Over the past year or two, social media users have been advising others to add the term “Reddit” to the end of their Google searches.
However, this can be a terrible idea, especially if you’re in need of specific knowledge about a subject.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. “You’re a blog website. Of course you’re going to say that! You just want us to look at your stupid ads!”
Well, firstly, I’ve been a Reddit user since 2010. I know what I’m talking about.
Secondly, this site has almost no overlap with Reddit. In other words, I’m not really competing with Reddit for any important key phrases.
Thirdly, I’ve brought some receipts.
Most “experienced” Reddit users will probably agree with me on this subject, as they’ve seen enough terrible answers over the years to know better. It is usually the newer, more zealous members who seem to hype the site up like it’s some kind of secret club.
The first problem with Reddit is the karma system. Simply put, people love collecting magical Internet points. They love watching as the upvote counter beside their comment gradually increases over time.
It gives them a nice little dopamine hit.
In an effort to get “karma”, some users will rush to answer questions as quickly as possible. This is because being early to a thread is often more advantageous than being right. In many cases, you’ll find that the correct answer is floating around at the bottom simply because it wasn’t posted early enough.
The second problem with Reddit is that it’s anonymous. Most users don’t have to worry about whether they are right or wrong, as their reputation is not on the line. If someone does call them out for posting incorrect information, it doesn’t really matter. They can simply delete the comment and move on with their lives. Who cares?
The third problem is that most users are too lazy to research their answers or “fact-check” other people’s answers (for example, most of them will comment on articles without even reading them).
Because being first is so important, many responders will just post the first thing that enters their heads. If the comment seems like it’s probably right or the poster seems confident enough, then others will often blindly go along with it. This is the reason why certain comments will get dozens of upvotes before someone finally replies with a correction.
Take a look at the following thread from /r/Ireland:
In this case, a user asked the Ireland subreddit if he had to pay taxes on profits that he earned from selling virtual items.
Most people brushed it off simply because he mentioned a video game. Evidently, these users do not know how much money is flowing around the CS:GO economy. Nor did they make any effort to research the topic.
One upvoted comment sneeringly advised him to “give his head a wobble”, even though the OP clearly mentioned that his inventory was worth a couple of thousand euros.
Another user likened it to selling a second-hand couch, which isn’t the same thing, as taxes are only paid on profits. If you sell a used household item for cheaper than you originally bought it for, capital gains tax (CTG) does not apply.
Others did suggest that he pay CTG. However, they did so before questioning the frequency of his sales. This is important, as the frequency determines whether he should be paying income tax or CTG.
All in all, this thread is full of bad advice that could land the OP in a lot of financial trouble with Ireland’s tax authorities.
On the /r/serialkillers subreddit, someone asked if there were any serial killers who had a perfect childhood.
The top answer was the BTK killer, Dennis Rader.
However, this is incorrect.
Rader’s mother was emotionally absent throughout most of his childhood, as she preferred to spend her time reading and watching television. Meanwhile, his father worked long hours.
Consequently, Rader was often left to his own devices. As a child, he engaged in voyeurism, stole women’s clothes, and tortured small animals. At times, he would dress up in the stolen clothes, wrap a rope around his neck, and then pretend to be a female victim who was being strangled.
As you can see, his childhood was anything but perfect.
Another issue with adding “Reddit” to your Google searches is that the userbase can be quite anti-social and cynical at times. A lot of the personal advice comes from misanthropic, “chronically online” people who should probably be focusing on fixing their own problems. Furthermore, many of them are young and inexperienced when it comes to career and relationship problems.
Consequently, the personal advice that they dish out can be remarkably out of touch.
Does this mean that you should completely ignore Reddit’s answers? Of course not. However, you’d be a fool to think that you are always getting the correct answer, even if it does have dozens of upvotes.
In many cases, it’s the blind leading the blind.