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Reddit and Karma Explained
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Welcome to Reddit!

This unofficial guide to starting out at Reddit was written by u/llamageddon01 and is designed to take you from complete beginner through to experienced Redditor! This version was completely revised in July/August 2023.

There are two versions of this resource, both carrying the same information but in different formats:

This is intended to be a full “Reddit for Dummies” type tutorial and I don’t expect you to read it through all at once! But quite honestly, parts 1-6 of this guide will take you from “kindergarten” level through to “graduate” level of Reddit by the time you read it all, and the final parts 7 and 8 will contain useful guides and information you will no doubt need at some stage of your Redditing so do keep coming back to it.

If you wish to share r/NewToReddit guides please link to them. You may of course share excerpts within reason, but please link back to us as credit and so the person you are helping can find us and the rest of our guides if they wish to. Thank you.

 

…….REDDIT IS A WORLD OF ITS OWN ON THE INTERNET.

What is Reddit? Established in 2005, Reddit is a content sharing platform, home to thousands of communities, endless conversation, and authentic worldwide human connection with people from all walks of life. Whether you're into breaking news, sports, TV fan theories, or a never-ending stream of the internet's cutest animals, there's a community for you.

Reddit is made up of an enormous collection of forums on every subject under the sun where people can share news, links, videos and pictures in “Posts” so that other people can make observations and conversation in “Comments” attached to these posts, while everyone can express their opinions by Voting on both the posts and comments. Every day, millions of people around the world post, vote, and comment in communities on Reddit organised around their interests.

You are free to decide what level of interaction you want with other users (Redditors) and to curate your own feed from the hundreds of thousands of specialised communities called “Subreddits” on offer, each of which covers a different topic from games, hobbies, music, art, movies and shows to support groups to world news to pets to academic matters and everything in between.

Check out this video for a quick introduction to us, and here’s an illustrated overview of Reddit. If that didn’t explain us enough, here’s an unofficial webcomic that gives a fun look at our platform.

Signing up for an account is free, easy, and gives you a high degree of anonymity, especially compared to other social media platforms.

 

…….REDDIT HAS ITS OWN WAY OF DOING THINGS.

Reddit as a whole is run by unpaid volunteers called Moderators (mods) and paid employees called Administrators (admin). Admin are rarely seen but are very distinctive as they have the word ADMIN in bright orange/red next to their username. Moderators are more likely to be seen, and when they speak on formal behalf of their subreddit, their username will have the green word MOD immediately after.

Like every long-established subculture, we have our own expressions and if you are at all confused by some of our jargon, in-jokes, history or memes, we at r/NewToReddit have a fairly comprehensive alphabetical reference guide at our sister sub r/EncyclopaediaOfReddit to help you work out what we’re talking about. Let me suggest my guides to Acronyms 1: A-L and Acronyms 2: M-Z to start with!

Reddit might take a little time to get used to, but never fear! Here’s a quick video guide on how to use Reddit, but more importantly, we’re here at r/NewToReddit specifically to help you navigate your own path step by step through our unique ways of ‘doing social media’.

 

…….REDDIT IS HUGE. BUT MANAGEABLE.

There are Subreddits for anything. I would say almost anything but when I think I’ve seen them all, I discover ones like r/birdstakingthetrain or r/BreadStapledToTrees and realise I know nothing.

Most communities are friendly and jumping right on in is encouraged. You aren’t likely to get shot down for being a “n00b” but there will generally be one or two things you’ll need to know about each Subreddit (sub) first. Don’t worry, this guide will show you where to find them.

Altercations can happen, but most subs have an active team of mods who will usually shut any trouble down before it becomes vindictive. Just don’t post emojis though. Reddit in general does NOT like emojis. Reddit loves emoticons though :D Why? Don't ASCII me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ More on this later, or here if you simply can’t wait.

 

…….WHAT DO I DO ON REDDIT?

There are four basic actions you do on Reddit: Upvote, Downvote, Comment, and Post.

Reddit relies on crowdsourcing through its system of Upvotes and Downvotes to filter and prioritise the thousands of daily submissions it receives in order to present its users with the most interesting content it can, and you can help too. If you think a post or comment is interesting, helpful or contributes positively to the subreddit, press the Upvote arrow. If you think it doesn’t, press the Downvote arrow. You only get one vote on any one post or comment, and both can be negated by pressing the arrow you chose again, or reversed by pressing the opposite arrow to the one you originally chose.

Some subreddits have chosen to replace the default “arrow” icons with custom ones. In case it isn’t obvious which is which, the Upvote will be on the top (Old Reddit; desktop) or on the left (Mobile App) and the Downvote will be on the bottom (Old Reddit; desktop) or on the right (Mobile App).

There are two ways of Commenting on Reddit:

  • As a direct response to a Post. Here, you are directly replying to the person who made the post. This person is known as the ”OP”, or “Original Poster”. This reply is known as a Top-Level or Parent Comment, and sometimes known as ‘threads’. There are an unlimited number of Parent Comments that can be made on any one post. The OP will be notified that you have replied to their post.

  • As a reply to a Comment in that Post. Here, you are directly replying to another commenter who may or may not be the OP. These follow-up comments are known as Child Comments. There are an unlimited number of Child Comments that can be made on any one Parent Comment. The commenter you are replying to will be notified of your reply, but the OP will not (unless they are one and the same!).

You can see what these both look like from this simple illustration and this small conversation here.

Finally, you can make your own Post in a subreddit for others to comment on. Many subreddits prefer - or even require pictures, gifs, videos or links in this post.

 

…….SOME SUBREDDIT BASICS.

Once you enter a Subreddit, you read posts made by others and the comments made therein. If you like the Subreddit, you can “Join” it and it will form part of your personal home page feed. The "Join" button is near the top of the screen as seen here and also in the three-dots “hamburger” post overflow menu on the top RH of the screen on mobile. You can also “Leave” if you want, and the button can be found in the same place as the Join one was.

Until you join a few subreddits, your home page feed will be the general r/popular or r/all, which may well feature topics you’re not interested in, so it makes sense to start joining subs you like as soon as possible.

Moderators cannot see any lists of those who are joined to their subreddits, neither will they be notified if anyone leaves. There’s no limit on the number of times you can join or leave a subreddit, and nobody except you will ever know when or what subs you have joined or have left. You don’t even have to be joined in a sub to post or comment in it. There are no limits to the number of subreddits you can be joined in but Reddit does have an unspecified number of the ones it filters to your home feed at any one time.

Just underneath the Subreddit title there is a “Sort” menu. On mobile this is a drop-down list. Sorting posts by either “New” or “Rising” will usually give more opportunities for chat and upvotes than you’ll get in older posts, and give other advantages we’ll see soon. You have the same options for sorting your home page feed too.

 

…….LET’S GET STARTED!

Our guide to using Reddit begins with this illustrated primer to joining in on Reddit, then come back here to read some essential details you need to know about Rules, Reddit Karma, Participating, Navigation and Safety.

It’s very much worth your while taking a few minutes to read through all the following advice as it contains everything you need from your first steps in getting started to your becoming firmly established here.

Once you’ve had a look through it all, if you have any questions do make a new Post in this Subreddit where you will find plenty of helpful people ready to Comment with the answers you need. r/NewToReddit is focused on giving one-to-one tailored quality advice for helping people new to Reddit Ways. We do not care how old your account is; if you have a query on Redditing, put it here and we will help.

We also have a “sister sub” called r/LearnToReddit which is a place to learn how to use Reddit without being embarrassed at making “newbie mistakes” in public. Here, you can have a go at making different post types like posting images or polls, learn how to comment using bold or italic text, how to create spoiler text and use many other features with our extensive sets of tutorials. The community will feedback on your post to let you know how you did or help you get it right next time.

 

…….WHAT’S NEXT?

Let’s get started with an introduction to Reddit and a few notes about rules!


Community recommendations mega-thread!

Get your fresh subreddit recommendations here! :D

We are using these weekly threads for recommendations and will direct those that post requests for recommendations to these threads.

Please share your community recommendations in comments:

  • What are your favourite subs

  • How about your guilty pleasure subs? (SFW!)

  • Which sub do you spend too much time in?

  • What are your best wholesome sub recs?

  • Your fave niche community?

  • Have you found an awesome sub new to you recently?

You may also ask for recommendations!

Let us know what you're into, and we'll see what we can do :)

Make sure to try r/findareddit too though, they're great at this!

The rules:

  • All usual rules apply.

  • Please keep it SFW. No “adult” porn subreddits or NSFL/Gore subreddits. If someone asks for adult communities, please only link sub lists/directories and make it clear they are NSFW.

  • As a community, we try to help all good-faith Redditors find their niche, but please be respectful and try not to judge. If you don't like someone's topic of choice, you don't have to help, but please remain kind, understanding, and respectful.

  • Do not mislead with your recommendations.

If you'd like your Reddit experience to be as wholesome as possible, r/CasualConversation has a directory with a section on wholesome communities. Though, we don't know their status regarding karma and account age restrictions.

Please note that this is not our recommended subreddit list for new users.

Many of the subreddits listed in this thread will not be open to new or low-karma users for posts, and comments made therein might even be filtered for approval or auto-collapsed.

While many of these subreddits will be fun to browse and vote on, your participation might be limited right now. Commenting is usually less restricted than posting.

The link to our new-user friendly subs list is below.

A note from our esteemed llama on the Reddit experience:

Reddit is huge and fascinating and diverse, wholesome and toxic, all in one massive bundle of anonymous users with no filters except their own internal constraints. The problem with that is even in the loveliest of subreddits, all manner of behaviour happens, because Reddit is a microcosm of internet life, not an internet utopia no matter how much we might want it to be.

There are areas of Reddit I don’t frequent; there are areas of Reddit I won’t frequent; there are areas of Reddit that no doubt I am blissfully unaware of and am happy to remain that way. But I am still subscribed to well over a thousand subs on all kinds of topics and still find new ones daily.

The true beauty of Reddit is that your Reddit experience can be completely and absolutely dictated by you. The pure amount of information available on Reddit is staggering, and it’s just a matter - like in all of life - of being able to sort through that information to see what’s useful and what isn’t.

Useful links:

A few suggested subs for new Redditors to be aware of:

  • r/help which is monitored by Admins (Reddit employees)

  • r/reddit for Reddit news, updates, lore etc

  • r/bugs we may refer you here if you're having an issue that isn't normal and might be a glitch of some kind

  • r/redditbugs information on known bugs that are being worked on

  • r/LearnToReddit is our sister sub for guides and practice posting, using flair, commenting, formatting etc

  • r/findareddit for help finding subs around a topic or for a specific type of post






i need help, Tell me what's your average karma per day + total karma
i need help, Tell me what's your average karma per day + total karma
NEEDS ATTENTION

I joined Reddit 24 days ago but just started posting 2 days go

I wanted to ask what the average karma per day

I know it depends on many factors, but I wanted to know how much karma you guys have compared to how much you lot get daily (average)

since I started posting two days ago, I have 210 karma

so that's 100 per day
Is that good for someone who has been posting for two days?


What to do when comment karma is at rock bottom?
What to do when comment karma is at rock bottom?
ANSWERED

So... I finally decided to make a post on the subreddit for the game I am interested in. However, my comments were all heavily bombed with downvotes so I am unable to comment in the subreddit now. My comments there show up for myself, but are invisible to other people. How do I gain the right to comment there again after being put all the way at -100 comment karma?






What are flairs and shortcuts in reddit?
What are flairs and shortcuts in reddit?
NEEDS ATTENTION

I’ve seen people reply to someone’s comment with attaching a specific part of their comment in the reply, how does one do that?

And what’s flairs? How to add link to your text? Like when people say ‘click here’ and here is in blue meaning it has embedded link.

There are so many functions like ! and / etc, what’s those for? Can someone tell me few of them?











Paranoid about getting downvoted
Paranoid about getting downvoted
ANSWERED

I keep reading posts about people getting 100+ downvotes for one comment or post, which honestly kind of shocks me and has made me hesitant to post anything unless I think it is super useful/insightful and even then I’m still nervous.

How easy is it to actually “step in it” and are the people who are getting downvoted so hard usually trying to instigate something? To me it often seems to be an unfortunate mistake the OP didn’t realize was going to be received so poorly. Or is this wrong and people getting downvoted that much are just somewhat oblivious?