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This package is intended to assist with downloading, extracting, and distilling the monthly reddit data dumps made available through


pkg> add

Example Use

Preexisting File

If you already have a monthly submissions or comments file downloaded:

julia> using PushshiftRedditDistiller

julia> filter = RedditDataFilter(author=["spez"])

julia> spez_comments = distill("~/Downloads/RC_2005-12.bz2", filter)

julia> length(spez_comments)

julia> typeof(spez_comments)

julia> first(spez_comments)
Dict{Symbol,Any} with 18 entries:
  :author_flair_css_class => nothing
  :gilded                 => 0
  :parent_id              => "t3_17942"
  :score                  => 4
  :link_id                => "t3_17942"
  :created_utc            => 1134392748
  :author_flair_text      => nothing
  :distinguished          => nothing
  :author                 => "spez"
  :stickied               => false
  :subreddit              => ""
  :subreddit_id           => "t5_6"
  :id                     => "c53"
  :retrieved_on           => 1473738414
  :body                   => "still looks like a death trap to me..."
  :controversiality       => 0
  :ups                    => 4
  :edited                 => false

DataDeps Catalog

All monthly comment and submissions files are cataloged and available using DataDeps.jl. The format for the datadep string macros are reddit-comments-YYYY-MM for comments and reddit-submissions-YYYY-MM for submissions.

If the file isn't downloaded, you will be prompted to download that archive file before processing.

julia> using DataDeps

julia> more_spez_comments = distill(datadep"reddit-comments-2006-04", filter)
This program has requested access to the data dependency reddit-comments-2006-04.
which is not currently installed. It can be installed automatically, and you will not see this message again.

Baumgartner, J., Zannettou, S., Keegan, B., Squire, M., & Blackburn, J. (2020, May). 
The pushshift reddit dataset.
In Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media 
(Vol. 14, pp. 830-839).

Do you want to download the dataset from to "~/.julia/datadeps/reddit-comments-2006-04"?

┌ Info: Downloading
│   source = ""
│   dest = "~/.julia/datadeps/reddit-comments-2006-04/RC_2006-04.bz2"
│   progress = 1.0
│   time_taken = "0.51 s"
│   time_remaining = "0.0 s"
│   average_speed = "3.729 MiB/s"
│   downloaded = "1.891 MiB"
│   remaining = "0 bytes"
└   total = "1.891 MiB"
┌ Warning: Checksum not provided, add to the Datadep Registration the following hash line
│   hash = "1e757b8a7dd4b1f7281329ac77cf4a20f59571d59899983fd7f347b24b081516"

julia> length(more_spez_comments)

Multithreaded Support

If you start Julia with more than one thread available, multithreading will be enabled. It's best to play around with the number of threads for a bit if you're looking to optimize parsing speed, as it depends on how complex your filter is and the decompression algorithm available. For example, slower decompression algorithms (bz2) will bottleneck the speed in which you can feed lines from the stream to each thread to parse. For faster algorithms, you may have a strict filter that doesn't result in many lines needing to be fully parsed, making the overhead of coordinating threads costly.

The number of threads used while parsing will be displayed in the progress bar.

$ julia -t 3


julia> results = distill(datadep"reddit-comments-2006-04", filter)
File: RC_2006-04.bz2; Threads: 3 ┣ ╱   ╱   ╱   ╱   ╱   ╱   ╱   ╱ ┫ 19090it 00:01 [35469.7 it/s]

⚠️ Note: Records returned when multithreading is active will not be in the same order as they exist in the compressed file. If order is important, sort the results on an additional field like created_utc.

Filtering with RedditDataFilter

Data can be filtered on the author or subreddit field currently. The filtering is currently disjunctive (OR), so if both author and subreddit are passed, it will return data from those author(s) OR those subreddit(s).

In addition, you can control which fields are returned with the fields argument.

All arguments are of type Vector{String}, though passing a single string to an argument will convert it to a length 1 Vector.

Note that no checking of correct field names is done for you, since the fields available change over time.

julia> using Dates

julia> timestamps_only = RedditDataFilter(fields=["created_utc"])

julia> timestamp_comments = distill(datadep"reddit-comments-2006-04", timestamps_only)

julia> Dates.unix2datetime(first(timestamp_comments)[:created_utc])

Other Usage Notes


distill returns Vector{Dict{Symbol,Any}}, which can be fed into a DataFrame from DataFrames.jl (not included).

julia> using DataFrames, CSV

julia> spez_comments_df = DataFrame(spez_comments)

julia> CSV.write("spez_comments.csv", spez_comments_df, quotestrings=true)

Managing DataDeps

Some of the files are large - if you were to download the whole archive it would be over 1 TB. Because of this, you may want to remove a file after use or change your DataDeps download directory to another drive.


julia> rm(datadep"reddit-comments-2006-04", recursive=true)

New Directory

julia> download_path = "/Users/user/pushshift-datadeps"

julia> mkdir(download_path)

julia> ENV["DATADEPS_LOAD_PATH"] = download_path


Accessing File Metadata

These are used to create the datadeps. Useful in case you want to know the direct file names and want to use another data dependency management tool.

julia> PushshiftRedditDistiller.comments_metadata
169-element Array{NamedTuple{(:file, :name),Tuple{String,String}},1}:
 (file = "RC_2005-12.bz2", name = "2005-12")
 (file = "RC_2019-12.zst", name = "2019-12")


This package is intended to assist with downloading, extracting, and distilling the monthly reddit data dumps made available through







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