Reddit Ask Me Anything

Have you ever wanted to ask a famous person or expert a question that you've always wanted the answer to?  Or have you wanted to ask an everyday person about their experiences in life, good or bad?  Lots of people on do just that every day, with one of Reddit's most popular features: A.M.A., or "ask me anything!"

So what exactly is a Reddit "ask me anything" (A.M.A.)?

A Reddit "ask me anything" (or A.M.A.) is a type of interview that is carried out on a Reddit message board.  A user posts a brief introduction about themselves, and then other users post questions to them.  They then answer the questions that get the most positive ratings among users.

How does a Reddit "ask me anything" (A.M.A.) work?

An "ask me anything" (A.M.A.) is started by someone who has some sort of notable trait (usually something that they've done or something about their status) that they think others will find interesting or unusual, and thus want to ask them more about.  For example, an A.M.A. might be started by someone who just began working at a new job, or by someone who survived a life-threatening illness. 

A sub-class of A.M.A.s are called "I Am A", where the person posting the A.M.A. introduces themselves based on something noteworthy about their identity.  They could be a moderator on Reddit's forums, an Internet celebrity, a leading academic, a professional athlete, or even a well-known political figure!

When an A.M.A. starts, the user who posted it usually begins with an introduction regarding their notable trait or identity.  In some cases, the user will include an Internet hyperlink in their introduction that acts as some kind of proof that they are who they say they are, or that they actually did what they claimed to have done.  They may be required to do so by the rules of the particular A.M.A. forum, or they may be asked to do so by other users participating in the A.M.A.

After the introductory post, other Reddit users are free to respond with any question or comment that they wish (as long as it falls within the rules of the particular A.M.A. forum, or A.M.A.s or posts in general).  The original poster of the A.M.A. is then free to answer any questions posed to them as they see fit.  Users can also cast "upvotes" for questions to indicate that they, too, would like to know the answers to those questions. If a question is popular enough, it might persuade the interviewee to answer that question (at least before others), or give that question their best possible response.

Some A.M.A.s (especially those conducted with celebrity guests) are scheduled to start and stop at particular times.  However, most A.M.A.s can be started at any time, and are open-ended in terms of how long they last — as long as questions continue to be asked and answered!

Top 15 Reddit A.M.A.s

Reddit has conducted A.M.A.s with a lot of celebrity guests over the years, including actors, musicians, politicians, scientists, athletes, businesspeople, and more!  Here are 15 of the most popular celebrity A.M.A.s conducted on Reddit:

  1. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America

  2. Gordon Ramsay, award-winning chef

  3. Steve Wozniack, co-founder of Apple Inc.

  4. Sir Patrick Stewart, award-winning theatre/television/movie actor

  5. Sir David Attenborough, noted British radio broadcaster and natural historian

  6. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corporation

  7. Elon Musk, businessman/engineer/inventor and C.E.O. of SpaceX and Tesla Motors

  8. Ronda Rousey, mixed martial artist and Olympian

  9. Edward Snowden / Laura Poitras / Glen Greenwald, N.S.A. whistleblowers

  10. Bernie Sanders, Independent/Democratic U.S.A. senator

  11. Peter Dinklage, actor on the award-winning television program Game of Thrones

  12. Neil deGrasse Tyson, famed astrophysicist and cosmologist

  13. Bill Nye, mechanical engineer / science educator and host of Bill Nye the Science Guy

  14. Buzz Aldrin, former astronaut and engineer

  15. Snoop Lion (formerly known as Snoop Dogg), award-winning rapper and songwriter


Now you know what a Reddit "ask me anything" (or A.M.A.) is and how it works!  Now, consider satisfying your curiosity by asking a question on one.  Or, start your own A.M.A. if you have your own notable life experience that you'd like to share and have people ask you about!

In the next tutorial of this course, we'll explain why Reddit may sometimes be temporarily inaccessible, and how you can check to see for sure whether or not it is.