- With thousands of subreddits and users, Reddit is known as a somewhat toxic place online.
- Twitter accounts that aggregate the best posts of specific subreddits are becoming more popular, and I can’t get enough of them.
- These accounts eliminate the need to sift through possible racist, sexist, and homophobic posts, offering an easy way to enjoy the bright spots of Reddit.
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The social media website Reddit is made up of thousands of different forums, called “subreddits,” devoted to different topics.
Like any online community that reaches a certain thresh hold of users, space is liable to becoming toxic. Reddit bills itself as “the front page of the Internet,” so, unfortunately, it comes with all the problems that plague the rest of the Internet, including racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other things generally upsetting.
Outlets like The Atlantic and Jezebel have reported on how toxic Reddit can be for women, and this applies to just about every marginalized group. The website has a history of deeply offensive subreddits, many of which have been banned, like “FatPeopleHate,” premised on being hateful towards people over their appearance, or “Creepshots,” where (usually male) users post sexualized images of women without their consent.
Reddit has tried to be vigilant and update its anti-harassment rules, although this hasn’t totally eliminated the problem. Even though these specific subreddits were shut down, people who frequented them can still post in other threads, and sexist, racist, homophobic attitudes pop up in other subreddits all the time in my experience.
These kinds of posts can make Reddit basically inaccessible for many people who don’t want to face posts that dehumanize them. For survivors of sexual violence, for example, the violent words and imagery can be triggering, and finding fun posts on Reddit is not worth the potential risk of seeing something terrible.
Subreddits exist for nearly every topic you can think of. Some are dedicated to posters asking for advice from the wider Reddit community on a variety of topics. On r/relationships, people post asking for advice on friendships, family, and romantic relationships.
R/AITA, which stands for Am I the A–hole, is a place for users to lay out a sometimes one-sided scenario, and hopefully get validation that they were not, in fact, the jerk in the situation. The legal advice subreddit is, as you’d expect, a place for people to ask for answers to their legal questions from members who don’t always claim to be legal experts.
Some of the posts on these subreddits can be genuinely hilarious, the kind of thing you send in all your group chats. The problem comes in when you have to wade through sad, offensive, or just annoying posts to get to the good stuff. For every funny but benign relationship post, there are a few that have been upvoted to the top of the page that seem too outlandish to be real or have genuinely upsetting details that only a professional would be qualified to comment on.
Well, what if there was a way to get a curated feed of only the best posts on these and your other favorite subreddits?
Each of these subreddits has Twitter accounts that almost exclusively tweet posts from the forums. But these aren’t bots, uncritically reposting everything. Instead, the people running these accounts handpick the best of the best. It’s not a perfect system — someone still has to read through the whole subreddit to find the posts worth sharing — but it saves most of us from reading through depressing post after depressing post.