Edit 12/19/2013: Thanks to reader John who commented below. We’re not sure when this changed but you can now delete Reddit posts quite easily. After logging into Reddit, click on “user name” (upper right) -> “submitted” or “comments”, find the post or comment that you posted and click the delete button under the text.
Anyone – you, or your kids – who is active on social network Reddit may have posted something that was cruel, misleading, indicative of a time you screwed up or otherwise regrettable. Mashable wrote a piece this month clearly spelling out the fact that you cannot delete a Reddit comment.
You may think that if you posted something that is embarrassing enough you can just delete your Reddit account. That doesn’t work either. Even though most Reddit accounts are pseudonymous, (Reddit doesn’t even ask for your real name at signup) they are collecting personal information. Reddit announced recently that effective May 15th:
When you create an account, you are required to provide a username and password, and may opt to provide an email address. We also log, and retain indefinitely, the IP address from which the account is initially created.
Let’s say in an extreme case, as may have happened on Reddit last month, you post something that leads readers to believe that you committed a serious crime. Or perhaps it was something less serious – underage drinking, drug use or an offhand racist comment – all of these things could look bad to a future employer if you are outed.
Outing on reddit does happen. It is called doxing, short for document tracing. Doxing most frequently happens if someone is out to get you, or if a group of internet detectives feel like there is something worth proving that will result in praise and admiration for the detective.
For Reddit posts, there is a solution. If you’ve posted something you’d like to erase, don’t delete your account. When in Redditt, click on your username in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Your posts and comments will be listed in reverse chronological order. You can find and write over the offending post with something harmless, and no one will be the wiser.
Parents, if you’re doing this with a kid who screwed up, you might want to use this opportunity to take a look at what else he has posted.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.