What It Takes To Moderate Relationship Advice On Reddit

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There are many places one can get dating advice.

I’m more in the habit of giving than receiving so I wasn’t remotely aware of the size of the Reddit relationship advice community until I read this piece.

Last month, it recorded more than 40 million pageviews, and added an average of 1,516 new members each day.

With more than 2.6 million members, r/relationships is currently number 74 on the site by size —a little less popular than basketball, a little more popular than tattoos. Last month, it recorded more than 40 million pageviews, and added an average of 1,516 new members each day.

Let’s just say that’s a little more than this site gets

The focus of the article is on the Reddit moderators. How do you keep such a huge, unwieldy community civil, especially in such an emotional and personal topic as relationships? Interestingly enough, they’ve arrived at the same conclusions I have.

The rules to this blog are pretty simple: don’t hijack the original post and don’t insult the host or readers directly. Pretty much everything else goes. Somehow, it works.

“In a 2015 paper parsing the “virtues of moderation,” the Cornell Law School internet-platform expert James Grimmelmann identified four types of behavior that moderation is meant to excise: congestion, cacophony, abuse, and manipulation. But taken in total, he wrote, “moderation is how online communities walk the tightrope between overuse and underuse.”

Reddit is a place for crowdsourced advice. People go and ask their own questions and get answers from the community at large.

This is a place in which a dating coach answers one question a week and readers offer their take in the comments below.

Apart from the fact that we both offer relationship advice, there’s really no comparison. So, readers, do you ever frequent Reddit? Do you check out other dating/relationship blogs? And what makes you come back here when there’s so much out there?

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Beth

    I do visit the reddit relationship community, but I am careful about it so I don’t end up feeling too hopeless. It can be helpful from real world perspective, and I am usually more interesting in people struggling to return to dating after a long term relationship – when the dating/social world is simply so different than 10 – 20 years ago.

    It can be a bit challenging depending on the thread dealing with the age ranges, and heartbreaking to see all the teen/young adult threads. I would have thought by now that sex education was a lot more helpful than it was when I was a teenager.

    Like I said, I am careful. There is a lot of heartbreak and a lot of stories that might just cause one to give up. We can be such an emotionally damaging animal. It really is too bad. Reddit is definitely a community in which some of the things people say and do to each other while supposedly in a committed relationship is in writing. It is raw and it is devastating.

    I tend to read more of the male threads to get a sense of their perspective on dating and relationships mostly to try and understand what men might be reading on me.

  2. 2
    P.

    What keeps me coming back? Your compassion, your ability to zero in on a problem and parse it out, your intelectual and emotional honesty… And the fact you responded to my question here when I was utterly confused and helped me see things clearly. You didn’t know me and yet took the time to give me a thoughtful response that was right on the money. You’re the best! Thank you!

  3. 3
    Lucy

    I started reading this blog in my twenties (now I’m 30). I find it useful as a lot of the advice for women I see elsewhere is focussed on texting games, keeping men on the hook etc, which doesn’t appeal to me. I really want to see the male perspective but I don’t want to practise mind games. This blog keeps it real. Another blog I read is Baggage Reclaim from the UK (where I’m from).

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Natalie is great. Keep it up!

  4. 4
    Malika With an L

    Reddit has a subreddit for every topic from politics to how to clean the grout in your bathroom. While it’s maybe not for everyone I find it a great place to discuss topics that are niche like the vaginismus forum i regularly contribute to. It is quite fulfilling to be able post advice or words of support to people who suffer from this. I live in a country where I was able to receive help for it, yet there are many people who cannot get that degree of help in their own country. Being able to give concrete advice on treatment to someone who lives on another continent and that it helps them further is mindboggling to someone who grew up without such resources when i was a teenager myself. The broader dating and relationship subreddits can be quite interesting, but as most people post there to vent their frustration it is best not to stick around for too long.

    Coming back here is a no brainer. The comments are usually populated by an older demographic which has a very articulate and constructive take on sex and relationships. It’s less of a vent and more a gathering of a tool kit for dealing with the complex machinations within love and lust and it has been a great resource for creating healthier dating patterns. If my partner and i ever get married, I wish i could invite you all to the wedding as a big thanks!

    1. 4.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Malika

      From what I can ascertain from my limited perusing is that most of the contributors on the subreddit are young or youngish. It is easy to get upset by things one does not understand. When one is that age, everything is a mystery.

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