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What is Reddit karma and how do you get it?
Many social media sites don’t track the actual number of likes or dislikes you get. While you can see some of your activity history, sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram don’t typically flaunt your feedback in a score-based format. Reddit, on the other hand, is not your run-of-the-mill social media site. When you add a new post or comment, how other users respond to it will directly influence your account’s overall “karma” score. If you care about your reputation and how you appear virtually, you’re going to want to know what karma is on Reddit—and how to get more.
Read more: How to crosspost on Reddit
To get karma on Reddit, you must publish posts and comments that receive upvotes from the community. You can also receive awarder and awardee karma, but these two forms of karma are still in an experimental stage with Reddit.
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What is “karma” on Reddit?
Karma on Reddit is, essentially, your account’s reputation score. You can add or lose karma points with posts, comments, and awards.
On Reddit, posts and comments can only receive upvotes (↑) and downvotes (↓). There is no in-between, and there are no reactions like “Haha,” “Sad,” or “Angry” like there are on Facebook.
Reddit keeps track of all the upvotes and downvotes your posts and comments amass. Note that upvotes and downvotes don’t correlate with karma on a 1:1 scale; one upvote doesn’t equate to +1 karma, and one downvote doesn’t equate to -1 karma. Reddit has its own algorithm that your upvotes and downvotes are plugged into, thereby resulting in the karma you see on your profile.
When your posts or comments get upvoted, you gain some karma—so making posts and comments that communities find valuable is the best way to gain karma. The more upvotes you get, the more karma you’ll receive. However, karma is only an approximate reflection of your upvotes and not a 1:1 relationship.
— Reddit Help
Additionally, awards now factor into your karma. Awards given or received by your account will positively impact your karma total. That said, this is still a new form of karma and, according to Reddit, is still “somewhat of an experiment.”
How to raise your karma score on Reddit
Reddit karma is subdivided into four categories: post karma, comment karma, awardee karma, and awarder karma. As such, there are four ways to add to your account’s overall karma score.
Your Reddit post karma is the real-time representation of all of the upvotes and downvotes your posts have received. Upvotes count towards your score while downvotes count against your score.
Post karma is perhaps the most impactful karma category due to the sheer size of the Reddit userbase and how quickly people react to posts. Whatever you post will be seen by a potentially enormous audience, depending on the size of the subreddit and if your post gets promoted on other users’ feeds.
Whether you add or lose post karma is entirely dependent on how well you read the room. Don’t post something unrelated or out of date, or anything that could annoy or offend users.
Take your time to conceptualize a post and make sure a similar post hasn’t been recently posted. For example, if you’re about to post “Is cross-core customization a thing yet?” in the Halo subreddit, search your question in the subreddit first to make sure your question hasn’t already been addressed.
A secret piece of advice is to think about others before yourself: what do others want to see or know more about? The more selfless and helpful you are on Reddit, the more your Reddit score will reflect positively.
Comment karma is another common source of karma points. Every upvote and downvote on your comments will count towards or against your overall karma score.
Be mindful of what you are going to say in your comment, and, as always, think before you post it. If you notice something about the post that hasn’t been pointed out yet, and it’s something that others may find value in, that’s probably something you should consider bringing up.
You can always praise the original poster or say something nice about their post.
Humor is typically a last resort, simply because everyone has different things they find funny. If you think everyone will find a particular comment funny, try to get another like-minded person’s opinion before hitting Comment. You don’t want to inadvertently offend anyone with an “out-there” humor post.
Awardee and awarder karma
The last two karma categories are awardee and awarder karma. Reddit is currently experimenting with these two forms of karma and will likely be making changes to the way they affect your overall karma score in the future. This remains to be seen.
To gain more karma this way, all you need to do is either receive awards on your posts or give rewards to other users’ posts. There are many different awards that you can give and get; however, because this is still an experimental karma form, it isn’t the most reliable way to add to your karma score.
Read more: How to use spoiler tags on Reddit
Does Reddit karma expire?
Reddit karma is permanent and does not expire.
What is Reddit karma used for?
Reddit karma is your reputation score. Some exclusive communities require you to have a minimum karma score to join.
Do you get karma for upvoting your own posts on Reddit?
No, self-upvoting does nothing.
You get karma for other peoples’ upvotes on your posts, but Reddit does not count your own upvotes on your posts towards your karma score.
Can you get negative karma on Reddit?
Yes, and this is a bad sign. If you are respectful, post regularly, and generally think about other users before yourself, the quality of your posts will go up. If you are disrespectful and people don’t like what you’re posting, they can downvote your post, and you can get negative karma.
What is awardee karma?
Awardee karma is karma you receive because someone gifted you an award on one of your posts.