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Screenshot via /r/science
Screenshot via /r/science

6 Secrets of Being a Reddit Moderator

Screenshot via /r/science
Screenshot via /r/science

Liz Crocker, a Boston University graduate student in cultural anthropology, spends a lot of time on reddit. She’s one of 12 moderators for the 9.8-million subscriber /r/science, the main science subreddit. Crocker has been moderating /r/science for about a year and a half, and she also deals with the pages /r/EverythingScience/r/BadSocialScience, /r/Anthropology, and /r/AskAnthropology. She spoke to Tech Insider about what it takes to be the moderator of a major reddit page. Here are a few things we learned about the behind-the-scenes world of the site: 

1. SOMETIMES, BECOMING A MODERATOR REQUIRES A JOB APPLICATION. 

While some smaller communities just require active participation as a moderation qualification, others are more stringent. "For /r/anthropology, you have to put examples of quality comments that you’ve made, or give them some kind of background, who you are, why you want to become a moderator, how many hours per week you can dedicate," she told Tech Insider. For /r/science, you’re required to have a least a Bachelor’s degree in science. 

2. MODERATORS ARE ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR NSFW COMMENTS. 

During one recent AMA, she had to delete questions lobbed at a biological anthropology professor about pubic hair and worse. Any user can flag a comment for moderation, but Crocker tries to get to the worst ones before the AMA host has to see them. 

3. THERE’S A BOT THAT SEARCHES FOR STAR WARS SPOILERS, AMONG OTHER THINGS. 

Reddit has an “automoderator” that can filter out clearly off-topic or inappropriate content. Star Wars spoilers, for instance, automatically get removed. So do links to specific domains—like porn sites and sites known for flagrant pseudoscience. 

4. MODERATORS HAVE AN ARMY OF HELPERS.  

Crocker is one of 12 full-time /r/science mods (including a lead moderator who heads the team), but there are about 900 other part-time comment moderators who keep a lookout for violations, though they can’t make changes to the site. 

5. OFTEN, MODERATORS SPEND A LOT OF TIME ON THE SITE . . .

"It’s something I do in between things, like waiting for a class or a meeting to start," she tells Tech Insider. "It’s always in the background." She does a lot of the work while on public transportation. 

6. . . . BUT THEY AREN’T PAID. 

All subreddit moderators are volunteers, and can’t accept any compensation for their work. It’s a labor of love, and moderators are able to take time away when their schedules require it. 

[h/t: Tech Insider]

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Animals
Sploot 101: 12 Animal Slang Words Every Pet Parent Should Know
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For centuries, dogs were dogs and cats were cats. They did things like bark and drink water and lay down—actions that pet parents didn’t need a translator to understand.

Then the internet arrived. Scroll through the countless Facebook groups and Twitter accounts dedicated to sharing cute animal pictures and you’ll quickly see that dogs don’t have snouts, they have snoots, and cats come in a colorful assortment of shapes and sizes ranging from smol to floof.

Pet meme language has been around long enough to start leaking into everyday conversation. If you're a pet owner (or lover) who doesn’t want to be out of the loop, here are the terms you need to know.

1. SPLOOT

You know your pet is fully relaxed when they’re doing a sploot. Like a split but for the whole body, a sploot occurs when a dog or cat stretches so their bellies are flat on the ground and their back legs are pointing behind them. The amusing pose may be a way for them to take advantage of the cool ground on a hot day, or just to feel a satisfying stretch in their hip flexors. Corgis are famous for the sploot, but any quadruped can do it if they’re flexible enough.

2. DERP

Person holding Marnie the dog.
Emma McIntyre, Getty Images for ASPCA

Unlike most items on this list, the word derp isn’t limited to cats and dogs. It can also be a stand-in for such expressions of stupidity as “duh” or “dur.” In recent years the term has become associated with clumsy, clueless, or silly-looking cats and dogs. A pet with a tongue perpetually hanging out of its mouth, like Marnie or Lil Bub, is textbook derpy.

3. BLEP

Cat laying on desk chair.
PoppetCloset, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you’ve ever caught a cat or dog poking the tip of its tongue past its front teeth, you’ve seen a blep in action. Unlike a derpy tongue, a blep is subtle and often gone as quickly as it appears. Animal experts aren’t entirely sure why pets blep, but in cats it may have something to do with the Flehmen response, in which they use their tongues to “smell” the air.

4. MLEM

Mlems and bleps, though very closely related, aren’t exactly the same. While blep is a passive state of being, mlem is active. It’s what happens when a pet flicks its tongue in and out of its mouth, whether to slurp up water, taste food, or just lick the air in a derpy fashion. Dogs and cats do it, of course, but reptiles have also been known to mlem.

5. FLOOF

Very fluffy cat.
J. Sibiga Photography, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Some pets barely have any fur, and others have coats so voluminous that hair appears to make up most of their bodyweight. Dogs and cats in the latter group are known as floofs. Floofy animals will famously leave a wake of fur wherever they sit and can squeeze through tight spaces despite their enormous mass. Samoyeds, Pomeranians, and Persian cats are all prime examples of floofs.

6. BORK

Dog outside barking.
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According to some corners of the internet, dogs don’t bark, they bork. Listen carefully next time you’re around a vocal doggo and you won’t be able to unhear it.

7. DOGGO

Shiba inu smiling up at the camera.
iStock

Speaking of doggos: This word isn’t hard to decode. Every dog—regardless of size, floofiness, or derpiness—can be a doggo. If you’re willing to get creative, the word can even be applied to non-dog animals like fennec foxes (special doggos) or seals (water doggos). The usage of doggo saw a spike in 2016 thanks to the internet and by the end of 2017 it was listed as one of Merriam-Webster’s “Words We’re Watching.”

8. SMOL

Tiny kitten in grass.
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Some pets are so adorably, unbearably tiny that using proper English to describe them just doesn’t cut it. Not every small pet is smol: To earn the label, a cat or dog (or kitten or puppy) must excel in both the tiny and cute departments. A pet that’s truly smol is likely to induce excited squees from everyone around it.

9. PUPPER

Hands holding a puppy.
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Like doggo, pupper is self-explanatory: It can be used in place of the word puppy, but if you want to use it to describe a fully-grown doggo who’s particularly smol and cute, you can probably get away with it.

10. BOOF

We’ve already established that doggos go bork, but that’s not the only sound they make. A low, deep bark—perhaps from a dog that can’t decide if it wants to expend its energy on a full bark—is best described as a boof. Consider a boof a warning bark before the real thing.

11. SNOOT

Dog noses poking out beneath blanket.
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Snoot was already a dictionary-official synonym for nose by the time dog meme culture took the internet by storm. But while snoot is rarely used to describe human faces today, it’s quickly becoming the preferred term for pet snouts. There’s even a wholesome viral challenge dedicated to dogs poking their snoots through their owners' hands.

12. BOOP

Have you ever seen a dog snoot so cute you just had to reach out and tap it? And when you did, was your action accompanied by an involuntary “boop” sound? This urge is so universal that boop is now its own verb. Humans aren’t the only ones who can boop: Search the word on YouTube and treat yourself to hours of dogs, cats, and other animals exchanging the love tap.

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Live Smarter
Need to Meet Amazon's Free Shipping Minimum? This Site Will Tell You What to Buy
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It's all too easy to find whatever you need on Amazon, but sometimes, those low prices come with a slight inconvenience: shipping. While Amazon will give you free shipping on orders of $25 or more, that doesn't help if you're only buying, say, $23 worth of laundry detergent. If you can't figure out what you can buy to hit that coveted shipping minimum, check out CheapFiller.com, a website that finds the cheapest items you can buy to hit that $25 mark.

As we spotted on Lifehacker, CheapFiller.com is designed to help you get above the free-shipping threshold without going far above it. So instead of buying $23 worth of laundry detergent and $15 worth of toilet paper, you can spend $23 on laundry detergent and $3 on glue sticks.

A screenshot of CheapFiller.com with listings of products for $4.29
Screenshot, CheapFiller.com

You can search through the listings on the site manually, but if you have a specific price you need to hit, you can search for items that sell for exactly that price. For instance, if you have exactly $4.29 left to reach the shipping minimum, CheapFiller.com will bring up a list of items that sell for that price, including nail clippers, a sketch book, a screen protector for iPads, soccer-themed baking cups, or a leaf hammock for your Betta fish.

You may not exactly need any of these items, but you may discover that it's a wiser financial choice to spend a few dollars on new nail clippers or household glass cleaner than to pay for shipping.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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