Consider this post to be both a supplement and sequel to my original post, 10 frequently-asked questions by new mods, answered!
The subject of this post expands on question #10 in the original and is meant to help explain to new moderators what moderation and building a new subreddit up from scratch entails. This is organized into ten points roughly listed in the chronological order of the process of building a new subreddit.
1. Don't use mobile to moderate.
You cannot effectively moderate a subreddit just by using Reddit's mobile app or site. It's just not possible as of March 2020, and most of those tools won't come until much later this year. The vast majority of customization tools are completely absent from the site, and you cannot easily update things like the subreddit CSS (for Old Reddit) or AutoModerator from the mobile site. If you cannot or refuse to use a regular computer for moderating, I do not think moderating a subreddit is for you.
You may use the app to keep an eye on new posts and comments as they come into your subreddit, and remove them or approve them as you see fit, or submit new content to it - the app is good for that. But that should be done after you've already properly set up the basics of your subreddit's design and its aesthetic.
Once your subreddit gets more popular, you should also look into installing the Toolbox extension (r/toolbox), which contains a wealth of tools to help moderators, including bulk actions, macros, removal reasons, user notes, and more. It is almost impossible to find a subreddit of moderate size or larger that doesn't use Toolbox - it is that essential to Reddit moderators.
2. Make your subreddit look good.
Let me use the metaphor of a party: creating a new subreddit and asking people to come join it, is like sending a party invitation out to the people of this site. But if people go to the party location and all they find is a bare, empty room with drab grey walls and a single lightbulb, no one is going to want to stay! Thus customizing your subreddit is like decorating for a party - you want people to feel that the event is on-theme, and it's fun to stay.
So, customize your subreddit (on desktop, of course)! Use all the tools that are available to you. Create an icon and header that match the stated interest of the subreddit, add text telling new members what it is all about, and make it feel unique and special.
- Community Appearance
- Adding a banner / icon in redesign
- Adding a banner using the stylesheet/css
- Community settings
- How to add a subreddit icon & edit the display of your sub name in redesign
- How to change the name of your members and online users
- Adding menu tabs
3. Seed content! No one wants to post in an empty subreddit.
Let me continue with the metaphor of the party. Let's say this time you've put decorations and streamers up in the formerly empty room and it looks pretty good! But when the people you invited show up, they notice the room is empty - there's no one there at all! You, the host, aren't even there - but you left a simple sign on the door saying "Welcome! Please stay and have fun!" How many people do you think will actually stay?
That's effectively what an empty subreddit, devoid of posts, appears to new subscribers. Very few people want to be the first, or the only person posting in a subreddit, especially if the creator of the subreddit can't even be bothered to participate in their own community. As the creator of a subreddit, you must seed content, and seed content regularly.
Make posts every day / every other day that are relevant to the topic of your subreddit so people know it's an active place and that they feel welcome to post. You can also choose to cross-post relevant content from other subreddits into your own subreddit. In my experience a subreddit usually gets to 300-400 subscribers before you start seeing people other than the mods regularly posting stuff.
4. Set up post / user flairs.
As your subreddit receives more and more posts, it may be useful at some point to create post flairs, which are essentially categories for posts. For example, if your subreddit is about a game, you could have post flairs which are for "Gameplay", "Fanart", "Bugs", etc. Members can click on the post flairs and instantly see all posts related to that category.
On the other hand, user flairs are more like the little status messages in WhatsApp, Discord, etc. - they're small snippets of information that the user chooses to reflect something of themselves. There are many different ways to use them:
- Language learning subreddits often use them to indicate languages / skill levels of users.
- Fan subreddits of media (games/film/TV shows) usually have user flairs of major or popular characters in them.
- Location subreddits of countries, states, etc. usually use them to indicate where a user is from or represents.
- Many subreddits for political candidates use user flairs to indicate donor status/amounts.
Think about works best for your community and customize accordingly.
5. Check for related communities.
Run a search for key terms related to your subreddit on the site (
https://www.reddit.com/search?q=SEARCH_TERM&sort=relevance&t=all&type=sr) and see what subreddits pop up. If the exact purpose of your subreddit has already been done you may want to consider how your subreddit can differentiate itself, or even give up on the subreddit. There's no shame in the latter; people oftentimes forget to check if a subreddit already exists before creating their own.
If you believe your subreddit is sufficiently differentiated, reach out via modmail to some of the related subreddits and ask them if you can:
- Share sidebar links (they link to your subreddit, you link to theirs)
- Make a post in their subreddit advertising your subreddit
Be polite, and don't be offended if the mods of their subreddits do not reply or say "no." The other moderators are under no obligation to grant your request, and quite frankly, if you're openly trying to compete with them for the same subject matter they may see no point in helping you.
6. Promote your subreddit judiciously.
Promote your subreddit, perhaps beginning with my multireddit of promotional communities. If you see relevant posts in other subs, you can also drop a link to your subreddit in the comments. Don't overdo it or spam your subreddit link on unrelated content - that's an easy way to get banned everywhere, as no one likes a spammer.
7. Don't add new moderators unless you have a good reason to.
A common mistake by new moderators is to add more moderators in the mistaken belief that the new random people that were added as mods will help them post in and grow the subreddit.
This almost never works.
Unless the new moderators share the same passion for the project as you do, they have no incentive to help you grow your subreddit. The vast majority of such moderators get added and then promptly forget about the subreddit, especially if you yourself aren't participating in your own subreddit. If the creator of the subreddit doesn't even care about their sub, why should the new mods care?
You likely do not need any additional moderators until your community gets regular traffic in the form of posts and comments, or perhaps you aren't able to be on during a particularly active time zone. At that point, my recommendation is to promote from within - ask active members if they'd like to help out as moderators, rather than going to a place like r/NeedAMod. The members of your subreddit will have more of a vested interest in the success of the community and be more familiar with its "culture" and mores.
8. Keep the subreddit active and curated.
Building a subreddit from the ground up is a marathon, not a sprint. If you have a burst of activity at the beginning and then proceed to neglect your subreddit for months at a time, it will not grow. If you allow spammers to post random stuff on your own subreddit and take weeks to remove them, people will leave because the content they see is not relevant to what they wanted when they joined in the first place. Posting content regularly will also allow your subreddit to regularly surface in people's home feeds, which helps drive visits to it in the first place.
Furthermore, if you're away from Reddit for more than 60 days at a time, and you're the only moderator, your subreddit becomes potentially requestable in r/RedditRequest by someone else who thinks they can do a better job than you at building the community. And if you're never present in your own subreddit, they have a good argument for saying so.
9. Keep it a friendly and fun place.
This should be pretty self-explanatory, for despite Reddit's reputation in the broader media, people really just want to have fun in their favorite subreddits, and generally do not engage in flame wars or vitriolic arguments. What this means is that once your subreddit gets bigger, you should keep an eye out for bad actors who make your subreddit a potentially toxic place.
To use the party metaphor again, you may have a party crasher who is going around the room telling the people having a fun time that they're stupid, ugly, and only an idiot would drink what they're having. At that point, it's your job as the host of the party to either tell them to knock it off or eject them from the event.
Same thing goes for subreddits - whenever possible, try and message a toxic user to ask them to simmer down, but if they continue, ban them, either for a period of time or permanently.
- Creating a welcome message
- Welcoming new members
- Dealing with rapid growth
- Ensuring your sub is inclusive
10. Ask members for feedback.
Yes, technically according to Reddit moderators have ultimate power over their subreddit, but good subreddits always have moderators who solicit feedback from members and listen to what they have to say.
You don't necessarily have to implement everything members suggest, particularly if it conflicts with your vision of how the subreddit should be run, but it's worth it to listen. You can create surveys or polls to ask people about proposed policies or rules as well.
Feel free to share tips or ideas in the comments!
This subreddit has become overwhelmed with the same basic questions ever since Reddit suddenly enabled the creation of subreddits via the iOS app last week. The regulars on r/modhelp have been incredibly patient in answering the same few questions over and over again but I decided to put this post together for others to easily link to as an answer instead of having to type out the same thing multiple times.
As always, moderation (esp. customization) of subreddits is best done on desktop rather than mobile, so if you have access to a computer that is highly encouraged and it will solve 90% of your problems. Reddit seems to not have ported the subreddit settings and styling tools to the mobile app and it is unlikely that they will port those tools over for a while. Moderating on desktop also allows you to use the indispensable r/toolbox extension for moderators.
Note that you don't necessarily need use a physical PC to use "desktop mode", you can use your phone's own browser, too! Go to Reddit and tap the ≡ hamburger button on the top right, then select "Desktop Site."
March 2020 Update: Reddit has ported a few basic tools over to the iOS app. Unsure if they are also on the Android one.
1. How do I change my subreddit's icon/banner [on mobile]?
If you're asking about how to change your subreddit's icon image, you can do that via desktop mode in a web browser. Go to
https://www.reddit.com/r/SUBREDDIT/?styling=true in your favorite web browser and use the provided tools. The subreddit icon is usually a 256px x 256px image. The process is the same for subreddit banners.
If it's available in your app, go to
Mod Tools, then
Avatar. Then tap
2. How do I add more moderators?
You can do this within the app. Go to your subreddit in the app, tap on the "mod shield" on the top right. Then tap "Moderators List" and the
+ button that appears in the top right. Enter the name of the user you want to invite.
If you are inviting users via the desktop mode, go to
https://www.reddit.com/r/SUBREDDIT/about/moderators and enter their name there.
The invited user will get a message about the invite, and they have to accept the invite on their end before they show up on your moderators list.
If you're looking for more moderators and your subreddit has at least 50 subscribers and 25 posts, you may post over at r/needamod.
3. How do I add rules to my subreddit?
You can only do this via desktop mode in a web browser. Go to
https://www.reddit.com/r/SUBREDDIT/about/rules and click "Add Rule" in the top right corner. You can use either the classic interface (Old Reddit) or the redesign (New Reddit).
4. How do I make my subreddit private or public?
You can do this via desktop mode in a web browser. Go to
https://www.reddit.com/r/SUBREDDIT/about/edit/ and under "Type (of community)", select "public" or "private", which ever one you want. Then click "save options/changes".
publicmeans that anyone can see, post, or comment on your subreddit.
restrictedmeans that only approved users can post on your subreddit, but anyone can see it and comment.
privatemeans that only approved users can see, post, or comment on your subreddit. Everyone else is unable to see anything more than the description (see no. 5).
To do this on mobile, go to
Mod Tools, then
Community type, then change the slider to the one you want, then
5. How do I change my subreddit's description / its about text or its NSFW setting?
You can only do this via desktop mode in a web browser. Go to
https://www.reddit.com/r/SUBREDDIT/about/edit/ and change the "(Community) description". Then click "save options/changes". You can also change the NSFW status there.
To change the description on mobile, go to
Mod Tools, then
To change NSFW setting on mobile, go to
Mod Tools, then
Community type, then tap or untap
18+ community, then
6. I just created my subreddit, why does it say that there are 3/4/5/6 people online right now?
The number of users online for a subreddit is always fuzzed regardless of a subreddt's size. What that means is that you may be the only one on the subreddit but the user online count will vary by up to five users. As u/spladug says, "the idea of this was to make it harder to leak information about when individuals [are] visiting a subreddit."
7. How do I use AutoModerator to restrict new accounts / filter posts / etc?
Please read the AutoModerator introduction first to get an idea for what it can and can't do. There's also a library of common AutoModerator rules here and what you may want to implement may already be on there. If you're still lost after reading those links, try asking r/AutoModerator.
You can only change AutoModerator's configuration via desktop mode in a web browser. That configuration page is located at:
8. How do I make a bot for my subreddit?
First make sure that what you want to do is not possible with AutoModerator. If what you want to do is really not possible, you can ask over at r/RequestABot but please make your request specific and do not be vague. Note that hosting a bot is usually way overkill for new subreddits, especially ones with few subscribers and posts/comments.
9. How do I delete my subreddit?
It is not possible to delete a subredit. As the page says, even if you leave as a mod it will continue to exist and be available for new moderators to take over via request in r/redditrequest. If you want to get rid of it, consider r/adoptareddit. If you just don't want people to see it anymore, make it private and stay as a mod (see question #4).
10. How do I get more people to visit my subreddit / grow it?
The official help center has some useful tips on how to grow your subreddit, and there's also a guide from r/modclub here.
Here are some other tips from community members (lightly edited for clarity):
- Fill-up the first page or two with top-quality posts before revealing its existence to r/newreddits.
- You have to fill-up the first page or two with top-quality content. I don't mean submit something every day, I'm saying submit some thing of best quality, whether it takes 3-4-5 days between posts.
- The first page or two are key. You want visitors to instantly see what kind of stuff is not only considered acceptable to your subscribers but what quality of stuff is upvoted.
- Use r/AutoModerator and learn about its various uses.
- Create a piece of header art that represents your subreddit and upload it via your subreddit settings.
- Network with smaller subs and advertise as much as possible in similar subs. You can just mention your sub casually in comment section as well.
- Focus on gathering regulars. The sub I was working with took off after regulars started to generate contents everyday. Before that, you have to generate content on your own.
- Crossposts tend to get people a lot. My sub sees a sudden growth when someone posts an article that has been posted in other subreddits as well.
- Find related subreddits (You can do so by going here and entering a keyword. If you mod a book subreddit, typing "books" or "literature" is a good idea) and ask the moderators (Politely and professionally. Avoid being spammy) if they'd like to have a sidebar/wiki/sticky link swap (The latter two only if applicable). You could try asking if it'll be okay to make a post promoting it.
- Crosspost to subs, preferably related, assuming the mods are okay with it. When posted, I advise adding a worthwhile comment that includes the link to your subreddit, so as to make it easier for mobile users.
- See this list of promotional subs and post to them. To get a free official ad, try r/subredditads. To buy an official ad, see this page.
- Make sure the description is rather descriptive to help it come up in Reddit searches.
- Reach out to people you think could be interested in viewing the sub. Don't be spammy about this.
Please do not expect that your subreddit will just automatically grow and attract subscribers without any effort on your part. Most subreddits are grown through their creators'/moderators' labors of love and they have put a lot of work into making their communities successful.
Please also see this subreddit's sidebar for a list of useful subreddits that may better fit your needs.
I've seen some subreddits that have tables in their sidebar (see, for example r/FormulaE on old reddit) and they made some rows with a blue background. Is this achievable using only kramdown or I have to rely on some HTML code?
We have auto Moderator, which posts a comment on all our threads.
I would like to set up a bot to do the following.
read thread status as "approved" (once thread has been approved manually by mods)
then remove auto mod comment from that thread.
it would be nice to replace it with a very brief sentence of text if possible.
Can anyone help please?
Thanks in advance
Hi, how can I allow to certain people post in my community if they have lower karma than needed?
account_age: '< 10 day'
link_karma: '< 300'
comment_karma: '< 20'
I recently became a moderator of a small community subreddit for a small local community. Some users have complained about their comments being unfairly reported as "hate" by other members of the subreddit. I'm looking for resources to better understand what happens when a comment is reported for this reason, and what (if any) rule subreddit moderators have in this process.
Like in our real-life community, there are opposing factions within this local community subreddit that have very different views on religious, political and social issues.
While the sub's moderation has been largely hands-off in the past, our small mod team has been getting more proactive about implementing rules that improve the tone of discussion, reminding people of Reddit's sitewide rules and removing posts and comments that violate these.
That's all going pretty well, but recently a couple of users from one faction have been accusing users from another faction of unfairly reporting their comments as hate speech.
My core question is: do I and other moderators of this subreddit have any role in this process?
My impression is that these reports bypass our subreddit mods, and go straight to a Reddit admin team who acts on them. Is that accurate? Is there documentation somewhere about how this process works? Is there anything I'm missing, and besides setting rules, enforcing them and acting on the reports we do see, is there anything our mod team should be doing in relation to these complaints?
So I recently found out about "rules" and I want to make some rules in my subreddit, but I can't seem to know how they work and how to set them up, can anyone from this subreddit help? I will gladly read any comment this post gets.
Ok so I accidentally removed my mod on my own community and now I can’t get it back (mobile)
I made a sub reddit, then I deleted the account I made the reddit with.
The sub got banned for not having any moderation
Can I either 1. become the new mod on THIS account, making it moderated, meaning it doesnt need to be banned anymore, or, can i make a new r/LCO on THIS account. ty.
Where can i get that for the subreddit i moderate at? some subs have this awesome tournament with polls and i wanna try it out for the subreddit i mod at. Any info would be greatly appreciated!
Like the title says, I'm trying to figure out how the major post types (Text, Image, Video, Link, Poll, and Predictions) break down between self and link posts. I know that text posts are self posts and link posts are self-explanatory, but the rest of them are less clear. The reason I want to know is because a lot of image submissions to my community have been falsely caught by the spam filter and I want to know which setting to turn to "Low."
Just wondering if its possible to change the u/ username.
I need help adding rules to my subreddit on mobile. I tried almost everything I can think of.
Bonjour je voudrais changer le nom de ma communauté que j’ai créé il y a il y 2 jour et dont je suis l’unique membre. Comment puis-je faire? Merci d’avance pour vos réponses
I made a subreddit but i want to add rules so people can’t add other stuff but i don’t know how…
I want to be able to post in video format but everytime it says doesn't not support here. Is there an option that I'm missing in settings? Or is it a premium thing! Trust me the world would be a better place if I was allowed to post my vids.
I just need advice.
Since Automod doesn’t support automatic removal of NSFW-marked posts, is there any way I can get a message/notification/general heads-up whenever Reddit takes an action in a subreddit?
For context, Reddit has a much stricter (and more importantly much less cut-and-dry) view of “NSFW” than a moderation team I’m a part of and has been marking posts accordingly. It doesn’t matter why that is — whether Reddit is getting reports that we moderators aren’t seeing or some individual Reddit Admin has a bee in their bonnet — those posts just need to be removed under our subreddit rules.
I realize I'm not in the right place, just looking for advice
The sub settings only allow approved users to submit topics, there is no way to be approved and the sub has been inactive for 6 months as a result
Any advice on how to unlock that is appreciated
My subreddit r/AskRedditFood is seeing posts made roughly every minute by some kind of bot. It is opening endless fake user accounts and making a single post using each account. The format is (first word)(second word)(number). It's the first time I've ever seen this kind of thing.
I reported this to the Reddit admins just now using their messaging area. I just wondered if there's anything else I should be doing in order to prevent this kind of activity. Thanks.
I have questions about some details:
1- Can we lock the predictions without revealing the results? (Then revealing them later for questions like "who will win X sport league" we don't want members to keep predicting until the last fixtures))
2- The maximum number of options allowed is 4, right?
3- Is there a time limit for predictions? (Can it stay up for months?)
Edit: Oh apparently it's a recent thing. I found this post in r/help : Post flair filter is not working on flairs with slashes
I moderate r/chess960 but not the main chess subreddit. I notice the same problem in both subreddits though (at least on my end).
I think when flairs have like a slash ( / ) in them, then posts with those flairs cannot be filtered.
Question 1: Is it really like that?
In r/chess960, I can filter for the ff flairs:
But I can't filter
I was just copying the chess sub though, but it turns out to be the same there.
I can filter:
But I can't filter:
Question 2: Is there a way around this?
Just started my first subreddit: r/companycomedy have no idea what I am doing any help or advice on promoting it or moderating would be appreciated
Reddit's new "block user" button doesn't just hide that user's posts from the blocker, it actually prevents that user from replying to any of the blocker's comments, OR ANY COMMENT IN AN ENTIRE THREAD that the blocker has participated in.
Users are abusing this feature to effectively ban people from discussions, as though they were a moderator.
User A says "Captain Kirk is the best Star Trek captain ever."
User B replies with "No he isn't, Captain Picard is."
User A replies with a list of reasons of why Captain Kirk is truly the best star trek captain, then clicks "Block user" on User B. User B is now prevented from replying with their own counterargument. This ban is public-facing, meaning NOBODY can see User B's replies, not just User A. This differs from the RES method of blocking users, that simply prevents User A from ever seeing User B's comments ever again.
Is there any way for mods to prevent this, or identify users who have abused it?