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Reddit is one of the internet’s premiere places for the latest news, memes, and anything else you can think of. While you can get plenty out of Reddit just by browsing, after some time you may decide it’s time to create an account and actually get involved.
Before you start posting, though, it’s a good idea to go over some basic rules of Reddit etiquette for the site—often called “Reddiquette.” Let’s talk about some of the things not to do on Reddit. Avoid them, and you’ll be on your way to a more pleasant experience.
1. Don’t Jump in Right Away
If you haven’t browsed around Reddit much, we don’t recommend you start submitting content right away. You should first have a look around the site to get a feel for how it works, check out the rules for your favorite subreddits, and see what kinds of Reddit posts hit the front page.
After some time looking around, reading the rest of these tips, and catching up on Reddit’s FAQ, you should be better equipped to start posting.
2. Don’t Beg for Upvotes
To decide which posts are the best, Reddit allows users to upvote or downvote content. Obviously, the posts with the best scores rise to the top. However, this must happen organically.
Starting your post with “Upvote this if…” or including phrases like “Can we get this to the front page?” are not allowed. As the warning says when you create a new post, doing so is a “violation of intergalactic law.” Doing so will likely result in a moderator removing your post.
Instead, submit content that’s interesting on its own with a clever title, and upvotes will come naturally. And if they don’t, then your fellow Redditors have deemed your content not good enough.
3. Don’t Repost Content
A common issue on Reddit is reposting—sharing content that’s not new. Sometimes people do this in order to signal boost great content. After all, not everyone is online at the same time, so you might miss one of the highest-rated Reddit posts. This type of reposting is acceptable at times, but there’s another, worse type.
Many reposts involve people simply stealing someone else’s picture or video and pretending it’s their own. They wait a few months after a post goes viral, and share it again (sometimes with the exact same title). Often these receive a lot of upvotes again, but you’ll see people calling out the repost in the comments. The above is an example.
Don’t bother with reposts. It’s better to share fresh content than trying to repeat past successes.
4. Don’t Leave Worthless Comments
Reddit comments are the place to dive deeper into the linked article, make jokes about the image, or go completely off-topic in a long thread. All of these are fine, but you should avoid low-quality comments.
Leaving comments like “this”, “lol”, or “Came here to say this” are tired and not at all useful. You can show your agreement with a comment by upvoting it; only leave a comment if you have something worthwhile to say.
5. Don’t Downvote Content You Disagree With
It makes sense that you should upvote content you think is solid. But the downvote button is often misunderstood. It’s not intended as an “I disagree” button. Rather, you should only ever downvote content that’s low-quality, off-topic, or otherwise shouldn’t be on Reddit.
So if you click a link and it goes to a spammy site, downvote it. If a post doesn’t follow the rules of the subreddit, downvote it. But don’t just downvote because you don’t personally agree with the article or content being shared.
6. Don’t Self-Promote
For the most part, Reddit despises self-promotion. As it’s designed as a place where you can share cool online content you’ve found, putting in your own content is frowned upon. Thus, you should avoid submitting links to your own website or YouTube channel, or promoting a cause you’re personally involved with.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t share anything of your own on Reddit. You’ll find several subreddits dedicated to sharing your artistic work, such as /r/ITookAPicture and /r/MusicCritique. But in general, don’t post just to drive clicks to your own content.
7. Don’t Share Anyone’s Personal Info
Reddit is open to nearly all content, but it’s never OK to share someone else’s personal information (doxing), or posts links to such info. If you post a screenshot of social media, blur out people’s names and profile pictures. Avoid linking to someone’s Instagram page if you recognize them in a picture on Reddit.
Your intentions may be innocent (or accidental), but you never know who could end up finding that post and harassing the person.
8. Don’t Be a Jerk
It’s tempting to speak rudely on Reddit, especially with the level of anonymity involved. However, it’s wise to remember that there’s a person behind every username you interact with.
While you don’t have to agree with everyone, you should try to avoid being vicious, overly critical, or similarly negative. Nothing on Reddit is worth ruining someone’s day over. And if you find the site toxic overall, check out the kindest Reddit communities for something a little more positive.
Reddit Etiquette Explained
In this article, we’ve looked at what you must avoid doing on Reddit to improve your experience a well as the overall quality of the site. After all, Reddit is nothing without its users commenting and submitting content, so how you behave on the site matters a great deal. Most longtime Reddit users should already know these rules, but it’s always good to have a refresher.
Now that we’ve got the serious business out of the way, for some fun, check out these awful Reddit posts you won’t believe became popular.
Image Credit: billiondigital/Depositphotos