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Share, rank, and discuss news -- and adult topics.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn about almost any topic that they are interested in by searching, and they can practice exchanging viewpoints and having respectful dialogues with others. While a basic search can turn up varied results -- the word “shark” returned results for the San Jose Sharks hockey team, an interview with a shark attack victim, and a joke about sharks, the interaction between Reddit users can provide helpful information. The scope of topics covered by subreddits means kids can learn something about anything. Surface-level content may encourage teens to dig deeper and interact with other users.

Positive messages

Several groups have famously organized on Reddit to effect positive change, most notably raising tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars for various causes.


Links, subreddits, and user comments could have offensive content that references or describes violence.


Reddit has banned sexual or suggestive content that shows minors, but there are no restrictions on other sexy stuff. Subreddits can be made "adult only" but nothing prevents a kid under 18 from reading them.


Links to news and information may be safe but, there's no way to predict what users will say in their comments.


Even for free users, ads do not intrude (in fact, they are difficult to find, period). An inexpensive gold membership lets users decide what ads they want to see.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Links, subreddits, and user comments could have content that references or describes drugs and drug use.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this social news site can inform and influence kids to both positive and negative ends. Reddit is a place for free speech and kids will see things that are credible, factual, and charitable as well as silly, offensive, and weird. To a degree, a voting system helps police the area. Links with the most positive votes float to the top of the page, but there’s no telling why people vote the way they do (Dan Akroyd in a strip club vs. Q & A with a NASA scientist? Team Akroyd wins). Reddit is a peek into what people find interesting in the world and how they feel about it, but the adult attitudes and opinions expressed here can impact impressionable kids.

What's it about?

Kids can access links that lead to stories or photos on external sites. Once they register, they can vote, make self-posts, or subscribe to “subreddits” that focus on specific topics. The signup process doesn’t require proof of age. Voting a link “up” or “down” affects its popularity over other stories on the page. Kids can comment in response to stories or other users, and then vote on those, too; a user with a lot of upvoted comments earns “karma,” which doesn’t affect the user’s experience, but does look nice in the bare-bones user profiles.

Is it any good?


Reddit is an excellent example of the power of people; in its completely open environment groups have formed, campaigned, and raised significant amounts of money for positive change. Subreddits connect users with common interests while moderators keep things on topic and stick to clearly posted rules. The drawback here is the same as it is for the entire Internet -- there’s just no telling what people will put out there. Links, comments, and entire subreddits may expose kids to biased, offensive, or sexual content. Reddit’s best audience is a grown-up one. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the benefits and drawbacks of an open, free-speech community. What are the consequences of sharing opinions in an anonymous, public environment? What are good rules to follow when responding to others? Read Common Sense Media’s Digital Life: Our Kids Connected Culture.

  • Kids begin to form their moral and philosophical beliefs in their mid to late teens. How does the news affect them? Read Common Sense Media's Explaining the News to Kids.

  • Families can talk about how to recognize bias and stereotyping in the media. Read Common Sense Media’s Tips for Battling Stereotypes.


Website details

Subjects:Language & Reading: discussion
Social Studies: global awareness
Skills:Communication: conveying messages effectively
Tech Skills: evaluating media messages, social media
Genre:Social Networking
Pricing structure:Free

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What parents and kids say

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A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written by41w4y5 February 17, 2013


Reddit is exactly what it says it is: The front page of the internet. There aren't very many things you won't find on Reddit if you want to. You can find inappropriate images, violence, and other horrific things. You can also stay away from all of that. You can subscribe to different sub-reddits depending on what your interests are to enhance your experience. If you like technology and science, you can subscribe to those. If you want to know weird facts that people learned that day, you can subscribe to TodayILearned. There are thousands of sub-reddits and there's lots of learning possibility.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 15 years old Written byesoccer7 November 17, 2013


So first off I love using reddit. There is something in it for everyone. But it is not for everyone. Its kind of hard to explain, but it is all user submitted content. When you first create an account, you are subscribed to a number of subreddits. Some of these include /r/funny, /r/pics, /r/aww, /r/adviceanimals (memes), /r/wtf, /r/gaming, /r/earthporn (amazing pictures of the earth), and books, television, science, just to name a few. subreddits like wtf have lots of content that is definitely not for younger children. posts that are "not safe for work" have a red nsfw label, and thats it. There is absolutely no censoring.Not only does this site become very addicting.(procrastination), There are some parts of reddit that are extremely disturbing. Not default subreddits, but easy to find. seriously some stuff is, well, i cant even describe it. There are also adult subreddits. All in all, parents, this site really isn't for kids.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byEvilSteak December 2, 2012

Reddit is a website that can be used for anything by anyone

I've been a redditor for 2 years now. It's a fun website - but very diverse. Reddit is a lot of fun. Why did I mark everything? Because reddit has a little of everything. Lots of negative messages. Lots of positive messages. It's a website where you can say whatever you want, post whatever you want: be it pornography, funny pictures, posts for advice, posts discussing religion, anything that's legal. Reddit contains a countless number of "subreddits." These are mini-communities within the parameter that is reddit. The subreddits are really what determines the appropriateness. Like I said, there are subreddits dedicated towards promoting drinking, just as there are subreddits dedicated towards ending drinking. It's hard to write a review for a place where you can do whatever you want. It's not the website that needs to be discussed, it's the potential of evil users that needs to be discussed. And about the learning thing.... it's hard. But I have learned a lot from reddit. From educational subreddits. Not all of them are educational, but some are. Like I said, you can post whatever you want. This means there will be a little of everything. It's confusing. Here's the verdict: if you're worried about it, just make them browse the website where you can see what they're doing. Honestly though, it should be OK.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns