These platforms enable us to connect with friends and family thousands of miles away as though they were down the street. Even more important is that they enable us to connect with strangers worldwide and build a platform. One of the most notable platforms for connection with people we do not know is the Reddit website.
Reddit’s eclectic range of content and users has made an interesting space where countless people with different views can connect. The anonymity employed on Reddit exceeds most other social media websites and allows a more aggressive community. Sometimes, the posts and comments made on Reddit can severely backfire and could cause reputational damage should your Reddit account be linked to your real identity.
While connecting a Reddit account to its creator is difficult, it is still possible to use clues from your posts or your username. When this risk is so prevalent in a world where our reputation can destroy our lives if it becomes poor, it can be imperative to delete the comments or posts that might adversely affect it.
What is Reddit?
Reddit is a social media platform, much like Facebook or Twitter, that caters to an eclectic crowd of internet users. Despite its interesting range, Reddit’s origins are comically different from what it eventually became. In 2005, a pair of students from the University of Virginia, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian applied to a startup incubator run by programmer/entrepreneur Paul Graham. The pair first applied with a mobile food ordering app, My Mobile Menu, but were rejected. On the second attempt, they applied with a prototype website dubbed “the front page of the internet” by Graham. Unfortunately, the website was not well-populated, and Huffman and Ohanian compensated by creating multiple fake accounts to intimate a populated website.
Eventually, this prototype website became Reddit and sold for $10,000,000.00 to $20,000,000.00, with Huffman and Ohanian parting ways. Over time, Reddit transformed from a Craigslist lookalike to a hybrid webpage and mobile application that enabled its users to access content on multiple subjects. Virtually every major topic has its own subreddit (a page on Reddit dedicated to that content type) that people can follow to interact with other users with shared interests. The range of topics is so vast that you can find subreddits dedicated to political discourse, video game theories, philosophy, and even pornography.
People are free to peruse the content at their leisure and provide their opinion on what has been posted. There is a standard ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ system, called ‘Upvotes’ and ‘Downvotes,’ along with a karma system designed to promote posts and, by extension, their posters to other users. These interaction systems are completed with a standard comment system subject to the other interaction systems.
These systems and the ability to post your own content put your Reddit account at risk of reputational damage. If your posts are unpopular with the demographics who are prone to weaponize social media posts, you risk having your public image damaged. If you have found your Reddit posts are backfiring, you might be eager to remove your posts or take down posts referencing you.
How to Remove Your Reddit Posts
Posting something on Reddit is one of the more public social media posts you can make since there are not as many privacy settings on Reddit as on other social media websites. When we post something on Reddit, every user who is not blocked from your account will be able to see it if they come across it on the appropriate subreddit. The reception to your posts will vary depending on the personal philosophies of the other users.
When a user seriously objects to another user’s post, they are liable to use Reddit’s reaction systems to drag your image down in the eyes of other Reddit users. Unfortunately, when a poorly received Reddit post circulates too much, it can transcend Reddit’s domain and affect your real life.
Fortunately, these backfired posts do not have to be permanent since you retain complete control over your account and what you post. Deleting your Reddit posts is a simple matter that starts when you log into your account from the website or mobile app. Once you are logged in, the process only gets easier to remove your posts.
The steps you must follow are:
- Log into your account. (As previously mentioned.)
- Click on your photo icon in the top right corner of the screen. This will generate a dropdown menu that has several options from which you can choose.
- From the dropdown menu, select the option that says ‘Profile,’ which will bring you to your Reddit profile and the options you can use to modify your account.
- At the top of your profile page will be another option that says ‘Posts,’ which will show you a list of your posts since the beginning of your Reddit career.
- Each post will have an icon under it that will allow you to delete the post once you click it. Once you confirm the deletion request, the post is removed from Reddit completely.
You can repeat the above process to delete any comments you left on other posts with the same efficiency. Once a post or comment you post on Reddit is deleted, the deletion is permanent and cannot be restored. Neither you nor Reddit’s moderators can restore a post or comment that its poster has deleted. This is done to protect the privacy of Reddit’s users and ensure that moderators or other users with a grudge cannot restore potentially harmful posts.
Removing your posts from Reddit might not prevent the full amount of reputational damage, but it can minimize the number of users who see the post. As the one who created the post, you are free to delete your posts and comments as you see fit. Unfortunately, this luxury is not extended to posts made by other Reddit users that might damage your image.
How to Remove Others’ Reddit Posts
Removing our own posts from Reddit or any social media is a remarkably simple process because nothing can stop us. Anything we post is ours to maintain or delete as we see fit, but the things others post about us fall under their purview. You cannot use the same options to delete another Reddit user’s posts as you can your own, so deleting harmful posts made by other users is nowhere near as simple.
To get a post about you removed, you must follow these steps:
- Log into your Reddit account, just like when deleting your own posts.
- Locate the post made by the other user and locate the 3-dot button that will open a sub-menu.
- Click on the “Report” button next to a small flag icon.
- Select the option that applies to why you are reporting this post.
This process requires you to have a valid reason besides “it makes me look bad” if you want Reddit’s moderators to take it seriously.
The most effective options include the following:
- Sharing Personal Information: The post reveals personally identifying information such as contact information, address, real name, etc.
- Impersonation: The post was made by another user posing as you.
- Non-Consensual Intimate Media: The post contains nude images or sexual content of you that you did not want to be posted.
- Harassment: The post was made to antagonize or intimidate you, usually accompanied by several additional posts.
- Threatening Violence: The post threatens bodily harm or death against you.
While these are offenses Reddit takes seriously, you cannot select them because it looks good or will be effective. You must select it because it applies to the situation and the post fulfills one or more of these criteria. For example, if a Reddit user posts a nude photograph of you on their profile, it can damage your reputation and expose a private image to people who have no right to see it. This validates the report, and Reddit will swiftly pull the post down once the report is made.
Alternatively, if someone screenshots a post you made that was politically charged and posts that screenshot to their page; the report will likely fail. This is because you made the post on a public medium and your only reason for reporting the repost is because it is harming your reputation.
Reporting a post can work if there is a reason other than preserving your image for the request, but it is more likely to fail. There is an alternative, but the success rate is no greater than reporting the post. This alternative involves messaging the Reddit user who made the post and asking them to take it down for your sake. Some users are sympathetic to their posts’ impact and will take them down if you make an impassioned plea. Other times, they will refuse and stand by their post with little concern for how it affects you.
Ultimately, removing another Reddit user’s post is a lottery where you either get lucky or do not. Reddit will not infringe on other users’ rights to protect your reputation and will require significant evidence to prove the post is harming you. Otherwise, you will have to take your chances with the original poster.
Social media might seem irrelevant to your public image, but it can be one of the most important factors. We live in a society where social media gives us insight into our friends, family, neighbors, and the companies we go through. Social media has become an important marketing tool that allows us to connect with many people, but it can backfire if we do not carefully cultivate our social presence.
Too many posts that conflict with the ideologies of contemporary citizens provides more ammunition to use against you. The best way to avoid this is to subject your social media posts to serious scrutiny before hitting the ‘Post’ button. Doing this might be difficult if you do not have a trained reputation management team.
Take Your Reputation Back!
Insofar as social media platforms go, Reddit is not quite as dangerous as Facebook or Twitter, where our identities are easier to ascertain. Nevertheless, the risk of our Reddit accounts being linked back to us makes our posts and the subreddits we peruse a direct threat to our reputation. Even if your Reddit is meant to be private, the subreddits you subscribe to and the comments you leave may be used as ammunition to discredit you and destroy your public image. Reddit offers colorful content not readily available on other platforms, but it is still subject to the same scrutiny as your Facebook account. This means you need a trained team to help manage your social media presence and prevent potential reputational damage.
We at Reputation focus on preserving our clients’ reputations through several services. One of the main services we offer is a social media management process where we assess the posts on your accounts and remove the potentially harmful ones. We can also make new posts to try and improve your image to compensate for any damage that has already occurred. With reputations being so valuable, it is important to protect yourself. We encourage you to visit our website and take your reputation back!