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Sunday, 21st of January 2007 (21-01-2007)

Reddit Flaws

Reddit offers a wonderful experience in some aspects, but it has many ruining, broken, flaws.

You Can't Submit An Article Again

If someone submits a perfectly good article but fills the headline with spelling errors and non descriptive garbage, that person essentially ruins that page's chances of ever doing well on reddit as the article cannot be resubmitted unless it is deleted by the original poster. I could ruin a good blog like life hacker by being the first to submit all of their posts with the headline "Teh monkey eats HAM" with a new easily generated account.

There is Incentive To Vote People Down

Many people spam their ad-stuffed blogs. They literally profit if they get their stories voted up, so they call a few friends, vote themselves up, and vote everyone else in the NEW section down. As a default Reddit orders post in the NEW section by how much their score is rising. Other spammers see their post is already 0 or -1 and they vote down all on the list. I've seen every post on the new section having a score of 0 before.

There is No Penalty for Voting Down

Maybe if you had a certain amount of times you could vote individuals down in a day based on karma, things wouldn't be so bad. As it stands right now, people can vote down every post on the NEW list, and as an added bonus, piss someone off and they can vote down everything you've ever submitted by clicking on your profile.

People Can Anonymously Punish You

Pissing someone off isn't exactly difficult either, just writing a comment on a politically, or controversially charged submission and the anonymous punishment trolls will come to get you. Maybe they were badly voted down anonymously and chose a target for revenge. Say I didn't like their page and wrote them a comment saying so. They ended up with -4 down. Who do they blame? Not themselves. They will quietly "punish" the commenter.

Problematic Statistics

Say 30% of people will vote your article down, and 70% will vote your article up if 1000 people voted in a true random survey. It's a well known statistical phenomenon that people are much more likely to vote if they have a very negative than a very positive opinion. Lets say the conversion of truly random surveying to Reddit opt-in surveying is just 10%, so your article went to 40% down and 60% up. Now we factor in all the blog spammers. Your article is essentially competing with theirs and they'll vote you down for reasons as small as thinking their domain is so much better than yours. They have incentive to not like you. Your statistics are down to 60% down and 40% vote up.

Only 2 or 3 people vote on the average single new article on Reddit. If you're lucky enough to get 2 votes up either by telling friends or having the luck of the 40%, you get much more exposure time for your article and more votes. If you're unlucky and get one of the 60% that will vote you down, your submitted page won't get much more exposure than those 2 or 3 people that voted for you. 2 or 3 anonymous people decided the fate of your article, and they decided it sucks, so that is final verdict on Reddit. Submit again? Then you're a spamming asshole. Those who noticed your article, but didn't bother voting or reading, noticed it twice. "You're a spammer and now I can go through your entire submit list downvoting."

Netscape Top 10 Is Almost The same as Reddit Top 10

I don't know why, or which makes the top 10 first, but almost everyday they're very very similar. See the daily comparison of voted content sites today.

People Embed Videos on Their Site and Take Credit

Check out the spammers from Throw Away Your TV. ALL their videos are just embed videos from youtube, google video or vsocial. They like to use vsocial because they can mask the video embed as if they were hosting it. There's a ton of people that spam reddit just taking high rated videos and embedding it in their blogs. I may have a video blog, but I don't spam each page I make on reddit.

Reddit Leans Left

I am a democrat and I enjoy after all these years of saying Bush is an idiot, that finally the majority of people are figuring it out. Now that the majority hate bush though, that doesn't mean we should "filter out" all other opinion by down voting them. China has gotten a lot of criticism for wanting google and wikipedia to filter out many of the viewpoints it does not agree with. Reddit may filter stories as a natural occurance of majority view, but the more it continues to filter out views, the more polarized it becomes over time to one viewpoint as the opposition gets frustrated and stops using the site.

Atheists Rule

I don't have any particular religion. I really don't care if there is or isn't a God. Reddit has featured over and over dispelling articles on how Atheists aren't the demonized people the evil Ann Coulter, George HW Bush and all Christian standardized institutions portray them as. That's fine, but they also "filter out" articles pro-religion, and pro-abortion.

By eliminating all controvercial subjects, subcultures and demographics from the site believers get frustrated. Everyone around them believes like they do (sometimes all their lives), so having a group completely dispell their lifestyle as nonsense only feeds their paranoia fed to them in church of having that evil "Godless" society that wants to strip them of all religion and family values by controlling the media. Again, this is a natural occurance of the majority view on reddit that causes people to down vote these type of articles, but it still "appears to THEM" as if one party controls what gets popular, and the "Liberal Media" Fox News propaganists offer as an explanation, actually exists.

Howto: Resubmit the Same Article of Video

You can submit the exact same article as many times as you want, even if someone else submitted it by adding a query string to the site. This is not to spam the same site over and over, but rather to submit sites that were ruined by bad spelling or being very badly described in the headline.

An example of a query string, lets say on, would be "?q=foo&start=20" is the actual query string. "q=" stands for "the query is" foo, which is what I searched for. start=20 means that I want the second page of search results (20 instead of 2 because each page has 10 sites).

The good thing is, we can makeup our own query string variables, for example adding "&gas=smelly" to the end of the at google query. It doesn't do anything at all, but it lets people submit the exact same page to reddit.


Original submission may have been . Accepted submissions for the exact same page:

Submitting The Exact Same Videos to Reddit

Reddit ignores all query string variables after the "docid=" variable on google video, and the v= variable on youtube. To submit the video again you have to place your custom variable before the v= or the docid=


Submitted before:

Resubmitted as:

Submitted before:

Resubmitted As:

This method works with any other video site as well. Reddit should allow people to resubmit videos because they let idiots submit the same videos in their ad stuffed blogs.

Digg Vs Reddit

Digg is not perfect, but at the same time there shouldn't be all that much voting ratios on good material. Equal opportunity? Hardly. For example my article "Complete List of Google Video Categories" got 2700+ diggs. How many did it get on Reddit? A wonderful -3 score. I did get lucky with my Free Education Online Article which did better than Digg but even then 15% voted my article down.

Karma Doesn't Matter

People like having the feeling of having _something_, anything as a representation of the work they've put in. Whether it's high scores on pacman or high scores on Reddit, no one likes being _downgraded_ for doing their best to submit interesting content. It's an assinine concept that frustrates the reddit community. The down vote may be an incentive to post better stuff, but the amount of quality posts being down voted is quite a lot.

Writers Vs. Readers

There are a whole lot more writers out there than there are people reading the articles. There is far more incentive for bloggers to use reddit than the average readers. Readers may read only the top 10 of the day and move on to their next favorite site rather than wading through less popular posts. People persuing their individual goals is the ideal economy, according to Milton Friedman. In Reddit, the "merchants" or bloggers have the incentive to post their site and have all the other sites do badly, while the "consumers" or readers, have no incentive to vote unless it's amazingly good, or conflicts/agrees with their moral/political idealogies. The ratio of bloggers to readers voting on NEW story is heavily scewed towards bloggers.

Supporters of the reddit system may say: "This is how a democracy works, people can vote on what they like and don't like. It's good we can kill unpopular views.". Reddit kills controvercial views, which are of far more value than unpopular views. The comparison to democracy is incorrect because democracy allows all ideas, whether it's Mormons or even Nazis, we respect people's believes as long as they don't harm physically others. Stumbleupon uses the same vote up and vote down system, except the computers coordinate the content rather than completely eliminate controversial views. This makes the system much more usable, friendly, and most importantly, targetted.

Newgrounds Method

The highly Successful site newgrounds allows people to vote content 0 through 5. The vote decides if the content will survive as it has to be at least rated 1.5 or higher with at least 100 to 200 votes per post. Also, when you click on a submission, it makes you wait a certain amount of time before being able to rate the submission as to make the people actually view the submission. The newgrounds method is not applicable to reddit, because as mentioned earlier the bloggers vs actual readers ratio is far too skewed in favor of the bloggers. The influx of posts would be backlogged for months if reddit required even 50 unique people to rate each post. There is not enough readers. I'm being redundant, but it's such an important point. Without a good chunk of people rating a large majority of quality articles are discredited by a small minority. Similarly, a small minority can game a large majority with quiet anonimity and a catchy headline. Unlike digg, reddit doesn't show who voted for what unless the users allow.


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