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>Which is why I found it particularly galling that the PR firm relied on people's moral outrage [...] while doing exactly the same thing [...] which corrupts the upvote process and puts selfish gain ahead of the good of the Reddit community.

I (truly) mean no disrespect, but surely you see the irony of succumbing to moral outrage over Reddit upvotes? Surely you also see the absurdity of comparing Reddit upvotes to democratic elections.

This tendency to turn everything into a scandal is partly responsible for the very thing you're decrying.

Is there really a qualitative difference? The abomination that is r/the_donald certainly had some effect on the election's outcome, and reddit is somewhere in the top-10 sites worldwide.

It's hard to figure out the exact ratio for the conversion of upvotes to realvotes, but as long as it's positive, buying upvotes is just a roundabout way to buying votes.

>Is there really a qualitative difference?

Yes! Resoundingly, yes!

Reddit is not a democracy, it's a private forum for discussion. Confusing this with a media outlet or a public forum (to say nothing of a democracy!) is as patently insane as confusing an infomercial with a scientific paper.

Feeding into the outrage only makes the beast stronger. Just roll your eyes and focus on the things that matter, like democracies.

> Surely you also see the absurdity of comparing Reddit upvotes to democratic elections.

He may, but I don't. American elections are decided by very thin margins, and I think even small streams of influence can have outsized outcomes. Swiftboating and Rathergate come to mind. I specifically think the rise of /r/The_Donald, just before the election, which carpet-bombed the ever-living daylights out of the front page, had a non-inconsequential effect on the vote. It's why Reddit changed their long-standing front-page algorithm. I'm truly surprised they didn't do so the month before the election. Utterly astonished, actually.

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