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 ( 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

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