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Vice just posted this: Reddit’s Favorite Scientist Just Got Banned for Cheating the Site (link: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/reddits-favorite-scientist-just-got-banned-for-cheating-the-site)
Visibility on Reddit is essentially predicated on early votes. Get a few upvotes and even mediocre comments will often remain at the top due to momentum. Less than -4 and it’s doomed to oblivion (ie. downvote the competition).
One of the most popular linked sites on reddit (quickmeme) got to where it was with only a few strategically placed votes for each link, and it took ages for them to be found out and similarly banned: http://www.dailydot.com/business/reddit-quickmeme-banned-mil…
More broadly, the algorithm reddit uses is not only known wrong/buggy:
http://technotes.iangreenleaf.com/posts/2013-12-09-reddits-e… but also generally defective:
It’s possible HN suffers from the same flaw (initial sort and feedback loop from such) since it’s the natural (naive) way to produce such algorithms. The machine can’t tell if it’s quality content or just easy to upvote, and the latter is more common.
TL;DR: Visibility == early votes from people who have no interest in depth and don’t read the articles anyway.