How Reddit called Google to task

You Should Know, a relatively new section of Reddit, burst to prominence after a redditor called out Google for censorship.


Kevin Morris


Published Jul 15, 2011   Updated Jun 3, 2021, 4:00 am CDT

When Reddit user DelphFox discovered that Google+, the search giant’s new social network, was censoring the so-called seven dirty words, he raised the alarm on the social news site’s You Should Know section.

That post got picked up by Forbes, which in turn drew an official response from Google. (The company was not censoring anything, it claimed — the problem was just a bug.)

Thanks to that post, You Should Know—also known on Reddit as YSK or r/youshouldknow—saw its traffic jump to an incredible 30,000 daily views, up from its normal average of 2,000, and it now has nearly 30,000 subscribers.

The Reddit community, 20 million unique visitors strong, is built on know-it-alls. Redditors prize good information—as well as the social news site’s smart voting system for bubbling the best to the top. For YSK users, that means “obscure things that most people should already be aware of, but aren’t.”

Fans of Reddit are probably already familiar with a similar subreddit, Today I Learned, which has over 350,000 subscribers.

There, redditors post interesting facts they’ve stumbled across during the day. Those posts often find their way to Reddit’s front page—no easy task.

But PhilxBefore, You Should Know’s creator, doesn’t see Today I Learned as a competitor — rather, it’s a “sister” subreddit, and the type of knowledge learned in both is different.

“The main difference between the two is that YSK is information that is usually considered obscure that you personally know, as opposed to sharing common knowledge that you have just learned,” PhilxBefore wrote in a message to the Daily Dot.

Recent You Should Know posts, for instance, have shown:  that nuking a sponge in a microwave can kill 99 percent of its bacteria, that typing instead of will take you to a phishing site, or that the entire Wikipedia encyclopedia is downloadable.

“Every day that goes by is truly another day to learn something that you may have never expected to know,” PhilxBefore wrote.

Indeed. For instance: How many of you knew that nuking sponges was a sanitary kitchen practice? Your kitchen sink may never be the same.

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*First Published: Jul 15, 2011, 11:05 am CDT