Reddit is often a place where trolls reign supreme using the twin weapons of shame and guilt to attack those who post stories that could be considered blameworthy, but in r/confession, people can anonymously tell the things they feel guilty or remorseful about in an atmosphere, generally, of support.
A mixture of light hearted banter labeled as No Regrets, such as “Yes I am a Gold Digger”, more solemn stories labeled Remorse such as “I missed the birth of my daughter because I was high on heroin” and the Conflicted labeled posts like “I still think of my ex-girlfriend” the subreddit is heavily moderated to ensure that people can confess to what they want without being harassed.
The subReddits mission statement is to:
‘Create a safe environment within Reddit to promote and encourage people to share their acts of wrongdoing that they want to get out into the open’
This is achieved by adhering to a strict set of rules focussing on respect and moderator u/opticalnecessity said:
“r/confession serves as a community of people willing to listen to your situations, and help you work through it.”
There is no typical confession, but a representative one would be this from u/iseversole who posted a confession with the title “I feel like a horrible sister.” She explained that her 15-year-old sister had come to her saying she wanted to try weed and they ended up smoking it together. “I smoke pretty occasionally myself, and the first time I did it, I had a horrible experience,” she wrote. “I was in the wrong place with the wrong people and in a dangerous situation.”
U/iserversole knew her sister would try weed anyway and thought that by smoking with her she would be doing it in a safe environment, but she had started to feel guilty. The supportive comments she received helped her a great deal she said, and this is the purpose of the thread.
Another user u/sObZenx posted in r/confession the day after he lost his life savings playing online Blackjack.
“I had about 40K in savings and ended up losing it all in a matter of about 3 hours,” he wrote. “I feel like a complete piece of shit.”
Why did I decide to share my story [on Reddit] over sharing it with someone I know? Well, some things you can’t talk about with family or friends,” he said. “It gave me a sense of relief.”
Not all confessions are welcome but exclusions are only made with the confessor’s safety in mind. At one point there were som confessions from non-offending pedophiles who felt guilt over their thoughts but the community was not able to respond in a supportive way and the moderators worried the posters would be in danger. As a consequence, such posts are not allowed but for most people, r/confessions is a safe and welcoming place to air your darkest thoughts and fears and perhaps receive some advice to help you move on.
featured image source: bcgavel
meme source: Img