Reddit has released the most 'upvoted' posts of 2019, and it shows how much trolling is part of the platform's culture


FILE PHOTO: Reddit mascots are displayed at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California April 15, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/File Photo

  • Reddit recently released its year-in-review report highlighting the most popular posts, active subreddit communities, and viral trends on “the front page of the internet.”
  • The report includes 2019’s top posts — that is, those with the most “upvotes,” the Reddit-equivalent of “likes” on other social platforms.
  • Included in this list of top posts are a timely dad joke, a wholesome cartoon, and a random stream of consciousness thought. There’s also one criticizing Reddit for accepting millions in funding from Chinese company Tencent, a move that stoked concerns of censorship across the internet.
  • The posts featured on the most-upvoted list show just how much the Reddit community at large values, and embraces, its ability to troll anyone and considers no topic untouchable.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

SEE ALSO: Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer once made an ‘Austin Powers’ parody video, and it’s just as bizarre as you’d imagine

5. This absurdly adorable letter was apparently sent by a 86-year-old to the person he bought a VHS player off of through eBay. (215,000 upvotes)

“I watched tapes of my retirement party from 25 years ago which I had never seen before. Jeez, we were young,” the letter reads. “Each one more fun that the last. All thanks to your generous selling of the VHS player.”

4. On the subreddit r/showerthoughts, a user praised the unintended consequences of the superstitious tradition of grooms not seeing their brides in their wedding dresses before the ceremony. (218,000 upvotes)

However, commenters were quick to point out that the tradition is an old one with less romantic roots. It stems from the days when marriages acted as business deals and women were seen as property, and the bride and groom frequently didn’t meet until the wedding itself.


3. Among the flurry of groan-worthy dad jokes made each January about what has yet to happen all year was this gem posted to Reddit in 2019. (221,000 upvotes)

Responses to the post didn’t disappoint: Hundreds of users responded with their own potty-mouthed jokes and puns.


2. The Reddit community — which includes a massive amount of video game fanatics — loved this heart-warming cartoon depicting a veteran gamer mentoring a novice one. (225,000 upvotes)

In general, gaming is a massively popular section of Reddit, so it’s no surprise that this video-game-themed cartoon garnered so much attention. According to Reddit, the top 50 gaming communities have seen a 42% growth in subscribers since last year. This year, the most active gaming subreddit was r/fortnitebr for discussing anything and everything related to the massively popular Battle Royale-style video game.

1. In an ironic twist, the most upvoted post this year was one criticizing Reddit itself for taking money from a Chinese investor, a move back in February that fueled concerns about censorship on the platform. (228,000 upvotes)

The Chinese government’s bloody crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square resulted in one of the most iconic photos ever taken: a protester blocking the path of a massive military tank entering the square. As China worked to suppress news of its violent response to the protests, the photo emerged as — and has since remained — a symbol of truth and resistance in the face of the Chinese government’s authoritarian regime and attempt to censor the internet behind its “Great Firewall.”

It’s no surprise, then, that the photo was employed by a Reddit user earlier this year to level accusations of censorship against the platform. TechCrunch reported in February that Reddit had secured a new round of funding, including $150 million from the massive Chinese investment firm Tencent. Tencent runs some of the biggest social platforms in China, and has adhered to the government’s strict censorship demands.

Immediately, Reddit users responded with criticism of the platform for accepting money from a company in China, where Reddit is blocked, and raised concern that Tencent would be able to censor content posted on the platform. Although it’s highly unlikely Tencent will have any say in what’s posted to Reddit, users flooded the platform with content that would be censored in China, including Winnie the Pooh memes mocking China’s president and pictures from Tienanmen Square.

For its part, Reddit helped to assuage censorship concerns by letting the Tienanmen Square post be officially dubbed the most-upvoted Reddit post of 2019. But the post’s massive popularity in itself shows just how much the core Reddit community prides itself on being the biggest and loudest trolls across the internet.

Past moves by Reddit to remove harmful and controversial content from its site have been met with incessant trolling and backlash from the the most ardent users, who argue the platform is a lawless place where free speech reigns supreme.