Pushshift.io API Wrapper for reddit.com public comment/submission search
pip install psaw
At present, only python 3 is supported.
A minimalist wrapper for searching public reddit comments/submissions via the pushshift.io API.
Pushshift is an extremely useful resource, but the API is poorly documented. As such, this API wrapper is currently designed to make it easy to pass pretty much any search parameter the user wants to try.
Although it is not necessarily reflective of the current status of the API, you should attempt to familiarize yourself with the Pushshift API documentation to better understand what search arguments are likely to work.
Handles rate limiting and exponential backoff subject to maximum retries and maximum backoff limits. A minimum rate limit of 1 request per second is used as a default per consultation with Pushshift’s maintainer, /u/Stuck_in_the_matrix.
Handles paging of results. Returns all historical results for a given query by default.
Optionally handles incorporation of praw to fetch objects after getting ids from pushshift
If not using praw, returns results in comment and submission objects whose API is similar to the corresponding praw objects. Additionally, result objects have an additional .d_ attribute that offers dict access to the associated data attributes.
Optionally adds a created attribute which converts a comment/submission’s created_utc timestamp to the user’s local time. (may raise exceptions for users with certain timezone settings).
Simple interface to pass query arguments to the API. The API is sparsely documented, so it’s often fruitful to just try an argument and see if it works.
Limited support for pushshift’s aggs argument.
A stop_condition argument to make it simple to stop yielding results given arbitrary user-defined criteria
Using non-default sort may result in unexpected behavior.
Default behavior is to continuously hit the pushshift api. If a query is taking longer than expected to return results, it’s possible that psaw is pulling more data than you may want or is caught in some kind of loop.
I strongly recommend prototyping queries by printing to stdout to ensure you’re getting the desired behavior.
from psaw import PushshiftAPI api = PushshiftAPI()
Or to use pushshift search to fetch ids and then use praw to fetch objects:
import praw from psaw import PushshiftAPI r = praw.Reddit(...) api = PushshiftAPI(r)
100 most recent submissions
# The `search_comments` and `search_submissions` methods return generator objects gen = api.search_submissions(limit=100) results = list(gen)
Trying a search argument that doesn’t actually work
According to the pushshift.io API documentation, we should be able to search submissions by url, but (at the time of this writing) this doesn’t actually work in practice. The API should still respect the limit argument and possibly other supported arguments, but no guarantees. If you find that an argument you have passed is not supported by the API, best thing is to just remove it from the query and modify your api call to only utilize supported arguments to mitigate risks from of unexpected behavior.
url = 'http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/mike-flynn-russia-ties-investigation-235272' url_results = list(api.search_submissions(url=url, limit=500)) len(url_results), any(r.url == url for r in url_results) # 500, False
All AskReddit comments containing the text “OP”
Use the q parameter to search text. Omitting the limit parameter does a full historical search. Requests are performed in batches of size specified by the max_results_per_request parameter (default=500). Omitting the “max_reponse_cache” test in the demo below will return all results. Otherwise, this demo will perform two API requests returning 500 comments each. Alternatively, the generator can be queried for additional results.
gen = api.search_comments(q='OP', subreddit='askreddit') max_response_cache = 1000 cache =  for c in gen: cache.append(c) # Omit this test to actually return all results. Wouldn't recommend it though: could take a while, but you do you. if len(cache) >= max_response_cache: break # If you really want to: pick up where we left off to get the rest of the results. if False: for c in gen: cache.append(c)
Using the aggs argument to count comments mentioning trump each hour in past week
Replicating the example from the pushshift documentation:
I haven’t really experimented much with this functionality of the API, so I figured the simplest way to support it would be to just disable most of the bells and whistles provided by the API wrapper when the aggs argument is provided (i.e. paging, converting the result to a namedtuple for dot notation attribute access).
api = PushshiftAPI() gen = api.search_comments(q='trump', after='7d', aggs='created_utc', frequency='hour', size=0, ) result = next(gen)
Using the stop_condition argument to get the most recent submission by a bot account
gen = api.search_submissions(stop_condition=lambda x: 'bot' in x.author) for subm in gen: pass print(subm.author)
PSAW’s source is provided under the Simplified BSD License.
Copyright (c), 2018, David Marx
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