There are many ways to organise posts on Reddit, but none that reveal the most despised content to ever grace the site. Cornell student Horace He has sought to change that with his site notreddit.top. The site takes data from Reddit itself and finds the posts that have been downvoted to oblivion.
“Typically, what happens with content that users don’t want to see is apathy,” Horace told Gizmodo via email. “Somewhere around 40 per cent of Reddit submissions are not upvoted or downvoted.” Those posts fade into obscurity. “The content that shows up on notreddit.top is not merely content that users have no interest in, it’s content that users actively hate,” He wrote.
So what pisses Redditors off? Let’s look at the ten most downvoted posts in Reddit’s 11 year history.
A number of users were banned from the retro Runescape subreddit for harassment and bigotry. Once again, this feels like common decency but managed to incite backlash from users.
As the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub was happening, the r/news thread on the topic was brigaded by hatespeech. This led the moderators to delete posts and lock threads, drawing ire from users who felt they were being censored.
The r/videos subreddit was being flooded with politically-motivated content near the end of 2015. The moderators decided to make a new home for those videos, and the users threw a fit. Is this feeling like a trend yet?
Ann Coulter is reviled by many, and Reddit has more than its fair share of Coulter haters. Suffice to say, this Ask Me Anything did not go well. When asked her thoughts on trans rights, she responded, “I loved TransWorld Airlines. So sorry to see them go away.” Y’know, because Ann Coulter is a miserable troll.
This was another standard attempt by moderators to remind users that things like posting images of minors and mocking the handicapped isn’t cool. More whining ensues. Yes, we can safely call this a motif of the Reddit moral compass.
In which the mods of r/news attempt an even-handed explanation for why the aforementioned Orlando threads weren’t allowed to maintain their usual state of semi-anarchy. Somehow this managed to make people even more upset.
This was the infamous announcement from Jessica Lowndes, Alexis Ohanian and Ellen Pao (who was more or less bullied out of her position as CEO by the community she was serving) that banned subreddits that had a sole purpose to bully people. C’mon guys, we all value a free and open internet, but getting upset about this is indefensible.
The most hated post on Reddit of all time is, predictably, more moderators telling more users to stop being jackasses and aim for the bare minimum of human decency. Its the same familiar tune: Stop posting pictures of minors, stop making fun of people with mental and physical disabilities, stop posting peoples’ personal information. Enough with the bullying and hatespeech. And again, this entirely sound advice was downvoted into a digital abyss.
What about any of that is even remotely encroaching on your freedom, my dudes? Reddit, I love you, but you’re screwing up.