This question has generated two answers (one deleted) that link to reddit discussions or sources.

Is there a policy on whether or not links to Reddit are legitimate for an answer or is that handled through up/down votes? If there isn't, should there be?

This includes cases where a 'discussion' is referenced as well as compilation of data done by redditor (which may or may not be complete or correct.) This is not a question about linking in general, but linking to something as integral part of an answer.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this just asking “is there a policy”, a quick yes/no [support] question, or is it meant to ask a different question as suggested by [discussion] and could use an edit to be clearer what it’s asking? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 21 '18 at 16:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Hmm, I initially thought of it as Support only, but if it's a No, then there should be a discussion. Should I do one then the other, or try to combine? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 21 '18 at 16:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ask for the discussion and we can link to current policy and discuss if it's still relevant too \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Aug 21 '18 at 16:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Made a small edit, but not sure if it's enough :) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 21 '18 at 16:49

There's no policy against linking to Reddit, or anywhere else for that matter. It's completely legitimate. The only exceptions are sites that somehow breach our TOS or are somehow truly exceptional, e.g. we do not link to piracy sites, sites about white nationalist games, or 4chan/8chan for many reasons including ethical imperative.

Whether or not the source is any good, or it makes for a decent citation or reference for the answer, is up to you: resolve this with upvotes/downvotes. Would a D&D guide be any different whether it was published on Giants in the Playground or Reddit?

  • \$\begingroup\$ So it's more of an upvote/downvote sort of thing as to whether or not having that third party link is helpful or isn't helpful? I just wasn't sure if linking to things that aren't verified/official was something we wanted here. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 21 '18 at 17:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes. Third party sites get linked to all the time on RPG.SE; I don't know what issue there'd be with that. We'd be in a bad place if we weren't allowed to link to guides on third party websites in our D&D 3.5e questions for example. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Aug 21 '18 at 17:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not talking about general links, i'm referencing linking as a core part of an answer. As in "here's a discussion on reddit about this" or "here's a list of stuff compiled by someone". Those aren't necessarily useful or correct, but it seems like the proper response is a downvote if I feel that way. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 21 '18 at 17:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Right, that sounds like you have some issue with a secondary source that doesn't strike you as reliable, and voting accordingly is fine. However, note also someone could link to a thoroughly-researched, commonly-community-accepted, well-cited, well-referenced exhaustive list that's on Reddit. Meanwhile we could also link an incomplete, inadequate, outdated list that's on Paizo forums or an official D&D blog. This has little to do with where the information was published, more to do with the quality and reliability of the source and citation. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Aug 21 '18 at 17:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Exactly! And that's why I wanted to bring it up. Stackizens now have to both assess the answer on this site AND then research and assess the linked information. That's fine, but it concerned me enough to want to ask because requiring stackizens to do 'work' to review other forums/websites seemed above and beyond. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 21 '18 at 17:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, correcting my last comment -- official D&D blog. Official, first-party sources can have tons of crap, outdated, bad content. Third-party, unofficial, crowdsourced places can have tons of awesome, useful, fantastic content. The officialness of the source has nothing to do with the quality or relevance of the citation. We don't really care where people link, and whether it's reliable or not and makes for a good answer or not is up to people to evaluate with votes. We evaluate it as voters to help inform visitors to our site, we're helping to vet the quality of answers for visitors. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Aug 21 '18 at 17:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity, what do you mean by official D&D blog and the content it would/could provide? Or is that more of a thing with RPGs? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 21 '18 at 17:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Work with me here on a theoretical exercise. I'm trying to suggest you shouldn't be worried about third party-ness as a quality because it's neither here nor there. Official first-party sources can have bad or not-useful information. Unofficial third-party sources can have good, useful information. Citing the former isn't good just because it's official, and citing the second isn't bad just because it's third party. D&D runs blogs; the D&D 3.5e era sage advice was often laughably wrong. Paizo staff answer questions on forums, sometimes outright contradicting the rules they wrote. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Aug 21 '18 at 17:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 21 '18 at 17:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe we also outlawed links to 4chan/8chan at some point. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Aug 21 '18 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk How are 4chan/8chan in the same category as white nationalist/pirate sites? Those are open platforms (like reddit) and have bad stuff on them (like reddit does as well) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 24 '18 at 16:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch The category is "sites we ban linking to for exceptional reasons". 4chan and 8chan are blacklisted on account of the child pornography issues that had us disown pointing anyone to 8chan on our forum list meta. That their content is all temporary by design gives us little use out of linking there anyway. It was not a difficult decision to add them to the blacklist when we were forming it. Reddit might have issues but it doesn't have these issues: nobody needs a "you might come across child pornography while you're there" warning for a link to an RPG subreddit post. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Aug 24 '18 at 17:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ See the link in the answer to where we discussed not allowing them, no sense having that discussion again in comments eh? But most internet sites are "open", this one included, but some are huge ol' sewers and others aren't. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Aug 24 '18 at 20:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ The "4chan/8chan" link goes to a meta post that's specifically about 8chan. \$\endgroup\$ – user2357112 supports Monica Nov 12 '18 at 22:58

There's no policy against linking to Reddit (see dopplegreener's answer) nor should there need to be a policy without a clear reason (even something like the dreaded dandwiki isn't forbidden).

The answers you are referring to have likely been downvoted and/or deleted due to being low quality (in my opinion).

  • One is effectively a copy/paste of the content of a linked Reddit thread without adding any significant transformative commentary. There are scenarios where a discussion could be meaningful content, but not without substantial content in the answer itself.
  • The other refers to a Reddit thread but doesn't really incorporate its content in any noticeable way. It includes some scattered commentary but doesn't really look to answer the OP's question. For example, it addresses the mechanics of a different class than the one the OP asked about. So the Reddit thread is only part of the problem in that it isn't helpful.

The references to Reddit aren't the problem. It's just a case of two problematic answers coincidentally referring to external sources.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not disagreeing with you, but dandwiki links are generally in questions as the content in concern. Linking to Reddit/other sites to supplement answers with the discussions contained within is more of my concern. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 24 '18 at 16:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can imagine scenarios where it's relevant to link to a discussion, but only with transformative commentary in addition. \$\endgroup\$ – Bloodcinder Aug 24 '18 at 17:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ That makes sense, and then goes back to downvote if it's not there. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 24 '18 at 17:22

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