Moderation in different communities on Reddit -- A qualitative analysis study

Thumbnail Image
Birman, Iris
Associated Organization(s)
Organizational Unit
Organizational Unit
Supplementary to
The purpose of this study is to analyze moderation of different subreddits with varying degrees of moderation on Reddit. Understanding differences between how and to what extent rules, which are specified in the community norms section of each subreddit, are enforced showcases the characteristics of the subreddit itself as well as the degree to which freedom of speech is allowed. How strictly rules are enforced, in addition to the objectivity and harshness of the rules themselves, is a topic of comparison. The way moderators interact with each other, the tools and enhancements they use to aid moderation, such as Automoderator, and the way they make difficult decisions are also aspects of the analysis. This research will aid not only in understanding the moderation of Reddit subcommunities, or “subreddits,” but will also help explain the workings of online communities in general. The tangential fields of sociology, industrial psychology, politics, and science will be interested in the results. The methodology of the paper involved ascertaining which of the top 100 subreddits by subscriber count are the most and least heavily moderated. Then, qualitative interviews were conducted with 15 Reddit moderators as well as the creator of the Automoderator tool, Chad Birch. The findings from these interviews are elaborated on in this paper in relation to how they answer our inquiries.
Date Issued
Resource Type
Resource Subtype
Undergraduate Thesis
Rights Statement
Rights URI