When you joined Reddit, you may have noticed Karma located just under your name in the top right corner of the webpage. You may have even noticed your Karma going up and, sometimes, going down. Is it the same karma that comes from the cause and effect of your decisions? No, not by a long shot. But Reddit Karma is affected by the comments you leave, both bad and good.

What is Reddit Karma?

Reddit Karma, unlike the karma of superstition, is a number that goes up and down based on your presence in any and all conversations. It isn’t something you buy, it’s earned (and lost) when you leave comments and have those comments validated. In other words, people need to upvote your comment and interact with it for your Reddit Karma to change.

What if Someone Upvotes my Comments?

This is what you want if you’re looking to up your Reddit Karma. By posting comments and content that resonates with people, and gets them clicking the upvote on your post, is going to generate more Reddit Karma for you.

What if Someone Downvotes my Comments?

When someone downvotes your comments the exact opposite happens: your Reddit Karma goes down. Your comment or content was a sour note, a discord in the hearts of many, and it was sour enough for others to downvote it so much that you lost Reddit Karma.

Similarities with the Karma of Superstition

When you take those two main factors into account, it does seem to work in a way that expresses the idea of the karma of superstition; you comment with something that’s objectively bad and you get penalized for it and your Reddit Karma goes down; you comment with something that’s objectively good and you get rewarded for it and your Reddit Karma goes up.

But, you see, that’s the kicker: who’s to say what’s good or bad? Reddit Karma is like the grey zone. What you say may be objectively bad, but if you get tons of upvotes from people that agree with you, more than downvotes, well, then you’re going to get a net gain of Reddit Karma. As for the karma of superstition, it’s much more black and white and expresses the idea that there’s true morality.

In essence, it is governed by cause and effect, but not by any predetermined set of morality, only by the morality that others impose on your comment or content.

What’s the Point of Reddit Karma?

On the surface, it doesn’t do anything. You don’t earn money from having a high amount of Reddit Karma. But it isn’t that cut and dry. There’s dozens of subreddits that actually have a Reddit Karma requirement before you can be inducted into their fold, like a social club.

Another example is self-promotion. Generally speaking, it’s frowned upon when you self-promote yourself, at least, not in an organic way like using the subreddit r/AMA (Ask Me Anything)–in fact, you can get banned in many cases. However, one with a very high Reddit Karma score might have moderators look the other way.

Ways of Increasing your Reddit Karma

It should be said, again, that gaining Reddit Karma isn’t going to necessarily come from saying or doing something good and posting about it. Your comment has to strike a chord in the people you’re interacting with, enough that they upvote your comment or content and get the Reddit Karma generating. But there are some tactics that you can take advantage of if you want to improve your Reddit Karma.

Posting Something Funny, but Relevant

Everyone loves a good meme now and then, even ones that aren’t on subject (you can save those for a more appropriate topic). But, sometimes, you see a GIF or meme posted at the right time, and with the right context, that it gets a lot of attention.

Join Subreddits You’re Familiar With

Are you knowledgeable on a certain subject? You can join a subreddit that specifically geared towards your strength and become a teacher, of sorts. You could make posts about said topic that helps people out with their own projects or problems. Everyone loves a good helper.

Making a Good Argument

Every subreddit you visit, there’s always a handful of posts that are on fire. And within those posts are several good arguments being made. If you express an opinion, or argument, at the right time, you can gain traction and, quite possibly, gain some Reddit Karma.