05/16/2013 04:27 pm ET Updated May 16, 2013

Reddit User Makes Beautiful, Explorable Graph Of Subreddit Community


Given the recent complaints about offensive language on Reddit, you wouldn't think the infamous social network would be pretty. But then, you haven't seen the graph made this week by a Reddit user that shows how all of the site's subreddits are connected.

The graph, made by redditor Sharkbait784, maps the site by making each subreddit a point, and connecting those points when a redditor posts more than eight links from one subreddit onto another. The results, Buzzfeed notes, looks like a "diagram of connected neurons."

In the center of the graph, there is a cluster of all the subreddits that are most likely to post links from other subreddits. Leading the pack are TrueRedditDrama, which collects threads where redditors have come into conflict with each other, and DepthHub, which gathers "in-depth submissions and discussion on Reddit." The subreddit RisingThreads, which catalogs Reddit links that are trending, is not far behind.

Fringe clusters around subreddits like Minecraft and My Little Pony light up the edges of the graph's center. Detached from the center are the outliers: clusters of subreddits about topics like hockey and role-playing games, which connect to related subreddits but don't link to the larger Reddit community at all.

The graph's most prominent flaw is that Sharkbait784 cut out all subreddits that linked to more than 75 other threads, which took out a lot of the extremely popular subreddits. The redditor justified the choice when the graph was published on Github. "Since these subs are likely to link to a wide variety of topics, an association with one of these subs is not particularly interesting to us," the redditor wrote.

But in comments posted with the graph this week, Sharkbait784 admits that might have not been the best choice: "Looking at the data, I think I may have cut out too much." The cuts do visibly impact the impression the graph gives of Reddit; for instance, Worst Of Reddit, one of the most-linked nodes on the graph, is in reality far outpaced by Best Of Reddit, which has so many links that Sharkbait784 eliminated it from the graph.

Still, for a fun way to explore what has been called "the front page of the Internet," you could do worse.

[H/T Buzzfeed]



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