“A pro linkspammer (“social networking specialist”) … was running up to 20 Reddit identities at once and using them to game the outcomes.”
New technologies solve old problems, while introducing new problems:
A Reddit user noticed an odd pattern of upvotes for stories related to G4 TechTV and various other game-related companies. After a little investigation, the firms in question came clean (or at least, accounts seeming to belong to them came clean), and admitted that they had a relationship with a pro linkspammer (“social networking specialist”) who was running up to 20 Reddit identities at once and using them to game the outcomes. The linkspammer (or at least, an account seeming to belong to the linkspammer) has admitted it ….
The comment threads in question are a fascinating glimpse into the corrosive effect of astroturfing on social relationships — a kind of social media reenactment of The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street — as Redditors rage against the house of mirrors and wonder who among them are simply sock-puppets for the wrongdoers.
… Meanwhile, the spammer’s account of his own actions is so far in denial, so wounded and broken, you get a picture of some kind of savant psychopath festering in his begrimed underwear in a basement somewhere, plaintively mourning the loss of his make-believe “friends” who always showed up to agree with everything he said.
— Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing