What the Tech? What parents should know about Reddit

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It’s maybe the biggest website you’ve never heard of, or never visited. You should though.

It’s called “Reddit” and it’s widely considered the front page of the internet. Yet, most every parent I talk to say they’ve never been on it, or they think it’s dangerous.

Simply put, you can find anything on Reddit. The site’s been around since 2005. Users post news, videos, thoughts, jokes. There’s also quite a lot of not-safe-for-work content. Nudity, language, but that’s just a small part of what you’ll see here. 

Open the website or the Reddit app and you’ll see what’s new and what’s popular at the moment. Users can upvote posts which drives them to the top of the feed. This is why viral videos often show up on Reddit before you see them anywhere else.

Content is moderated by users, administrators, moderators, and bots. If a post violates Reddit’s Content Policy, it is removed. Most of the time, rather quickly.

There are also sub-reddits to make it easy to find what you’re looking for and there’s a sub for everything. Popular subreddits are “funny”, “Today I learned”, and something called “Earth Porn”, which is a community of landscape photographers who post incredible photos of nature. There’s “Idiots in Cars” with loads of dash-cam footage, There was an attempt: people failing in everyday tasks.

Other popular s/reddits are:  “Hold My Beer,” “Hold my Cosmo,”, “Hold my Juicebox,” and “Ask Reddit.”

There are also “AMA’s” or Ask Me Anything, where former President Obama answered questions for a half hour.

What’s most refreshing about Reddit is how people treat each other in the comments. Rarely do I see a nasty exchange among users. I know people will disagree with me, but comments on posts that I see on popular posts are civil. That isn’t to say they’re PG, there’s quite a supply of “F-words” from users.

All that being said, if you stick to the home page and popular posts, there isn’t anything inherently bad about Reddit. It’s like the internet as a whole. Kids and anyone can find most anything they search for. Reddit is not intended for users under the age of 13, but that doesn’t stop someone from lying about their age. Just like with any of the other sites.

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