Reddit

Website review by
Michelle Kitt, Common Sense Media
Reddit Website Poster Image
Share, rank, and discuss news -- and adult topics.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 14 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

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.

Violence

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

Sex

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.

Language

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

Consumerism

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.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Reddit can inform and influence kids to both positive and negative ends. It's a site and app 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). It also has a one-to-one and group chat feature. 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySaul P. January 22, 2018

Anything goes on Reddit

Reddit is a bit like a microcosm of the Internet. There's both outstanding and very questionable content on there. Reddit is made up by "subreddits... Continue reading
Adult Written byRajan D. August 23, 2016

Content Differs

Sometimes it'll show mindless content sometimes someone will post content for learning or maybe someone will post NSFW content. The content differs but ov... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written by41w4y5 February 17, 2013

Reddit

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 f... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byesoccer7 November 17, 2013

Reddit

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 c... Continue reading

What's it about?

Kids can access links that lead to stories or photos on external sites on REDDIT. 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. As of 2017, users can upload videos as well.

Is it any good?

This unique social sharing site is an excellent example of the power of people, but it's definitely not for kids. 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 on Reddit 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. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the benefits and drawbacks of an open, free-speech community like Reddit. 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.

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