By Katie Humphrey
Reddit is becoming a must-stop for pop stars, authors, actors and politicians who want to show they’re tech savvy and connect with the people. President Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Molly Ringwald and Keanu Reeves have all done AMAs.
Don’t be phony
Redditors are relentless in their demand for candor. Ask Woody Harrelson, who got virtually shouted down during an AMA when he tried to promote a movie rather than answer general questions.
That goofy meme you saw bouncing around social media? It likely started or gained momentum on Reddit, land of oddball humor and subreddits devoted to advice animals.
Reddit loves photos — especially those of cute animals. There are subreddits dedicated to cats, dogs, hedgehogs, red pandas, even sloths.
The lofty ideals of free speech and an open Internet reign. When Redditors felt threatened by federal legislation, they led a temporary Internet blackout in protest.
When Redditors throw their support behind a cause, the money flows. A Minneapolis nonprofit raised more than $80,000 for a Kenyan orphanage in 2012 by posting a plea on Reddit.
There are entire subreddits devoted to being nice. For instance: r/Random—Acts—Of—Pizza, on which those in need ask for pizza and other redditors deliver. Also, worldwide gift exchange r/SecretSanta — even Bill Gates participated this year.
The Seedy underbelly
But the masses are sometimes a disgusting, misogynistic hive mind. There’s nudity, profanity and lots of comments that would make your mom blush.
Redditors tried to help track down the bombers. They incorrectly pointed to a missing man, and mainstream media picked it up. Not good. Apologies issued all around.
Reddit is a global thing, but there’s plenty of local (or locally relevant) chatter. There’s all-purpose discussion by city, like on r/TwinCities. Winter outdoors? Try r/IceFishing.
©2014 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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