Why Reddit is garbage by design


First, before I complain about Reddit too much and get called a hypocrite for it, I should probably mention that I have a Reddit account, it's u/speediegq in case you were wondering. As for why I have it, I respond to some posts occasionally if I have anything useful to contribute with, but I don't use it all that much, partially because of what I'm about to talk about.

In any case, why is it that I think Reddit is such an awful website, one that has done more harm to the internet than any other, why Reddit in particular? Well, the problem with Reddit is with its karma system. If you don't know how it works, every post and comment has an upvote and a downvote button, and every user has an arbitrary karma statistic which is visible for everyone to see, because it's prominently displayed on their profile. For each upvote, you gain a certain amount of karma, and likewise for each downvote, you lose a certain amount of karma.

Because of this, there is an incentive for users to post something that is likely to affirm people's existing beliefs rather than challenge them, because of course then they will likely get more upvotes as opposed to downvotes from people's anger. This creates sort of a echo chamber where popular ideas and views are shown prominently on the site, while less popular ideas are pushed down. This, of course, has negative effects on all kinds of posts, but of course one noteworthy example is politics. It is no secret that the left is more broadly represented on sites such as Reddit, so that means when you are on Reddit you're going to be exposed to a lot of leftist ideas, but not so many rightist ideas. As such, leftists will be affirmed that they have picked the right side politically, and they might even feel so strongly about it that they start attacking the right-wing, and that is something that has become increasingly more popular in the form of "cancel culture", where a huge mob of predominantly leftists will shun an individual for their views.

To be clear, I'm not saying that having the same views as most people on the site is a bad thing, but because of this karma system, people tend to become very close-minded, almost as if they're a member of a cult, where that cult of course is the Reddit site. This isn't an issue exclusive to Reddit of course, but really all platforms where content is pushed forward by users. Ironically, this actually makes 4chan one of the better sites, at least on the surface, for getting truly neutral information and for speaking your mind. Everyone is anonymous, there's no karma counter to display on your profile so there's no incentive to say anything but what you truly believe. With the karma system, you're basically telling other people to say what they think about your opinion, by of course upvoting or downvoting. Although you might not notice it, this will inevitably shape your ideas gradually over time. But once again, this isn't a Reddit exclusive issue. For example, if your friend group is made up of mostly leftists, you're undoubtedly going to be exposed to a lot of leftist views. That's really just how humans function in nature. You could theoretically achieve the same result if you put many like-minded people in a box together. But in a perfect world, you should be exposed to all sort of ideas, those you agree with, those you don't agree with, and even outrageous ideas that make absolutely no sense. But, I assume that if you're reading this post you probably already know that. But even then, you might not realize just how skewed the content you're consuming (i.e. reading, watching, listening to) really is.

I thought I'd write this post, not just to complain about Reddit, but to shed some light on the danger of social media and echo chambers in general. Everything you ever read (including this blog post) should be taken with a grain of salt. Be skeptical of everything, and try to think freely, and with your mind. Don't blindly accept what you hear from someone as a fact, just because it's a fact to them.

That's it for today, have a good day!



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EverythingeeB on 2024/03/06:

Damn. Speedie's Big Brain Blog Strikes Again. Y'all Mfs Can't Compete With This 1. 💪🏽🔥😎

jacob on 2024/03/09:

Thanks, @EverythingeeB!