Reddit proves its worth more with each passing day. As a source of entertainment, information, knowledge, memes, and LOLs, it is unrivalled in terms of the sheer scope of content it offers to the casual Web user. Which is why it totally deserves its place on the list of seven websites we could not live without.
You don’t even have to join Reddit to enjoy the various pleasures it has to offer. But becoming a registered user means you can actively get involved in the discussions on the site rather than merely sitting on the sidelines imagining the kinds of wry comments you would be making if only you had joined.
Reddit isn’t a place for the faint of heart, but it doesn’t take long before you start to feel at home. And then start commenting, submitting content, and generally living up to your billing as a Redditor. It’s at this point that you’ll start to build Karma, the points system Reddit uses to assess the contributions everyone is making.
You gain Karma by posting good content and making good comments. However, you can also lose points, which may result in you acquiring negative Karma. Not that it really matters much – after all, Karma cannot be exchanged for goodies – but losing it can lead to you having a bad name, which is not a fun experience in a community such as Reddit.
With that in mind we offer you a short guide on how to keep your Karma. In other words, these are the things not to do on Reddit if you want to keep your good name intact. Think of this as the second stage of your Reddit education, following on from the survival tips for your first day.
Don’t….Go Against The Grain
The Internet has bred a feeling that everybody should give their opinions on everything, whether or not those opinions are sought. On social networks this could see you losing friends, as you see fit to condemn or belittle other people’s views on politics, religion, or how to bring up children.
On Reddit the result is quite different. By going against the grain – airing views contrary to those shared by the majority – you won’t lose friends but you will lose Karma. It is, therefore, a good idea to only pipe up when you have something positive to say.
You should also pay close attention to which subreddit you’re commenting in. In /r/atheism a comment condoning extreme religious beliefs won’t go down well. In /r/tea_party a comment supporting liberal politicians will be roundly shunned. It’s common sense, but it’s often ignored.
Many of the best online memes originate on Reddit. Even if they don’t then they will likely have made an appearance on the site by the time you spot it on the Web. Blindly posting that meme, or funny picture, or movie quote, or unmissable video, to Reddit without first checking if it’s fresh will lead to a loss of Karma.
Search Reddit before you post anything. If the content you have in mind has already been posted then leave it well alone. Reposting content will, at the very least, see you called out for doing so, though you may be lucky and just get a simple “Repost!” rather than a nasty, expletive-laden comment comparing your mom to a moose.
While browsing Reddit you will inevitably see content you want to comment on. You may instantly conjure up a funny quip you think will get upvoted into the stratosphere. You click through and read the existing comments and notice someone beat you to it.
Don’t then repeat the comment. It clearly wasn’t all that original to begin with, and someone got in there before you. That’s hard luck. Upvote them for not only having the same thought as you but for being quicker than you in opening the thread and writing it out.
Don’t….Use The Wrong Subreddit
As mentioned previously, an essential element of being a Reddit user is knowing which subreddit you’re inhabiting at any time. This rings even more true when it comes to posting content than it does to posting comments.
Each subreddit has rules regarding the type of submissions the moderators will accept and what they will delete. Even if a mod lets your submission stay, posting it in the wrong subreddit will likely lead to a raft of comments that weren’t exactly what you were expecting.
Don’t….Get Caught Lying
As with every social network and community-based website on the Internet it’s possible to craft a new identity on Reddit. You don’t have to be who you are in real life, or reveal the actual opinions you hold in your mind. You can lie and tell untruth after untruth.
You can also get caught. And that could bring you a whole heap of trouble. Redditors are not generally Internet n00bs, and they can therefore spot liars a mile off. They can then make life very uncomfortable for those lying to the community, and any Karma you had built to that point could be obliterated.
Don’t….Get Caught Trolling
There are trolls everywhere, though we have tried to help guard against them by providing a toolkit against online trolls. Reddit is no exception, and it’s very easy to fall into the trap of becoming a troll yourself. After all, no one knows who you are or whether you actually believe the stuff you’re spouting.
That may be so, but as stated already, Reddit users weren’t born yesterday. Many have been active on Internet forums for years and can spot a troll from a considerable distance. If you consistently troll Reddit then you will get caught and your comments will get downvoted into insignificance.
Don’t….Ignore The Rules
Reddit has rules, lots and lots of rules. As well as the main rules that apply across the whole site, each subreddit also has its own set of rules that must be adhered to at all times. Failing to do so will result in moderators deleting your content or your comments, or result in other Redditors voting you down.
If you want to keep hold of all that lovely Karma you have previously built up then don’t be the troublemaker that goes out of their way to make up their own rules as they see fit. You could, of course, create an alt account, but that’s also frowned upon.
Please remember that this is a list of things NOT to do…if you took these words of wisdom as an instruction for what TO do you’d have a rough ride on Reddit. And I suspect your Karma would hit negative figures before long. Still, it could be a fun experiment to see how quickly you could get your current Karma levels back to zero. Don’t do it!
What do you think of Reddit? Do you think there are too many rules in place for posting and commenting on the site? Are there any unofficial rules you have placed on yourself when using Reddit? Perhaps as a result of a bad experience in the past? As always we’d love to hear your views in the comments section below.
Image Credit: Alan Turkus
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