How to Extract Your Data From Quora and Reddit
Thank you, GDPR!
For years, I have been what you might call a backup fanatic.
I back up my operating system, my VMs, and my hosting — all regularly.
This is all fairly easy and can be partially automated. But when it comes to smaller cloud services, I have to rely on manual methods.
That’s things like Todoist, cloud-hosted password managers, and everything that isn’t a big monolith with an easy export functionality like G Suite.
Two services had always proven troublesome in this respect, however: Quora and Reddit.
Yes, there are GitHub-hosted projects aplenty promising to scrape data from both (like this project) — but a native functionality is obviously always preferable — both technically and from a reliability perspective. And last time I checked none of the Quora scrapers worked.
So … I’m pleased to report that after a little bit of digging I am pleased to have discovered a way to back up both services.
Neither company provides convenient backup functionalities that the user can administer themselves (as Facebook, Medium, Twitter, and LinkedIn all do). But what can I say — people begging for copies of their own data can’t be choosers.
Without further a-do, here’s how:
1. How to Back Up Your Quora Data by Data Request
(The UI appearance and screenshots are clearly only reliable as of the time of writing):
To receive a backup archive of your Quora data you need to make a data request to the company.
Under your username dropdown click on ‘Help’
In the help section landing page click on ‘Data Privacy, GDPR … and CCPA’
There’s an option here entitled, “Can I Get a Copy of my Data’. Click on it:
Its URL is currently: https://help.quora.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000839503-Can-I-get-a-copy-of-my-data-
Scroll down to the ‘Can I Get a Copy of My Data?’
Follow the instructions and within 72 hours, as stated, you will get your data by email. My archive came in a little over 24 hours.
Quora will give you two archives: data and content. Content contains your answers and images:
The HTML file which the process outputs looks like this in a web browser:
Of course, if keep the images in the same folder you will get the images as well where you have them in your answers:
2. How to Back Up Your Reddit Data by Data Request
Like Quora, where to download your Reddit data isn’t that obvious at all.
Again, the trail begins by checking out the help center rather than the account page.
That advises you to go to this URL:
I’ve obviously just done mine, but the page should look like this for you:
Do as it says.
Soon thereafter the/u/RedditDataRequests bot will message you to let you know that your data is ready for download:
You will receive a nice Zip archive with everything from your comment and post history to your saved posts and statistics:
The data is pretty well formatted.
It’s not that hard. In both cases, I got my data back in just over 24 hours. Thank you to Reddit and Quora (but particularly, Quora) for making this possible.