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Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

is a social news aggregator and discussion forum owned by Conde Nast.

Users, called “redditors,” submit links or short posts and decide what stories are important by voting them up or down. The Reddit home page automatically displays the most popular stories. Redditors who share popular articles gain “karma,” a score that is displayed next to each username. Many users post anonymously, and about allegedly defamatory comments.

Reddit was created in 2005, and Conde Nast  for a . In 2011, it  as an independent operation while retaining ownership. The site has become one of the . It had as of 2013, and reached for the first time in February 2011 and by the end of the year. By mid-2012, it was averaging per month, along with per year in 2012. A 2013 survey that 6% of American adults who go online use Reddit. It was to be valued at $400 million.

Though the site , Reddit users have provided , most notably the . In the wake of that event, Reddit was praised for the and of its coverage and as a . Reddit began experimenting with a that could be used for breaking news in 2014. Professional journalists in search of popular memes, then appropriate them with or without credit. The BBC on Reddit in 2014.

Reddit has also for its involvement in breaking news, particularly in the search for suspects after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013. Reddit users , prompting the site’s general manager to . The site was for its users’ , though the site’s work.

In August 2012, President Barack Obama in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread on Reddit. His participation was seen by some as a and arrival for Reddit, though of Reddit’s ability to allow a thorough questioning of public figures. In the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign, Reddit was also used as a forum for .

Reddit has been , taking no network-wide ads and employing only two ad reps as of 2013. By 2014, its , and it was working to slowly integrate advertising into its site. In July 2010, Reddit staff member Mike “Raldi” Schiraldi the site’s overwhelming growth. A new subscription service . A subscription ($4 per month; $30 per year) offers premium commenting features and the ability to disable ads.

In late 2010, the Reddit community persuaded comedian Stephen Colbert to hold a mock political rally in Washington, D.C., after a user . Users in an effort to win Colbert’s attention. The resulting “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” would attract hundreds of thousands of people to the national mall and raise the .

Reddit’s open structure has also allowed for the growth of many subforums dedicated to racist, sexually predatory, or otherwise offensive content. After a revealed the identity of the moderator of some of those forums in 2012, Reddit was criticized for  and for the decisions of many of its moderators to . Reddit’s leaders responded by their to free speech and hands-off moderation. Forum moderators are also free to ban links from individual news outlets, and certain subforums for arbitrarily banning reputable news organizations.

Reddit is similar to , an earlier link-sharing site created by , and , which focuses on science and technology. in summer 2010, after a botched redesign. Observers after its traffic plummeted.

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Primary author: Andrew Phelps. Main text last updated: July 31, 2014.
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