Study: most Redditors don't read the articles

Originally published at:


RTFA? Where is the fun in mock outrage if you do that?


How could they possibly know that?


Something something your mum.


SHOCKED! I’m Shocked!

…I’m not that shocked…


Well, yes, in the parts of reddit I venture into, someone reads the article, then posts the link with a TL;DR and people comment based off the TL;DR. This is often a much better use of time than clicking through 5 pages of ad-laden cruft or watching a 5 minute video to get to a reveal or, um, the point. You know, the whole issue with the Internet of Suck.


But… but I thought their downvotes were a legitimate form of criticism that could form a basis for meaningful self-improvement!


Thought this would for sure be a Rickroll.


dataset consisting of all Reddit activity of 309 site users for a one year period.

I imagine they asked 309 users if they could log their activity within reddit for a year. I guess we could both find out if we clicked through to the article


This doesn’t surprise me in the least. I bet 60-65% of the posts there are voted on by users that haven’t even bothered to view the content they’re talking about. The attention span of the majority of internet users these days isn’t sufficient to keep them from


Well, I read before I upvote/downvote, so I guess I’m not most Redditors.

Who says I need to reach the article?

“We spoke to a Nazi and he drinks milk just like you (NYT)”


“Saying all your female coworkers is bad - but so is not respecting other views (WaPo)”


“TIL: some old bullshit that’s been posted 8x”


I simply reject the notion I need to read the article to dunk on it.


Me too. That link actually went to an article about this, instead of something funny to make the point via humor that this happens everywhere, even here. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I didn’t read the article but it doesn’t surprise me.

I wonder what the stats are for BBS?

1 Like

The article actually goes into BoingBoing’s readers in detail, as well. If you read it, you would know that.


Very obvious, and this is a plague on Ars Technica too. Nintendo fanboys, Apple people, Xbots (yes, there are still Microsoft fanboys), the usual hardcore ‘I am proud to have pledged my soul and personal sense of well being to a giant amoral corporation’ groups just scan the article titles, head right to the comments, post the canned expressions of support for their glorious overlords, and block vote with ambiguous comments getting a downvote just in case.

Remember when people asked for up/downvotes for BBS Discourse here? I once again thank @codinghorror for not doing it.


Yes, reading is fundamental!

Remember we discussed adding features along these lines to Discourse recently… unfortunately the one thing we can’t measure is whether you actually read the source article. But some interesting stuff has been proposed and we’re still thinking about this:

  • don’t allow posting unless you can answer these quiz questions about the source article?

  • don’t allow posting unless you have read (x) percent of the discussion topic?

  • show how many posts you read in this topic (or topic read time, or both), next to the username of new users in that particular topic?

  • require new commenters to rate some other new comments by other new commenters before we’ll post their comment?

Here’s one baby step we’ve recently taken, that was long overdue: you’ll note total and recent read time is now on your profile page and on your user card:


I would like (heh) to have ‘agree’/‘disagree’ buttons.

oh, totally. as long as it doesn’t bump or bury the post, I’m fine with that, and have asked for stuff like that in the past

1 Like