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Reddit’s fastest-growing subreddit right now? /r/coronavirus, of course

One of the tricks they use to keep everything factual? Banning political posts.

reddit /r/coronavirus
Image: Screenshot / Reddit

As the coronavirus pandemic increases in infection rates, two things are becoming apparent – It’s all most people can talk about, and unfortunately, they can’t meet in person to talk about it.

Enter Reddit.

Now, a small subreddit created when the virus only had 44 confirmed cases has outpaced the infection rate to gather over 1.2 million members. It’s grown to the point that even the main Reddit page points browsers to the /r/coronavirus subreddit, where the volunteer moderation team is in constant contact with the site’s main admins.

Where this subreddit differs from most is that all the moderator teams are researchers of infectious diseases, virologists, computer scientists, or medical professionals, so the thousands of comments and posts flagged for review are policed for accuracy based on their own in-depth knowledge.

That’s turned a niche subreddit with less than a thousand members into one of the premier sources for information about the current state of play with the novel coronavirus, and COVID-19, the illness it causes. Emerson Boggs, a Ph.D. student who signed up to help moderate back in January when it was still small says,

“Even working in virology, this subreddit is the most up-to-date source of information I am aware of.”

One of the tricks they use to keep everything factual? Banning political posts. That limits the amount of misinformation while giving the community the space to discuss policy or containment measures. Automated tools also look for racist slurs or dog whistles, alerting the moderators to remove the offending posts.

It’s still early in the pandemic to see what the future holds, but you can be sure that the moderation team at /r/coronavirus is going to be there for every step of the way.

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