Researchers Apologize for Gaming Reddit with Fake Accounts

After creating fake Reddit accounts using web proxies and solving the CAPTCHA puzzles manually, the researchers report that they were able to send posts to the front page of /r/netsec with ease. They were less successful on /r/worldnews due to the higher user activity, but they were still able to downvote posts into obscurity—from 70 points to 30, for example.

“When suppressing a post with down-votes, it is best to start as soon as possible after a post is created, to have a good chance of dragging the post score below the user-visibility threshold as soon as possible,” the researchers wrote in the study. “Once out of sight, the post is much less likely to attract organic upvotes.”