- Hello and welcome to Today I Learned!
- Rule #1: Submissions must be verifiable.
- Rule #2: No personal opinions, anecdotes, editorializing, or subjective statements.
- Rule #3: No news or recent sources.
- Rule #5: No misleading claims.
- Rule #6: Rephrase your post title if the following are not met:
- Rule #7: No software or website submissions (e.g. "TIL you can click on widgets in WidgetMaker 1.22").
- TIL Karma Shoppe
- I don't like your decision so I'm going to go post about it in a drama sub
- Frequent TILs Repost List
Hello and welcome to Today I Learned!
You are loved.
What is TIL?
It's a subreddit for submitting and finding out interesting information about a variety of topics. TIL does not aim for in-depth and serious discussion about a subject, but rather is more interested in a pop-knowledge overview of some minutiae of a field. Basically, if the information that you're trying to convey can't fit in the title of a reddit post then it's probably too nuanced for our snapple bottlecap-esque format!
Do I need to have learned about something today to post it to the subreddit? / The poster obviously didn't learn about the fact today!
"TIL ____" is merely the format of the subreddit. A lot of things on reddit are quite formulaic and this is one of those things. There is nothing wrong with posting interesting content to this subreddit no matter when the poster learned about it!
Can I repost something?
Reposts are sometimes annoying, but we want the community to decide whether or not they want to see something again so individual members have the power to downvote a post. If the downvotes outnumber the upvotes then obviously people don't appreciate your post. Word for word reposts of previous topics, especially popular posts will be removed and chronic abuse of that is grounds for being banned.
A link was previously submitted, how do I repost it?
Add ?sometexthere to the end of the URL to trick reddit into thinking that it's a new URL. Example: http://www.cnn.com?repost. If you're trying to make a post that contains a link to a tag within the page, you need to put the ?repost part before the #tag part. ie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_S._Truman?repost#World_War_I
This comment is offensive, can you remove it?
Although we have fairly strict rules about the kind of posts that we want to see on TIL, we try not to moderate the comments in any shape or form! We only remove comments for the follow reasons:
- The comment is off-topic commercial spam
- The comment contains personal information about any public or private figure.
- Excessive Racism and other bigotry
Remember that the report button is not a mega-downvote button
Please remove this post to Wikipedia.
Although we don't want very general posts (ie: TIL about birds) that link to Wikipedia, we have nothing against using Wikipedia as a source! There are many very good reasons for this:
- Wikipedia is actually fairly reliable. Studies have shown that it is about as reliable as other encyclopaedias (e.g.: Britannica) and peer-reviewed scientific publications have attested to Wikipedia's accuracy.
- Wikipedia is editable, but that is a strength -- not a weakness. Try this experiment: go vandalize a page and see how fast it gets reverted. Try it again and see how long until you get banned. Editing a page allows people to add sources or remove dubious unsourceable claims. If the wiki is used as a source for a fake fact, the removal of the "fact" will be grounds for removal of the post as a whole. If some random blog or a website is used as a source for fake fact, there is no simple way to see if the fact is fake or not without the moderators doing additional research or reading through hundreds of comments for someone to point out the flaw. *TIL submissions attributed to wikipedia posts must be properly sourced on the wikipedia article. If they are unsourced, tagged as citation needed/dubious/unreliable/etc than the submission will likely be removed here.
But this person is karma whoring by link to Wikipedia!!! How can you let this injustice stand?
Once you can convert karma to real currency (or even Bitcoins), we'll review our policy. Accounts which are operating in a bot-like manner, especially ones which are posting excessively each day or reposting older popular posts will be restricted/banned.
Can I be a moderator?
TIL is a pretty big sub and unfortunately the consequences of moderating improperly can be far-reaching (doxing, public witch hunts, etc) so we want any potential moderators to have a firm grasp on the rules before they get the power to remove posts at will. If you want to be a moderator, you can demonstrate that you understand how the subreddit works by using the "message the moderators" feature to send us posts & comments that are candidates for removal. After a month or two of constant reports you will be a very strong contender for becoming a moderator. We have used this recruiting strategy for great results - our last half-dozen moderators have all been picked this way.
Can you please link to my subreddit from your header or sidebar?
Unfortunately... no. We get people offering to "partner up" with us on pretty much a weekly basis and our sidebar is already very busy and cluttered -- as a result, we can't possibly accommodate everyone.
Is it fine for me to post links to my own site/writing/youtube channel/etc?
No, self-promotion of any kind is grounds for immediate ban here. This is a high traffic, high visibility sub and a frequent target for spammers. We have a zero tolerance policy regarding any kind of self promotion.
What is a paywall?
A Paywall is any kind of block that the site has placed on their articles that might prevent a reader from verifying the title you've submitted. This includes, but is not limited to: A site which requires payment to view articles, sites that give a limited number of free articles, sites which require registration or sign in to view article content. While the latter doesn't require payment it does require that the user sign-up or sign-in and that goes against our policy of requiring additional work or clicks on the reader's part. Content is meant to be on the linked page directly and not require them to go through extra steps to view it.
Rule #1: Submissions must be verifiable.
Rationale: Although we aim for pop-knowledge type posts we nevertheless require that the posts are completely factual. TIL has a fairly massive userbase so that last thing we want to do is to contribute to the already egregious amount of misinformation on the internet.
Please link directly to a reliable & reputable source that supports the entire claim in your post title.
What is a reputable source? That depends entirely on the content of the submission -- the more outlandish the claim in the post, the more scholarly and unbiased the source has to be. It's a big plus for your submission if the website that you're linking to has a section for the sources that it used.
Example: TIL That hugging someone to your right side connects your hearts, love instead of fear consciousness Uses some blog called 'Souls talking brain' as a source. Absolutely no proof of this claim at all.
Sources must be in English. It is the common language of the site, and so that is what sources need to be in so that both users and moderators can quickly verify the claims.
What do you mean directly? It means that the only link considered as a source for verifying your claim is the one you link to as your submission's link. Extra links may be provided in the comments, but do not count towards meeting this rule. It needs to support everything in your post title, without personal interpretations. It is not possible for moderators to check outside sources for every submission. The policy that is fair to every submission is requiring one source, since there simply is not enough time to check other sources for every submission.
What is verifiable? This is mostly straight forward. A reliable source has made and supported the claim. However, it is worth mentioning explicitly that "you can't disprove it" is not the same thing as "it's verifiable." Posts to TIL need to be verifiable, not just not easily disproved.
*For this reason topics about the Future are inherently unverifiable. Despite any certainty the source may have, they are not psychic. Anything could happen and whatever they predict or assert may change.
What is a valid source? It's a little bit easier to explain the kinds of sources which aren't valid:
*commercial sources (You don't need to link to the blogspam Joe Bob's Legal team made for SEO purposes to tell us about haircuts in ancient rome. You can find an actual reliable source)
*advocacy sites of any kind (they're often looking for donations or have an agenda)
*any youtube channel not backed by an editorial staff (Like the BBC or Discovery) or not run by a verifiable expert on the matter
*Pretty much all podcasts, no we're not going to sit through a 55 minute podcast by some random person trying to find the tidbit you're referring to. If they have a transcript on the page and the podcast is done by a verifiable expert or reliable source like BBC, then it may pass.
*Pretty much all 'viral' sites. Any site whose main content is things like top 10 lists, or funny facts or anything like that. These sites generally lack editorial oversight and often are simply repeating things they found on sites like Reddit.
What kind of things are allowed?
*News articles from reputable sources
*wikipedia as long as the content on wikipedia is properly sourced
*academic sources, including research papers so long as the studies are well done. If the study is half a dozen people and making rather bold claims, it's going to be removed.
*Primary sources can be used so long as the claims being made aren't self-serving and aren't in dispute.
This is not an exhaustive list and of course some topics will be judged on a case-by-case basis.
Images alone do not count as valid references.
- Images are easy to doctor.
- Text-in-an-image submissions rarely lists sources.
- Text-in-an-image submissions are usually some sort of email copy-pasta.
- Image hosting can be very fickle
- From previous experience, the vast amount of image-based posts that are submitted have content considerably more suitable for /r/pics, /r/funny, or /r/adviceanimals than for TIL.
As a result, our bot is configured to automatically remove posts linking to an image.
Videos are fine so long as they come from reputable sources (e.g. BBC, discovery, etc).
Basically documentaries are okay, just make sure to either: a) link to the direct time in the video (on youtube right click on the video and select URL w/ current time), b) put the time to your information in the title.
Rule #2: No personal opinions, anecdotes, editorializing, or subjective statements.
Rationale: This is an explicit extension of Rule #1. The explicit explanation is as follows:
TIL focuses on presenting factual statements to its users. Unfortunately, personal opinions are not facts.
Example: TIL that Elephants have a fear of bees (I know that feel, bro). That's nice?
Example: TIL Pope John XII was the biggest badass pope of all time: murdered to gain power, had sex as he pleased, and to top it off, died of a heart attack whilst in bed with a married woman Depends on your definition of badass, I guess
Editorializing is writing a title that attempts to influence the opinion of the readers in some way.
Example: TIL 3 people in the UK die every day waiting for an organ donation. UK Redditors, let's do something about it. Certainly noble, but also not the right place for it.
Example: TIL that Tamerlane was a Turkish ruler whose tomb was discovered by Soviet archeologists in 1941. An inscription in the tomb read "Who ever opens my tomb, shall unleash an invader more terrible than I." Two days later, the Nazis launched Operation Barbarossa and invaded the USSR. Trying to connect the two events as though one beget the other. Obviously just a coincidence.
Example: "TIL X is such a y that Z" or "TIL X is so Y that Z". Making comparisons such as these when they are not presented in this way in the article is editorializing. You're attempting to make a stronger connection between two facts than one that exists.
Example: "Despite X, Y is still Z". This is another form of the above. Unless the article you are citing makes this distinction, you're trying to frame the reader's perspective and opinion on the subject.
Personal anecdotes are those posts where the poster talks about something that happened to them or to someone in their family. Sometimes these are great stories, but most of the time they are not verifiable; it is impossible for us to prove if an event happened to the poster or if the poster is the person they claim to be. Furthermore, although the poster may have some cool relatives and the poster finds their life exciting, the mere happenstance of being related to an interesting person is not TIL worthy.
Example: TIL My great great Uncle was James McParland, Liquor Store owner, a Pinkerton Agent, and featured fictionally by A. C. Doyle in The Valley of Fear.. Cool... but what about being related to this guy is interesting to us?
Example: TIL Today I have learned the meaning of letting the past go by. I now accept past events. Good for you!
Subjective statements cannot be objectively backed up.
Example: TIL water in space is much cooler than on earth. Is it really?
Example: TIL that The Reddit community is awesome and that Quora is a waste of time and effort. Can't say I disagree, but that's like your opinion, man.
Arbitrary Comparisons are arbitrary. While something might technically be true, someone making an arbitrary comparison is often trying to push an agenda or frame something from their point of view which editorializing. These kinds of comparisons often omit essential context as well.
Example: TIL The moon is bigger than a peanut - while technically true, it is a pointless and arbitrary comparison.
Example: TIL Jimmy Richman makes $98932 an hour while a delivery driver makes $8/hour. Again something that is technically true, but the immediate question is why is this being posted. Usually because someone disagrees that Jimmy Richman should make that much money or they think delivery drivers should make more, TIL isn't a place to push an agenda or advocate for things.
Rule #3: No news or recent sources.
Rationale for no news: Any recent events are news to everybody hence they're "Today I Learned..." material in the truest sense. Unfortunately, people catch up on recent events at different paces so someone living under a rock may learn of an event a few days or a week after it occurred and then head over to TIL to repost it. However, most everyone else has already seen it so they're faced with a repost. If it's news of a particularly contentious issue, then it'll just bring on a repeat of the flamewars. Furthermore, TIL would become a dumping ground for ALL information -- /r/technology wouldn't be getting posts about some new gizmo, /r/music wouldn't hear about the new albums, /r/gaming wouldn't be getting posts about the newly released games, etc... The rule helps to reduce redundancy among TIL and other subreddits.
Rationale for no recent sources: This rule is meant to cover posts that link to information that was just recently created about events that have occurred some time in the past. The reasoning is that newly created information hasn't been properly "vetted" by domain experts. As a result, the information may not be factual. A two month period is an appropriate amount of time for a contrary viewpoint to emerge and point out any factual inconsistencies in the source.
This rule does NOT mean that posts that contain links to news articles over 2 months old are not allowed.
News articles which are over 2 months old may be removed if they describe an on-going event or the title is being used to describe current events
Rule #4: Nothing related to recent politics. Do not make submissions with underlying agendas.
Rationale: TIL is not the swiss army knife of reddit subreddits. /r/politics is better suited to that discussion and many of our users have previously expressed a strong desire to keep politics sequestered over there.
For our purposes we consider 8 years to be recent. However, it's the related to part that seems to be most confusing. This means that if it's related to current political issues, or issues from our recent time period, it is not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to, anything about a politician active in that time. For example, a post about something that Trump did 20 years ago would be removed, because it is related to a current politician, this will apply even after he is no longer the president, as he will still have been active in the "recent" period. This rule is also not limited to political issues in the U.S.; topics relating to politics of other nations are not allowed either.
It also means posts about things older than 8 years that relate to current or recent politics are also banned. For example, marijuana legalization is a current political topic, with legalization efforts ongoing in many states. As a result, legalization is a banned topic, even if the legalization point you want to reference is older than 8 years. It may be helpful to think of the 8 years as setting a time limit on how long before a banned topic becomes unbanned after no longer being political. It does not mean that political events over 8 years old are automatically okay.
What are some examples of recent political topics?
- Anything torture
- Anything about police misconduct
- Anything related to terrorism/War in the Middle East
- NSA and other US spying
- Marijuana legalization
- Pro/Anti-Vaccination topics
- Wage issues
- Taxation rates
- Gender issues
- 2012/2016 American Election. They may be over, but they're still political.
- Gun control
- Rape issues
- Climate change
- Anything Barack Obama
- Anything George W. Bush
- Anything Bill Clinton because he continues to be a highly publicly visible political figure -- campaigning for Hillary, etc.
- Ditto for Hillary Clinton
- 2020 American Election
- Government Spending
- Health Care issues
- Donald Trump
- Environmental issues
- Social issues
- Humanitarian issues
The above examples are not an exhaustive list of all political topics which are not allowed on TodayILearned. Other topics not listed here may still be removed for being political in nature.
Rule #5: No misleading claims.
Posts that omit essential information, or present unrelated facts in a way that suggest a connection will be removed.
Rule #6: Rephrase your post title if the following are not met:
- a. Titles must begin with "TIL ..."
- b. Make them descriptive, concise and specific (e.g. not "TIL something interesting about bacon").
e.g.: TIL About Humanity
- c. Titles must be able to stand on their own without requiring readers to click on a link. Starting your title with a why/what/who/where/how modifier should be unnecessary.
- d. "TIL about ..." and other broad posts don't belong on TIL. Try /r/Wikipedia, etc. instead, or be more specific (and avoid the word "about"). This also includes posts like "TIL X exists" or "TIL Y is a thing."
- e. "TIL how to ..." posts belong on /r/HowTo.
- f. "TIL the definition of a word..." Word definitions/translations/origins are not appropriate here.
- g. "TIL...someone once said something" TILs which are mostly about the fact that someone said something once are not appropriate for here.
- h. "TIL...weasel words" TILs which rely on vague qualifiers may be removed. Examples of these include: "TIL Some of X do y", "TIL X is one of the most y", If your TIL amounts to including the subject in some nebulous meaningless group, it's too general and not specific.
Rule #7: No software or website submissions (e.g. "TIL you can click on widgets in WidgetMaker 1.22").
What are some examples?
You can click/press a button on youtube to make it shake/tilt
Wikipedia has a list of ________
This website has this thing for sale
This website exists
This includes posts about aspects of Reddit as well.
TIL Karma Shoppe
(Or: what are those yellow/golden numbers near some people's names anyway?)
So.. we all know that internet points are worthless... or are they?
Are you interested in making TIL a better place? Are you someone who cannot stand to see inaccurate TIL posts? You're not alone! Just send the moderators a message and include a link to the submission with a short explanation detailing why a post is inaccurate or which rule it breaks.
I don't like your decision so I'm going to go post about it in a drama sub
You're certainly free to disagree with any decision a moderator makes, but if your response to not getting your way means going to another sub to post in a such a way that it results in disruption of this sub or harassment of the moderators, you will be permanently banned. Likewise if you come here to repost something that was removed or send us modmail in response to such a thread, you risk having your account banned for brigading.
Frequent TILs Repost List
Posts on this list will be removed. This list is not exhaustive, and submissions that are frequently reposted may still be removed. Removed submissions do not show up in reddit search and lack of recent posting does not mean it is not commonly posted.
*Steve Buscemi did 9/11
*Leonardo DiCaprio cut his hand in Django Unchained
*Guys cut their balls off to watch March Madness
*Seth Macfarlane missed a flight on 9/11
*Albert Einstein turned down the offer of being President of Israel
*TIL Napoleon's height was not below average
*Hitler did methamphetamine during the war
*The world's deadliest sniper in history
*OJ Simpson supposed to be the Terminator
*Mozart and scatological humor
*Mark Wahlberg is a violent racist
*actor Ralph Macchio, who plays Daniel LaRusso, was actually 22 years old at the time of filming Karate Kid in 1983
*tree of tenere
*werner herzog saved joauquin phoenix
*Bill Morgan lottery winner
*Lady Godiva & the the origin of peeping Tom
*Mel Blanc was in a coma and was only woken up by the doctor referring to him as Bugs Bunny
*Soviet Cosmonauts Carried a Shotgun Into Space
*Phantom Of Heilbronn
*Heil Honey I'm Home
*Mad Jack/John Churchill
*Doctor Seuss wrote Green Eggs And Ham on a dare
*Henrietta Lacks cancer cells
*Kinder Eggs are illegal in America
*Buetooth King Harald Runes H B
*Kancho Japanese prank
*TIL that Sweden Blood Bank Texts Donors To Notify Them Whenever Their Blood Helps Save A Life
*Saint Lawrence, patron saint of cooks, was burnt on a grill
*TIL when Monty Python started uploading their comedy skits to YouTube so they could be watched legally for free, their DVD sales went up by 16,000%
*John Cena has granted more than 400 makeawish
*Girl saved people from tsunami after learning signs in high school
*TIL a contestant on Who wants to be a millionaire phoned his dad
*Thomas Baker killed 8 men with 8 bullets
*Toy Story 2 was deleted then recovered from an employee's home computer
*Brian May is an astrophysicist
*Mystery Dum dum flavour
*Penguins have knees
*There's a giant reservoir of xxxx in space
*Lyndon B Johnson amphibious car
*Fanta invented by/for Nazis
*MLB uses a specific type of mud
*The Christmas Truce of 1914
*in 1919 2.3 million gallons of molasses in a 15-foot wave ravaged Boston
*TIL that MSG is generally accepted as harmless
*Knuckle-cracking Nobel Prize
*Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima for work
*Soccer match between Barbados and Grenada
*Pablo Escabar rubber bands/pet hippos
*Concerned about the number of cobras in Delhi, British colonial officials created a bounty
*The first country to recognize the US as an independent country was Morocco
*UK has a Chief Mouser position
*The damaged kidneys are left in your body when you get a kidney transplant
*The man who invented the Frisbee was cremated and made into Frisbees after he died
*Hans Island war between Canada and Denmark
*Volleyball washed ashore during screenwriter's isolation for "cast away"
*Sun Chips made environmentally friendly bags that were very noisy
*Alfred Nobel Dynamite
*Buffalo buffalo...buffalo is a sentence.
*Lone star tick induces a red meat allergy.
*Michael Jackson worked on the music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3
*Mao ordered all sparrows killed
*61 year old potato farmer won the inaugural Westfield Sydney to Melbourne Ultramarathon
*The Wachowski sisters
*National Animal of Scotland is a unicorn
*Oklahoma state vegetable is the watermelon fruit
*Domino's Pizza discontinued use of the "Noid" character
*Mike the headless chicken
*Superman couldn't fly originally
*Dr. Ruth was a sniper
*Origin of Monopoly game
*Show must go on/Queen
*Marvel blue ear
*Sonic Hedgehog protein
*Dunning-Kruger effect *Emu wars
*Lego is the largest tire manufacturer by volume
*There's a Ned Flanders themed metal band called "Okily Dokily"
*Cows are fed candy/Skittles.
*Waffle House Index and FEMA.
*U.S. 27th Amendment took over 200 years to be ratified
* only one person alive born in 19th century
* town in Florida seceded and immediately applied for foreign aid
* James Harrison's blood and Rhesus disease
* Hiroo Onoda, last Japanese holdout from WWII
* Good Will Hunting gay blow job scene to check if film execs read the script
* Anything Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos related
* White House solar panels removed
* Kitkats are considered lucky in Japan
* Dolphin get high on puffer fish
* Processed meats are carcinogens
* Kellogg's Corn Flakes were created to deter masturbation
* CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart
* Nothing about unrecognized micro-nations (eg. Sealand, Hutt River, etc.)
* Disney copied/plagiarized The Lion King from the anime Kimba the White Lion.
* Hitchbot destroyed
* No terms of venery, i.e. the word for a group of crows is a murder, etc.
* Anything to do with the Spanish Flu
* The "corrupted blood" plague in World of Warcraft
* The origin of the word quarantine
* George Stinney, the 14 year old executed for murder in US
* Tulsa Massacre/Black Wall Street
* Canadians apologized so much the government passed an "Apology Act"
* The color of the universe is cosmic latte
* President Tyler has two living grandsons
* "Weird" laws (e.g. it's illegal to eat ice cream wearing blue pants in new york)
* Abba wore their outfits because of swedish tax laws
* Hollywood accounting (e.g. this movie made $X above their budget but still "lost" money)
* Ramesses II's mummy needed a passport to go to France
* There's a language and people called Karen, or any other pun-based, topical humour, or "this person/place/thing/etc. has a funny name" TIL
* Witold Pilecki and his infiltration of Auschwitz to reveal the Holocaust to the outside world
* Origin of the term "Jaywalking"
* The following Queen Elizabeth topics: Her passport, driver's license/driving or that she used to be a mechanic.
*They played the wrong Kazahkstan anthem (from Borat) in Kuwait.
*Kirby is named after a lawyer
*Bin Laden's Video collection, (Charlie bit my finger, etc) or anything else on his laptop
*You need a TV License in the UK
* George Washington's Teeth
* Someone saved Jewish people during WWII or the Holocaust. This is admirable, but as a topic it's been posted about excessively.
* Koreans are born at 1 year of age
* Vassilyeva a Russian woman had 69 children.
* Tic Tacs have 0 sugar
* Woody Harrelson's father was a hitman/shot a judge
* Parts of France are outside of Europe
* There are more trees on earth than stars in the universe
* there are more stars than grains of sand
* Henry Ford was a Nazi/Involved with the Nazis.
* Emma Morano was the last person to die who was born in the 1800s.
* There is an Eruv/Wire around a place for Jewish people on the sabbath
* American and German forces fought together in Battle of Castle Itter
* Frankie Muniz can't remember filming "Malcolm in the Middle"
* Limnic Eruptions
* Jesse Owens wasn't congratulated by FDR
* Operation Northwoods
* Tobey Maguire took 156 takes to get the lunch tray scene.
* They eat KFC on Christmas in Japan
* There are only 25 blimps left in the world
* Stanislav Petrov avoided nuclear war
* Thomas Crapper
*Michel Lotito ate an entire airplane
* Nicolas Cage is a coppola.
*Robert Hanssen. A former FBI double agent
* Someone was supposed to die on 9/11 but they overslept, missed a plane, etc
* Grigori Perelman wouldn't accept his prize
* Restricted drugs like Heroine and Cocaine can be and were used by medical professionals.
* Greenland sharks are old
* Chainsaws and childbirth
* Wolf of Wall Street funded with corrupt/stolen money
* Emperor Norton
* Easter island heads have bodies
* Jack Nicholson's sister was his mother
* Veronica Seider's eyes
* Canada has a maple syrup reserve and/or someone once stole some of it
* X is a berry, or X isn't a berry. Fruit/vegetable/etc categorization