Over the last ten years, Reddit’s monthly user count has grown from 70 million to an estimated 430 million. Around two-thirds of that total are in the 18–29 age bracket, which adds up to a lot of fairly young people discussing … well, pretty much whatever they want. It’s easy to see how that environment might not always be suitable for younger users.
Unsurprisingly, age-inappropriate content is therefore a common risk on Reddit, and – as this week’s NOS #WakeUpWednesday guide explains – it’s not in isolation. Constant distracting notifications, online harassment and uninvited contact from strangers are also among the threats that young people might encounter through using Reddit.
Most exchanges on Reddit are interesting and entertaining discussions of technology, sport, health or pop culture. The site has attracted controversy and criticism, however, for communities sharing depictions of violence against women, leaked or stolen explicit images (including those of minors) and online hate (particularly racism). Because of its popularity, links to Reddit frequently turn up among search engine results – so young people may be exposed to the site’s content even without purposely looking for it. The relative lack of moderation – especially given the aforementioned subject matter – is just one of the potential issues raised inthe NOS #WakeUpWednesday guide to Reddit