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Researching Social News – Is reddit.com a mouthpiece for the ‘Hive Mind’, or a Collective Intelligence approach to Information Overload?

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsPaper


Publication date15/09/2011
Host publicationETHICOMP 2011 Proceedings
Place of publicationSheffield
PublisherSheffield Hallam University
Number of pages16
Original languageEnglish


Distributed moderation and filtering systems are becoming increasingly common on the web. This paper examines reddit.com, a Social News website where users vote to determine which stories will be featured in high-visibility locations. User voting activity and attention are found to be highly concentrated on the website’s front page. The consequences of this are considered, chiefly by studying reddit’s coverage of a major news story. Minority opinions are found to be slightly marginalised but not excluded from high-visibility locations. The paper concludes by discussing some positive and negative effects of the emphasis reddit places on its front page and the collective decisions about which items appear there.