The Unofficial Reddit FAQ: Things You Can’t Figure about Reddit

Reddit FAQReddit can be both a pleasure and a mystery. Even long-time users admit Reddit can be weird (to say at least) and very often they just fail to explain some of its behavior.

My story with Reddit was very common: I was first only browsing and reading without really participating - and I found it exciting.

Then I registered and started commenting - that's when I started noticing some weird things happening.

I participated more actively and just stopped paying attention to strange things - I thought that were some glitches.

Then I came to realize what and why was happening - and that was a relief, so I decided to share it with you.

Note: if you think my assumptions are wrong and you can offer a better explanation, please comment - I am open to discussion :)



1. Why is my submission nowhere to be found in the "New" section of the respective category?

It happens quite often and quite naturally in this case your submission ends up being never noticed by the community.

One possible reason is that it was so quickly reported and deleted that you didn't even have time to see it popping up. This may happen if your submission was suspected of spamming the community or happened to be added to the irrelevant category. What you can do about it:

  • Try re-phrasing the title to make it sound absolutely "spam-less";

  • Try re-submitting to a more relevant category (here's the list of all available sub-reddits for you to choose from).


Another reason is that you are just banned from Reddit but you will never get notified about that. So each and every of your submissions are flagged and they will never be shown to other members of the site.

2. Why are my comments invisible to everyone except myself?

The reason: you are banned, my friend. Reddit way of banning is really unique (and can be treated differently).

I call it "ghost banning" - you think you still exist but no one can see you any more. You still come daily, vote for stories and leave comments but your efforts are invisible to the community - because you no more exist, sorry.

3. Why can't I see my page on the front page (despite the fact that my friends see it on the front page or my site live traffic meter is showing people are coming fro Reddit home page)?

Reddit algorithm is a tricky thing: various registered users may see something different - and most probably it depends on the set of "sub-reddits" each user is subscribed to. In short, if you are not subscribed to "Business" you may not see the submission from this sub-reddit (especially if it didn't get enough votes).

4. Why does my submission suddenly start getting plenty of (*rude*) comments?

Congratulations, my friend, you are on the front page (even if you can't see it there - see #3).

And sorry if Reddit fans get offended, but many of those comments left are really *rude* (hey, I am trying to be both impartial and polite here, so you are free to picture any word between ** signs you believe to belong there).

Reddit rude



5. Is there any "unwritten" etiquette on Reddit?

Well, actually it is written and even has a name which is Reddiquette - it can be seen here and discussed here. A few things you might be surprised to see officially allowed are:

  • Submitting duplicate stories. While Reddit rules encourage you to use Reddit search feature to look for similar stories, Reddit allows you to "try to submit" the same story again ("Feel free to post something again if you feel that the earlier posting didn't get the attention it deserved and you think you can do better. "). Besides that, you cannot "complain when a duplicate story finds more success than the original".

  • Self-promoting to some reasonable extent ("Because reddit is a meritocracy, old content and some self-promotion are okay...").


But the good thing about community-driven sites is that they are organic and laws are really subjective. That said, if you follow all the rules (or think you are), it doesn't mean you won't get down votes, or rip the community off. So the best advice is: just be yourself, be sincere and honest.

6. Why did that story of mine get so many downvotes?

Officially, Reddit disallows members to down-vote the story only because they disagree with it. One is free to down-vote only if he or she believes the story adds no value to the community. But generally, people downvote anything and everything on Reddit - and they are governed by various (sometimes unclear) reasons.

So if your submission gets many downvotes (as well as upvotes), it doesn't necessarily mean it was bad. Check any story on the front page (that got hundreds of votes and many comments) - you will see that despite it clearly adds much value, it has received hundreds of downvotes.

Reddit downvotes



7. Why don't I see all the available categories when submitting the story?

This one is easy but I remember asking myself this very question when starting. If you are trying to submit the story from home page (or using the button on the source page), you will only be able to see those sub-reddits you are subscribed to). By default, you are subscribed to the following categories:

Reddit submit



If you mean to submit to another sub-reddit, you have two choices:

  • Subscribe to that sub-reddit;

  • Navigate to the sub-reddit page (http://www.reddit.com/r/cat-name/) and hit "Submit" button from there.


8. Is there any Reddit terms I should be aware of?

  • Linkjacking - linking to stories that add nothing extra to the discussion.

  • Dupes - stories covering the same news or adding nothing new to discussion.

  • Karmawhoring - submitting stories or commenting just for the sake of improving your Reddit karma;

  • RTFTBYV - Read The F#cking Thread Before You Vote.

  • Add your own? (please comment and I will add it here)


Final note: please read the official FAQ here.

Post image source: Reddit blog

18 Responses to “The Unofficial Reddit FAQ: Things You Can’t Figure about Reddit”

  1. Ben

    May 25th, 2009

    Another thing to watch out for is misuse of apostrophes (e.g. subreddits not subreddit’s), redditors do sure hate that…

  2. popurls.com // popular today…

    story has entered the popular today section on popurls.com…

  3. randomboy

    May 25th, 2009

    > I call it “ghost banning” – you think you still exist but no one can see you any more. You still come daily, vote for stories and leave comments but your efforts are invisible to the community – because you no more exist, sorry.

    So would it be *so* hard to implement this on a personal user level as well, as an ‘ignore’ feature? It would make reddit a much better place for many of us. There are a bunch of borderline trolls that are not really ban material but I would really love to not have to glance at their comments all the time. Like that ImInLoveWithJesus guy.

  4. NJen

    May 25th, 2009

    Anyone know why sometimes there is a number that u can upvote or downvote, and sometimes it’s just a dot?

  5. Juan234

    May 25th, 2009

    Something else that should go in the FAQ:

    “Vote up if” submissions are considered poor form by many users and will get lots of downvotes and off-topic comments.

  6. [...] Unofficial Reddit FAQ (what you can’t figure about Reddit) [...]

  7. meneame.net

    May 26th, 2009

    FAQ no oficial de Reddit…

    Reddit puede ser a la vez un placer y un misterio. Incluso los usuarios veteranos admiten que Reddit resulta, en algunas ocasiones, un poco raro y que a menudo es difícil de explicar algunas de las cosas que suceden. En esta guía se detallan esos ine…

  8. Sarah

    June 02nd, 2009

    I have another question to add. (I can’t find anything about this anywhere!) I cannot figure out how to get a picture up by the links I’ve posted. There are pictures on the webpage that I linked to, so I thought one would maybe come up. But it doesn’t. So I have the sad little robot with the question mark by it instead. I want a relevant picture! There’s no place to add one & no faq/how to anywhere about this!

  9. [...] have already listed a few weird things about Reddit, and here’s a follow-up listing some more things Redditors themselves keep wondering [...]

  10. [...] adding useful and sustainable content (e.g. a guide, a commentary or a comparison). Also see this informative blog about some wholes in Reddit that make it less easy to use than Digg. Unique takes on news items are [...]

  11. Nancy

    June 16th, 2010

    I have looked all over about getting a picture up by an original Reddit post and cannot find how to do this. What is the mysterious secret here? In fact, I can’t figure out how to even do an original post! Could it be because my account is not approved yet?

  12. Florian

    November 23rd, 2010

    Actually, you can downvote a submission for any reason. You’re supposed to refrain from downvoting comments that you don’t agree with. Reserve that for trolls and idiots.

  13. ThisIsWhyImBroke

    July 10th, 2011

    This is an awesome reddit faq… but I’m still wondering, what is the significance of karma points? Does having high reddit karma mean your posts have a better chance of being noticed or affect the reddit algorithm in anyway?

  14. Alexander Myens

    May 28th, 2012

    this is a great article on reddit. answers so many questions – most of which i have had to figure out myself wasting lots of my time.

    thank you for documenting everything and providing all the screenshots.

    I found this other blog post on reddit rules and how to get more votes and stuff which helped me too here is the link:

    http://hunchmag.com/a-guide-to-reddit-etiquette-and-how-to-get-more-votes-on-reddit/

    they answer the more obvious questions, but your blog post answers the more frustrating ones

  15. Olivier

    October 10th, 2012

    I simply submitted a link to my cat pic, in the CATS category.

    I believe people can see it but I can’t. I also think my comments on various thread are invisible.

    They were my first ones, though, and I haven’t written anything that could go against any rule, as far as I know.

    So, what’s up with the invisiblity?

  16. Gail

    October 14th, 2012

    Hi Olivier,

    Read the parts about being ghost banned and check for that.

  17. Andria

    December 19th, 2012

    Reddit is a strange and wonderful website. I’m surprised you never brought up the constant 404′ing.

  18. [...] official TOS: The official Reddit etiquette doesn’t disallow self promotion when used cautiously and [...]

Leave a Reply

Your Name

April 25th, 2014
logged in.

bg_bot