Over the past few years humor sites have become more and more used in the online community. By this I don’t mean sites like youtube or facebook used for the purposes of killing time through humor you might find there, I mean sites like Imgur, and Reddit. Though these sites do cover way more than just humor, it could be argued that the sections based on comedy are their most popular feature. These may at first glance seem to be just whole in the wall websites where you can poke around for a few minutes and leave, but if you dig deeper in to the community behind these websites you can find out about the whole social community of users that runs them. They also function much better than the most popular social networking sites. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, which only feature the option to positively express your opinion with a click, i.e. liking, favoriting, and re-tweeting; Reddit and Imgur all offer the possibility to “downvote” something. On Imgur, this is called Karma. A user that gets so many down votes on posts and comments can actually lose their username. This feature discourages hateful posts and comments. There is no way to dislike a comment on Facebook and affect it’s visibility to new users other than reporting and removing it from your own timeline. Even then any comments will only not be able to be seen by you, unless the comment breaks Facebook’s Terms of Service. Additionally you do not get anything for having posts liked, besides a weird and empty satisfaction. Imgur users is currently in the process of developing a social networking site that only allows you to sign up if your Imgur account has 1000+ points of good karma (upvotes). This encourages user to post relevant material that only benefits the community. This is good for both the site and the users. The new users will get to see the best material first, and hopefully this gets them coming back to the website. Posts from Imgur and Reddit’s frontpage often make it to Facebook, and sometimes the opposite happens. The communities on these sites actually seem fairly developed, having things like their own inside jokes and jargon. If you are ever really bored in class, you can check them out.
imgur: the simple image sharer. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://imgur.com
reddit: the front page of the internet. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://reddit.com