Reddit’s 2020 Year in Review: Covid, Trump and BLM lead conversations in global online community

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Online community Reddit has assembled its review of the year, rounding up the most popular topics and post of a tumultuous year.

In a year marked by life-changing, world-shifting and often tumultuous events, Reddit users

came together in powerful ways that reverberated in real life , taught important lessons , and provided comfort throughout the pandemic . They also weren’t afraid to address some of the bigger issues that shaped 2020 — including those surrounding the U.S. election , Black Lives Matter , and climate change — or to show off their creative prowess .

This report takes a deeper look at some of these conversations and more, including two new additions for this year:

Reddit 2020 By-The-Numbers:

  • 52 million daily active users – up 44 % YoY*
  • 303.4 million posts – up 52.4 % YoY
  • 2 billion comments – up 18.6 % YoY
  • 49.2 billion upvotes – up 53.8 % YoY

Most Upvoted Posts of 2020:

  1. (406k upvotes) I’ve found a few funny memories during lockdown. This is from my 1st tour in 89, backstage in Vegas . (via r/pics)
  2. (292k upvotes) A short story (via r/memes)
  3. (272k upvotes) Please make this go viral. I am begging you. Police and National Guard patrolling neighborhood and shooting civilians on their own property. Make America see this, I beg you. [Minneapolis] (via r/publicfreakout)
  4. (271k upvotes) If this is you: Fu*k you (via r/pics)
  5. (258k upvotes) “Everybody’s trying to shame us” (via r/publicfreakout)

Most Upvoted AMAs of 2020: 

  1. (102k upvotes) Jagshemash. My name Borat. My new moviefilm is streams in Amazon. Please you will watch then spray me with questions. I strong, I have survive syphilis 17 time, I can take whatever you want pump on me! AMA! (via r/movies)
  2. (87.5k upvotes) I’m Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. AMA about COVID-19. (via r/coronavirus)
  3. (72.5K upvotes) I am a 92 year old German born Jew who grew up in the Hitler youth and was forced to fight in WW2 in the German anti-tank division. I deserted and became a POW in a British camp and eventually moved to Canada in 1955. Just recently, I published a memoir of my life. AMA (via r/iama)
  4. (71.9k upvotes) Susan Collins has failed the people of Maine and this country. She has voted to confirm Trump’s judicial nominees, approve tax cuts for the rich, and has repeatedly chosen to put party before people. I am running to send her packing. I’m Betsy Sweet, and I am running for U.S. Senate in Maine. AMA. (via r/politics)
  5. (64.5k upvotes) I’m Jaime Harrison, the “Democratic Challenger” to Sen. Lindsey Graham in South Carolina. I’m running for Senate to bring hope back to the working families of SC and to #SendLindseyHome. AMA! (via r/politics)

Most Upvoted Livestreams on RPAN (Reddit Public Access Network) of 2020

  1. (13.2k upvotes) I’ll play whatever you want on my Fiddle-Friday Fun Day Edition (viar/toptalent)
  2. (12.6k upvotes) Improve funk with FIVE simple tricks! THREE will blow your mind! Doctors Hate Him! (via r/toptalent)
  3. (11.2k upvotes) I’ll bring the fiddle – you bring the requests! Tuesday Tunes (via r/toptalent)
  4. (11k upvotes) live from my moms basement part III (via r/redditsessions)
  5. (10.9k upvotes) Playing traditional Chinese instruments with NiNiMusic (via r/redditsessions)

View a video summary from Reddit here:

Video Credits
Agency: R/GA California 
Music Credits
“Never-To-Be-Forgotten Kinda Year”
Written, produced, and performed by Dan Bern
Bass guitar by Jonathan Flaugher. Additional vocals from Lulu Bern and Tamar Haviv.

Reddit Conversations in 2020:

COVID Support

Throughout the pandemic, users provided news, information and support for one another in a number of economic and COVID-related communities, including r/unemployment, r/coronavirusrecession, and r/coronavirus.

By The Numbers:

  • 50.2M+ mentions of COVID, COVID-19 or coronavirus across the platform
  • #3 most popular community (by YoY activity) was r/coronavirus
  • 48,286 % YoY activity increase in r/unemployment
  • r/coronavirusrecession and r/stimuluscheck were the 2 biggest business communities
  • (by subscribers) created in 2020
  • r/covid19_support experienced a 50x spike in activity in March

Most Discussed Topics in r/unemployment

  1. Work search and career workshops
  2. Online careers
  3. CARES Act
  4. Unemployment benefits
  5. Self-employment

Most Discussed Topics in COVID-related communities

  1. Social distancing
  2. Medical advice
  3. Reliable sources
  4. Wearing masks
  5. Herd immunity

Most Upvoted Posts in r/coronavirus

  1. (133k upvotes) Even if COVID-19 is unavoidable, delaying infections can flatten the peak number of illnesses to within hospital capacity and significantly reduce deaths.
  2. (122k upvotes) Gino Fasoli was 73 years old. He was italian and he was a family doctor and an emergency room manager. In Africa they even kidnapped him to cure the sick. Then he retired. Days ago he received a phone call: “Can you help us out?”.He came back. He was infected by Covid-19. He died like a true hero.
  3. (122k upvotes) Irish people help raise 1.8 million dollars for Native American tribe badly affected by Covid-19 as payback for a $150 donation by the Choctaw tribe in 1847 during the Irish Potatoe famine
  4. (115k upvotes) Arnold Schwarzenegger backs California face-mask order: ‘Anyone making it a political issue is an absolute moron’
  5. (110k upvotes) How to stop a virus from spreading

Moments and Movements That Mattered

In a year rocked by unprecedented events, users showed up to discuss, provide support and navigate the challenges. The U.S. election, Black Lives Matter, and climate change were just a few of the issues at the forefront of Reddit’s top news, social justice and politics communities across the platform.

By The Numbers: 

  • 9972.4% YoY activity increase in r/blacklivesmatter
  • 40.8% YoY activity increase in r/politics
  • r/USPS experienced a 55.1% YoY increase in activity
  • r/2020policebrutality was the #1 activism community (by subscribers) created in 2020
  • r/politicaldiscussion experienced a 106% YoY increase in activity


Most Discussed Election Topics in r/politics 

  1. Supreme Court
  2. COVID-19
  3. Mail-in voting
  4. Checking voter registration
  5. Electoral college

Most Discussed Topics in r/blacklivesmatter 

  1. George Floyd
  2. Police brutality
  3. Social media
  4. Breonna Taylor
  5. Systemic racism

Most Discussed Topics in r/worldnews 

  1. COVID-19
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Climate Change
  4. Middle East
  5. Human Rights

Most Discussed Climate Change Issues in r/climate 

  1. Fossil fuels
  2. Renewable energy
  3. Carbon tax
  4. Green New Deal
  5. Sea levels

Advice and Connections

As people around the world became more physically isolated this year, internet strangers sought out virtual friendships in communities like r/penpals and r/needafriend, while a growing number of ad vice-centric communities took center stage, helping Reddit users navigate relationships of all kinds during the pandemic. 

By the Numbers:

  • 4 of the 5 top relationship communities in 2020 were focused on sharing advice
  • ( r/amitheasshole , r/relationship_advice , r/askmen , and r/advice )
  • 128.4% YoY activity increase in r/penpals
  • 100.3% YoY activity increase in r/needafriend
  • 85.2 % YoY subscriber increase in r/longdistance


Most Upvoted Posts in r/amitheasshole 

  1. (70.1k upvotes) AITA For suing my girlfriend after she had my 1967 impala project taken

to the scrapyard?

  1. (58.5k upvotes) UPDATE: WIBTA if I took over planning my own funeral from my very

religious parents?

  1. (50.6k upvotes) AITA for punishing my son after he said something racist?
  2. (50.2k upvotes) UPDATE WIBTA For planting prickly bushes in my front yard to keep

the neighbours kids from my property?

  1. (46.9k upvotes) UPDATE AITA for not sharing my medical history before being pranked?


Most Discussed Activities in r/needafriend 

  1. Playing video games together
  2. Bonding over TV shows
  3. Visiting each other’s Animal Crossing islands
  4. Social anxiety support
  5. Sharing music recommendations


Most Discussed Topics in r/longdistance 

  1. Video chat and webcam recommendations
  2. Separations due to COVID-19
  3. Adapting to time differences
  4. Supporting one another’s mental health
  5. Uncertainty around travel bans and restrictions


Quarantine Activities

From bang-cutting and bread making, to the rise in nostalgic treats and at-home workouts, users found ways to stay productive, distracted and creative during quarantine.

By the Numbers: 

378.8% YoY activity increase in r/sourdough

612% YoY activity increase in r/homegym

121.7% YoY increase in mentions of “cut my own hair”

285.2 % YoY activity increase in r/pelotoncycle

82.6 % YoY activity increase in r/old_recipes


Most Discussed Recipes in r/old_recipes 

  1. Peanut butter bread
  2. Divorce carrot cake
  3. Lemon bars
  4. Murder cookies
  5. Armenian perok cake


Trends in Top 5 Beauty Communities (by Activity) 

  1. r/skincareaddiction : Mentions of “maskne” (mask acne) spiked by 305.6% in July
  2. r/beautyguruchatter : James Charles was the #1 most-discussed influencer this year
  3. r/curlyhair : Mentions of “fringe” cuts increased 57.5% YoY
  4. r/makeupaddiction : During a year of mask wearing, mentions of “eye makeup” spikedby 26% in July
  5. r/weddingplanning : Mentions of postponing weddings spiked by 6600% in March

Most Discussed At-Home Workouts in r/homefitness 

  1. Push ups
  2. Resistance bands
  3. Pull ups
  4. Jump rope
  5. HIIT workouts

Entertainment Value

Despite movie theaters around the world closing down and major sporting events being cancelled, Reddit users still found ways to show off their fandom pride (and get married on Animal Crossing).

By the Numbers:

  • 1771.8% YoY activity increase in r/animalcrossing
  • 52.7% YoY activity increase in r/moviedetails
  • r/tigerking was the #1 TV community (by subscribers) created in 2020
  • Raymond was the #1 discussed villager in r/animalcrossing
  • Making a Murderer and Unsolved Mysteries were the top two true-crime TV shows (by community activity)

Most Popular Television Shows By Community Activity 

  • Reality TV: Big Brother , 90 Day Fiance , The Bachelor , Survivor , Rupaul’s Drag Race
  • Comedy: The Office , Rick and Morty , Community , BoJack Horseman , The Simpsons
  • Drama: The Sopranos , Game of Thrones , Better Call Saul , Grey’s Anatomy , Breaking Bad
  • Anime: One Piece ; My Hero Academia ; Naruto ; JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure ; Boruto
  • Sci-fi: Star Trek ; Westworld ; Doctor Who ; The 100 ; Dark

Most Discussed New or Upcoming Films in r/movies 

  1. Tenet
  2. Dune
  3. Mulan
  4. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  5. Sonic the Hedgehog
  6. Wonder Woman 1984
  7. Hamilton
  8. Birds of Prey
  9. Black Widow
  10. Invisible Man

Most Popular Professional Teams by Community Activity

  • Basketball: Lakers , Celtics , Raptors , Heat , 76ers
  • Football: Eagles , Packers , Bears , Patriots , 49ers
  • Soccer: Manchester United , Arsenal , Liverpool , Chelsea , Tottenham Hotspur
  • Hockey: Canucks , Maple Leafs , Flyers , Stars , Bruins
  • Baseball: Yankees , Dodgers , Braves , Padres , Cardinals

Most Popular Video Games of 2020 by Community Activity 

  1. League of Legends
  2. Minecraft
  3. Animal Crossing
  4. Fortnite
  5. Destiny

UK numbers

Reddit officially launched in the UK, which is home to its second largest user base, and growing at +48% year over year..

Reddit’s UK-based communities have been popular this year, from current events in r/ukpolitics (#1 UK community this year), football at r/premierleague or finding the perfect moisturiser in r/skincareaddictionuk. And during this unprecedented year, Reddit users came together to discuss everything from working from home to r/doctorwho, while Brexit and COVID-19 remained at the forefront of conversations.

Top trends


Most Popular UK Communities by Activity

  1. r/ukpolitics
  2. r/casualuk
  3. r/askuk
  4. r/coronavirusuk
  5. r/london

Most Discussed Topics in r/CasualUK

  1. Working from home
  2. Ice cream
  3. Social distancing
  4. Cup of tea
  5. Sausage rolls

Most Popular Locations, by Community Activity

  1. London
  2. Northern Ireland
  3. Glasgow
  4. Edinburgh
  5. Bristol

Fun Fact: Mentions of seaside resorts and towns in UK communities spiked by 60.5% in March and steadily increased through the summer.

News & Politics

Most Discussed Current Events in r/ukpolitics

  1. Brexit
  2. COVID-19
  3. Boris Johnson
  4. Labour Party
  5. Climate change

Most Discussed Government Ministers in r/ukpolitics

  1. Boris Johnson
  2. Priti Patel
  3. Matt Hancock
  4. Michael Gove
  5. Rishi Sunak

Most Discussed Topics in r/coronavirusUK

  1. Social distancing
  2. Herd immunity
  3. Working from home
  4. Wearing masks
  5. Care homes


Most Popular TV Shows by Community Activity

  1. Doctor Who
  2. Killing Eve
  3. Black Mirror
  4. Peaky Blinders
  5. Sherlock

Most Discussed Platforms in r/britishtv

  1. BBC
  2. Netflix
  3. Britbox
  4. Youtube
  5. ITV

Fun Fact: Normal People was the most popular UK TV community (by subscribers) created in 2020. 


Most Discussed Beauty Brands in r/makeupaddictionuk

  1. Revolution
  2. Mac
  3. Nyx
  4. Elf
  5. Maybelline

Most Discussed Beauty Trends in r/makeupaddictionuk

  1. Subscription beauty boxes
  2. Cruelty-free products
  3. Setting spray
  4. BB Cream
  5. Beauty blender

Most Discussed Skincare Brands in r/skincareaddictionuk

  1. Cerave
  2. The Ordinary
  3. La Roche Posay
  4. Paula’s Choice
  5. INKEY List

Fun Fact: Mentions of “eye” makeup increased 83% YoY in r/skincareaddictionuk.


Most Discussed Foods in r/uk_food 

  1. Black pudding
  2. Baked beans
  3. Hash browns
  4. Mushy peas
  5. Cottage pie

Most Upvoted Recipes in r/uk_food

  1. Yorkshire pudding
  2. Roasts
  3. Sticky toffee pudding
  4. Chicken bhuna
  5. Homemade chips

Fun Fact: Mentions of “takeaway” in UK communities spiked by 120.5% in March.


Most Popular Sports by Community Activity

  1. Formula 1
  2. Cricket
  3. Rugby Union
  4. English Premier League
  5. Super League

Most Popular Football Teams by Community Activity

  1. Manchester United
  2. Arsenal
  3. Liverpool
  4. Chelsea
  5. Tottenham Hotspur

Fun Fact: Of the leading UK sports communities, Premier League saw the largest growth in activity YoY (215.8%).

2020 UK Year in Review Methodology

  • Data was pulled from January 1-November 6, 2020
  • Activity = total posts + comments in a community
  • Select lists — i.e. “Most Popular Football Teams” — are ranked by “community activity,” indicating the most popular football team communities on Reddit

*Pulled via internal data through end-October 2020