News and local information on Reddit (This is a test post)

Some posts on Reddit are informative and serious, and others are not. For example, one of the most prominently displayed posts on the Reddit home page on June 11, 2015, titled “Puppy tries to get his bed back … Cat does not care,” was a link to a short video clip of what a commenter described as an “epic battle” between dog and cat. However, the home page also included links to news articles from NBC, “Some states begin to crack down on slow left lane drivers,” and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., “Medical marijuana legal in all forms, Supreme Court rules (Canada).”

Visitors find a similar mix of topics on any given day at Reddit, an anonymous social media site founded in 2005 (Silverman, 2012). Reddit users, known as “redditors,” share links or create their own posts and respond to these links and posts in comment threads (Weninger, Zhu, & Han, 2013). In that sense, they are “prosumers” (Tapscott & Williams, 2008), both producers and consumers of media content. Research involving Reddit has been scarce among communication and media scholars, but it is a potentially fertile topic for two reasons: It has a very active user base, and most posts on the site are public (Weninger et al., 2013). About 4% of American adults use Reddit (Barthel, Stocking, Holcomb, & Mitchell, 2016). The site’s demographics skew young and male (Barthel et al., 2016): 15% of 18- to 29-year- old American men who are online are Reddit users (Duggan & Smith, 2013). Redditors can create, moderate, and establish rules for posting to subreddits dedicated to specific interests (Weninger et al., 2013). Moderators also have the ability to delete posts on subreddits they control (Dewey, 2014).

In general, though, redditors vote content up or down to determine its position on the site (Ovadia, 2015; Weninger et al., 2013). Links, posts, and comments with a greater number of up votes display more prominently on Reddit’s home page and on subreddits than those with a greater number of down votes (Ovadia, 2015; Reddit, 2015; Weninger et al., 2013).

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