On April 12th, a new milestone was reached by the basic income community on Reddit, aka /r/BasicIncome, with its surpassing of 10,000 global subscribers. On April 12th of last year, the number of subscribers was twelve.
Reddit is among the top most visited sites worldwide, with traffic last year exceeding 731 million unique visitors and 56 billion page views. Self-titled as “The Front Page of the Internet”, Reddit exists for the aggregation of links and text posts, all of which are voted up or down by its global community of registered users, such that popular posts rise and unpopular posts fall, with the additional ability of everyone to comment on everything. Many of the articles, images, and videos that end up being shared virally on the Internet, are discovered hours, days, or even weeks earlier as a popular post on Reddit. Such posts number in the millions and are categorized into “subreddits” which are the areas of interest any registered user can create on the site about anything.
The “BasicIncome” subreddit was created on 14 September 2012 where it did not reach 100 subscribers until the following year on 19 July 2013. Since then, /r/BasicIncome has experienced exponential growth, surpassing 1,000 subscribers on 23 September 2013, followed by 5,000 subscribers last month on 4 March 2014. Now with over 10,000 subscribers, it is currently ranked in the top 2,000 of all subreddits, of which there are over 340,000 total and growing daily.
An example of what has made this rate of growth possible is the news headlines Bill Gates recently made when speaking at the American Enterprise Institute. In emphasizing the coming replacement of jobs by technology within the next twenty years and how he believes people are not prepared for that kind of loss of demand for labor, a great amount of discussion occurred on Reddit in multiple subreddits from a multitude of posted links, of which some made it to the front page where a single link can quickly garner hundreds of thousands of views. The resultant spike in traffic produced 745 new subscribers in a single day, /r/BasicIncome’s current single day record, and over 1,500 new subscribers that week.
Reflecting the convergence of political perspectives around the idea of basic income, /r/BasicIncome has written in their rules and guidelines that they are a “non-partisan subreddit” that does not support “any specific policy, political party or ideology (other than basic income).” As their subscriber numbers continue to grow, the /r/BasicIncome community on Reddit is already discussing means of organizing and achieving actionable goals of furthering the global conversation and attaining worldwide awareness of the idea.
For more information, see: https://www.reddit.com/r/BasicIncome.
“/r/BasicIncome Metrics,” Redditmetrics.com, April 10, 2014.
Erik Martin, “Top Posts of 2013, Stats, and Snoo Year’s Resolutions,” Redditblog.com, December 31, 2013. .
Julie Bort, “Bill Gates: People Don’t Realize How Many Jobs Will Soon Be Replaced By Software Bots,” Business Insider, March 13, 2014.