Reddit donating 10% of Ad Profits to Charity

Written by Alex J. Fierro

Popular user-submitted site, Reddit.com has announced they we will donate 10% of their advertising profits in 2014 to non-profits chosen by their community.

Reddit has announced the surprising move in their blog this morning. The post entitled "Decimating our ad revenue" listed the details of their plan to donate 10% of the profits to a democratically chosen cause. I love the headline's use of the word "decimation" which literally means to "take a tenth from the whole".

Of course, we normally associate the word decimation with destruction and the blog post plays into this belief by choosing a roman helmet as the blog image. It begs the question, will the choice to donate the profit actually decimate the site's profitability? Reddit introduced a program called Reddit Gold which allowed user's to pay a small fee for minor upgraded features and a bit of flair next to the username on posts. (As sort of a status symbol.) As part of a way to congratulate user comments you enjoy, they've set up a social construct encouraging users to pay a few bucks and "gild" the comment, granting the user gold status. Reddit made the claim that this small change helped change the profitability of the website, but it was implied that much of the income was still generated by ad revenue.


Screenshot of Reddit Blog Charity post
Screenshot of Reddit Blog's Charity post

Amongst the rules set forth in the blog post is a disclaimer reserving the right to control the entire process and intervene if they believe there are "shenanigans". I agree with this disclaimer as the Reddit community has been known from time to time to not only promote a joke rather than a true cause, but also be vulnerable to vote-stuffing and "hivemind" tactics. All in all though, it's a fantastic gesture by the Reddit team and I can't wait to see what charities are chosen to get the payout at the end of the year. My guess is Doctors without Borders is going to win this election, but looks like we'll have to wait and see!