What is a lurker?

A forum user who reads but doesn't post

A lurker is a person who frequently reads posts on a forum or social media platform but does not post themselves. These readers prefer to "lurk" in the background of online communities, either because they're shy or don't feel they have anything to contribute.

Some communities embrace lurkers, while others dislike them. For example, one community may be happy to have lurkers reading (and potentially sharing) its content, while another may question why lurkers are "spying" on them. In large online communities, like Reddit, the majority of users are lurkers, who are accessing the community only to read and share others' content. Most of these users are unlikely to ever make a post or comment.

Eventually, however, a lurker may "de-lurk" and choose to become an active part of the community in which they previously lurked. Many lurkers' first posts begin with the words "longtime lurker, first-time poster."


I use Stack Overflow, but I'm just a lurker
A Reddit lurker breaks their silence
A Reddit lurker breaks their silence

Related Slang


Updated October 28, 2022

Lurker definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Lurker" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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