Study: most Redditors don't read the articles

A paper published by Notre Dame researchers in IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems reveals that Reddit users vote on things before reading the article.

73 percent of posts on Reddit are voted on by users that haven’t actually clicked through to view the content being rated. This is according to a newly released dataset consisting of all Reddit activity of 309 site users for a one year period. In the process, the researchers identified signs of “cognitive fatigue” in Reddit users most likely to vote on content. Online aggregation is then somewhat a function of mental exhaustion.

As of 2017, reddit sees 234 million unique monthly users, according to Alexa. It’s the fourth most trafficked website in the United States. In light of that, a 309 user sample seems pretty small. But it’s small because the Notre Dame dataset offers something a bit different than most other reddit datasets. Rather than relying on reddit’s own data collection methods (via its API or by crawling the website with software), Notre Dame computer science researcher Tim Weninger and colleagues were able to come up with their own independent data collection architecture, thus allowing them to ask different sorts of questions.

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