I sometimes find a question has like 50000 views and later I find most of those were reddit users that got in rage or glee about something of it.

Yesterday there was an answer of a page-one user that upset reddit folks, and within minutes that post were downvoted to -70. It looks like reddit has a deep impact on SO posts.

May it make sense to mark a question as "reddited" if the system finds that a large part of visitors were directed from reddit to this question?

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    Apologies if this is a technically naive question but: How would you know? – user102937 Jan 25 '11 at 15:37
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    @Robert the HTTP_REFERER request variable usually transmits the originating page. If HTTP_REFERER contains reddit.com and requests with that set start coming in en masse, you have a classic case of "reddited" – Pekka Jan 25 '11 at 15:40
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    The view count velocity in the 10k stats tool is another one, though I suspect most of us (certainly me) never use them, because they aren't very user friendly – Yi Jiang Jan 25 '11 at 15:44
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    Remember that these downvotes ultimately came from within the StackOverflow community. You can only vote down on SO if you have more than 125 rep points. Reddit karma doesn't count. – ЯegDwight Jan 25 '11 at 15:45
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    @Reg true, but I bet a majority of those voters were not far from that 125 point limit. – Pekka Jan 25 '11 at 15:57
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    @Pekka: fair to say, though the less rep you have, the less likely you are to spend a precious point on downvoting, especially on an answer that's already been downvoted into oblivion. Also, I still remember how hard it was to gain my first 125 points. It took me two weeks. Maybe SO is a different beast nowadays, I dunno, haven't participated in a long time. But I still find it quite hard to get to 125 points on any new site of the network (even the +100 bonus doesn't really help). Once you figure out how a community ticks, it's all smooth sailing; but until then, it's an uphill battle. – ЯegDwight Jan 25 '11 at 16:12
  • Related suggestion: [Linkback mechanism for questions? ](meta.stackexchange.com/questions/20193/…) – Shog9 Jan 25 '11 at 16:22
  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/76123/… – sbi Jan 25 '11 at 16:23
  • See also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/77138/… – ChrisF Sep 7 '11 at 20:37
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    Out of curiosity, what was the question/answer in question? – NullUserException อ_อ Sep 7 '11 at 20:59
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  • @Chris Wow what a terrible thing to say (on Hans' part) – NullUserException อ_อ Sep 8 '11 at 4:35
  • @Null Yeah. For what it's worth, this isn't the first time it's happened, either. – Chris Frederick Sep 8 '11 at 4:59

I like this, but would tend to extend it to any relevant incoming traffic.

Maybe it would be worth introducing a "externally linked" column to the right hand side, showing incoming links from (a list of trusted) external sites with more than 10, 100, or 1000 views? Including Twitter (in the unlikely event that that is possible - bit.ly and co. probably drop the referer.)


Huge traffic coming from Reddit is barely different from surges of traffic coming from a Coding Horror link, a tweet from one of the big names employed or otherwise, or any other sort of large publicity hit. It's hit everything from HTML parsing in Regex to floppy disk drives to Angry Birds, from all sorts of sources. Reddit simply makes a more commonly larger impact by virtue of its size and frequency. In the end, it's just natural fluctuation of net traffic from large promotion.

So, to that end... why highlight Reddit? What exactly is the point of noting that a post got linked specifically by Reddit? Glory? Shame? Anomaly? What do we do in identifying these posts, what purpose do we have to advertise this knowledge?

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    "rage" and "glee" are probably relatively specific to Reddit. :) Other than that, you are right of course - any incoming links with lots of traffic are worth showing – Pekka Jan 25 '11 at 15:46
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    @Pekka But what would the point be about rage and glee? What could possibly done with knowing that it got linked by reddit? Send them a cease order? Whine about it? We already track traffic for all sorts of measures, I'm just lacking an understanding on why a public mark of this particular avenue serves any productive use to the communities. – Grace Note Jan 25 '11 at 15:46
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    @Grace well, it would help understand why massive downvoting or upvoting happens. The alternative is going to Meta and starting a question about it... Not a reddit user at all, I would have been nonplussed about the number of downvotes in that recent incident. Plus it's intriguing info - not terribly relevant or productive, but interesting and I don't see a compelling reason not to show it. – Pekka Jan 25 '11 at 15:52
  • @Pekka For reasons not to show it, I'd start with the lack of relevance. We have publicity badges that we award to users for getting big views on questions via promotion. Yet, the actual question retains no information on this, no matter how many badges it earns for such. This keeps the actual relevant information to the question sticking around for the general public, and also keeps potential noise of this from affecting judgment. Kinda like how old bug reports get deleted - stuff is around for sleuths to investigate, but no need to busy anyone else. – Grace Note Jan 25 '11 at 16:20
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    @Pekka, Grace, I went to that page from the moderator queue and didn't find out until later that it was the top link on reddit/programming. Granted that this would only be to satisfy my curiosity, but it would be nice to see if the vast majority of traffic for a question is coming from a single source. – Bill the Lizard Jan 25 '11 at 16:21
  • @Bill I agree that it's useful to know if the vast majority of traffic comes from a single place. But I argue, is that really necessary information to just broadcast out? Sometimes it has importance, sometimes it doesn't. Publicly brandishing it implies that it'll always have importance. Like the examples I posted of more benevolent results, it doesn't particularly matter whether the majority of traffic came from reddit or from Coding Horror. The only repeating trend is just where a lot of traffic comes - for individual questions, the importance varies. – Grace Note Jan 25 '11 at 16:22
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    Don't get me wrong, either of you. I'm not opposed to having linkback tracking, even if it's publicly in the data dump. Let the data miners track it if they want. But I don't see what benefit we serve to publicly display questions of this sort. – Grace Note Jan 25 '11 at 16:26
  • I agree that it's not always relevant (probably usually not). I wonder if there's a threshold that we can judge that it is relevant though. Maybe once a post gets X views with Y% from one source, where X & Y are both very high values like 10K and 95%? Even then, just a link in the sidebar so I don't have to wonder why a totally pedestrian question is getting such attention. – Bill the Lizard Jan 25 '11 at 16:29
  • Maybe just for moderators and in the data dump then? The source of the traffic definitely affected my reaction in this one case, but I agree that that's extremely rare. – Bill the Lizard Jan 25 '11 at 16:31
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    @Bill I'm actually comfortable to have access to this more openly and with a more lax threshold than you propose - a tool like the suspicious vote patterns would be very handy. It doesn't even necessarily need to be moderator only. But because these usually show up on a case-by-case basis, I don't really want to see what (to me) amounts to an evil scar on innocent questions that implies popularity without merit by virtue of a big promotion. People already make such accusations now and then, and I feel that publicly highlighting this info just encourages such thought. – Grace Note Jan 25 '11 at 16:36
  • @Grace my curious nature (bordering nosey) tends to be in favour of showing this publicly without limitations, but you make valid counter-points. – Pekka Jan 25 '11 at 16:45
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    I just think it would more closely put the communities together, which seems like a good thing. I think it wouldn't necessarily always be useful to moderation only, but it would be also helpful to people whose posts are possibly denunciated to defend themselfs or to join discussion at reddit. And at the end of the day, I think it adds some fun factor. – Johannes Schaub - litb Jan 25 '11 at 17:38
  • The problem with massive viewing is that the votes for a question/answer depend on the number of views a lot more than on its factual merits. If something gets posted somewhere where it attracts a large number of views from, then knowing about this would help to deskew the question's/answer's score. – sbi Jun 7 '12 at 10:41

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