings, such as Elliot Rodger, who perpetrated the 2014 Isla Vista shootings. Other banned subreddits including r/beatingwomen and r/gunsforsale because, well, just look at their subreddit names.

One subreddit that often comes under fire is a pro-Donald Trump community, r/The_Donald, which has been accused of promoting white supremacy.

/r/Dataisbeautiful

Who uses subreddit?

Subreddits are not only a place for (and congregation of) people interested in the same niche or bizarre stuff you are, but they’re fountains of new information. Whether it’s a peek into a new way of life (or into someone’s fridge like on /r/FridgeDetective) or some cute pictures to brighten your work day, there’s a subreddit to pique your interest.

When posting to a personal subreddit like /r/relationships, some people will use a throwaway account, then use another account for posting on their other subreddits. You don’t have to post to enjoy a particular subreddit, though. There’s no harm in simply lurking.

Specific subreddits such as /r/mildlyinteresting and /r/redpill, are often mentioned on websites like VICE and HuffPost for their influence on internet and the broader culture. There are also unofficial contests in publications to see who can find the creepiest, strangest subreddits. Many ranked lists of the best ones appear on the likes of Gawker, Lifehacker, and more.

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