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Snoo, Reddit's dual-purpose mascot and logo.

/r/news, also known simply as News, is a community on Reddit1 devoted to reposting news articles covering current events from around the world. It allows users to share and discuss articles, and at its core, is divided into two different "modes:" the Front Page, where individual posts link to news articles elsewhere, and each post's Comments Page, where users can discuss individual articles with each other.

Front Page


At the top of the page, a menu bar lists a variety of post-sorting options. These options include "hot," "new," "controversial," "top," "gilded," and "promoted," as well as a link to the wiki. The "hot" tab shows the user the most popular posts. The "new" tab displays the newest posts. "Controversial" shows posts that are receiving both many downvotes and many upvotes. "Top" organizes posts by number of upvotes, and allows users to narrow the time frame of this to anywhere between one day and the entire posting history of the subreddit. The "gilded" tab shows comments that have been awarded "Reddit Gold" (a paid on-site currency) by other users, and the "promoted" tab contains advertisements.

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/r/news's Navigation Bar

Other than the posts themselves, this navigation bar is the most prominent element of the page. Its central position and the width that it spans draws user attention and places an emphasis on ease of navigation. As Reddit is a site based on dialogue between users, it needs its posts to be easily accessible and sortable so that users can find content that suits their interests, even within the smaller subreddit communities.

At the far right of this bar, a login prompt encouraging unregistered users to sign up can be found. If one is already logged in, this is changed to the user's username, their "karma" score (the number of upvotes their link submissions have earned) and a logout prompt. This information is relegated to the side and its small size ensures that the user considers it far less important than the posts which take up most of the page. Here, the focus of Reddit is on its community as opposed to its singular users, yet the site still encourages new voices to join in on discussion.


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Posting options on /r/news

/r/news initially appears to offer three posting options in the top-right sidebar, but two of these buttons actually redirect to different subreddits elsewhere on the site. Selecting "Submit analysis/opinion article" redirects to /r/inthenews (a sister subreddit devoted to opinion pieces from mainstream media sites,) and selecting "Submit something else" redirects to /r/misc (a subreddit devoted to "everything else.") "Submit news article" is the only option that posts directly to /r/news.

Also present in the sidebar is a comprehensive list of posting rules, and a link to an expanded version of these rules. Due to the fact that almost all communities on Reddit are user-made, each subreddit may or may not share the same posting guidelines. As such, each subreddit's rules must be clearly delineated so that users do not accidentally post something inappropriate or offensive. Here the rules specifically state that posts that are not news, are opinion/advocacy pieces, or that do not directly quote the article for the title are likely to be removed.

In order to prevent users from posting inappropriate content, the posting options have been designed to work in tandem with the stated rules. By giving users the ability to post "off-topic" posts while redirecting them to an appropriate subreddit, /r/news ensures its own post quality while avoiding overzealous enforcement of the rules.


User-submitted posts are the core mechanic of Reddit, and they take up the majority of any page on a subreddit. The posts themselves are located in the middle of the page, and span roughly four-fifths of the screen.

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An average post on /r/news

The title is the largest element of each post, and due to the fact that it is a hyperlink, is colored blue, making it distinct from the other links beneath it. Each post's title links to another page (whether internal or external,) and in /r/news' case, this is always a news article. Directly below the title is the time of submission and the username of the submitter. Under that is a link to the comments, a link to share the post, an option to hide the post, and a quick-access link that opens both the link in question and the post's comments section. On the left side, there are upvote/downvote buttons and the number of upvotes the post has.

With the individual post, it can be seen that the main function of Reddit has changed very little since its inception: to share links. The title, with its larger font and eye-catching coloration, is the main method of redirecting users to new content, and though it has come to define the site in the years since its creation, the comment feature is by its very nature auxiliary to the post's primary function. Upvotes and downvotes serve as a sort of popularity gauge for each shared link, as well — by referring to each post's score, it's easy for users to get an idea of what is currently popular, or at least worth talking about.


Much like the desktop version, most of the front page is taken up by posts. At the top is a search bar and two menus. The first one has post sorting options. The second one has five options: unsubscribe, community info, refresh, compact view, and contact mods. There are four buttons at the bottom- home page, communities, inbox, and profile.

Comments Page

After reading an article, many users go to the comment section. This is where they can discuss the article and where most user interaction occurs. Here, users are able to comment, reply to others, and upvote or downvote other comments.

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Commenting interface for a typical post

Comments are sorted in a similar manner to posts on the front page. However, instead of a post-sorting bar at the top, there is a drop-down menu. The default sorting option is by "best," which is based on both the number of upvotes and replies. The "q&a" option allows the user to condense replies to comments. Other options include "new," "old," and "controversial." When the user is logged in, one of the first things they see is the comment box. Right below the comment box is the content policy. Next to each comment is an upvote button and a downvote button. They allow user to weigh in on another's comment without actually replying to it. This way a user can help a comment go to the top of the page or sink to the bottom.

Much of the discussion between users comes from replying to each other's comments rather than simply posting a general comment about the article. Often, the most popular comments get most of the replies. Newer or less popular comments can pushed to the bottom of the page where they are less likely to be seen and replied to. Although it is easy for comments to get lost, it is still possible for any user's comment to gain popularity.

Because of the fact that most user interaction occurs in the comments, the way this section is set up has large effect on the way that users behave. Since the comments that are moved to the top receive the most attention, users may try to make their comments noteworthy in order to get more upvotes and move to the top. On the other hand, users that prefer not to comment still have the option to subtly share their opinion by upvoting or downvoting.

The reminders of the rules both on the home page and comment encourage users to submit appropriate comments and posts.

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