I don’t usually read Reddit because that sort of site doesn’t appeal to me. Cloudsourced ontent aggregates that collect links and then invite people to comment on them have always struck me as exceptionally dull affairs, and most users of such sites appear to make one or two quick comments to express their ill-considered opinions on the matter before farting off into the sunset proclaiming themselves the smartest smartarse in Smartarsefordshire.*
But occasionally tales of misery will drag me kicking and screaming into sites like Reddit and Digg for the purposes of this site and, lo and behold, it turns out that a Hobbit’s handful of gaming news outlets have something to be quite miserable about.
Recently G4TV.com, GamePro, and VGChartz GamrFeed were caught in the act of massaging Reddit to get their content to the front of the site’s gaming category. How did they do this? Quite simple, really - they each hired someone specifically to set up a bunch of sockpuppet accounts to provide links to their respective news posts and then upvote them all a bunch of times. Exciting!
They’ve since posted apologies, although they’ve managed to do a wonderful job of coming across as insincere pricks blaming the guys they hired to do the thing they’re being lambasted for in the first place before halfheartedly accepting responsibility for their employee’s acts. GamePro’s apology in particular comes across as less sincere than perhaps it should, containing as it does wonderful bits like
And yes, we’re apologizing because we got busted. Damn you. We’d have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids.
we’ll look forward to seeing what the conspiracy theorists will come up with.
which I’m sure in their minds makes them come across as little more than cheeky rapscallions and not the dishonest manipulating little shit pustules that they actually are.
There is a certain degree of irony considering GamePro was one of the sites that broke the news - via Reddit, natch - that a BioWare employee had been manipulating the Metacritic score for Dragon Age 2, although they stopped short of condemning the act entirely. I’d imagine while they’re quite content being misleading, calculating arse heads, the idea of looking like a bunch of hypocrites is a bridge too far for them. Not unlike an axe murderer who’ll quite happily drive over to someone’s house to hack them into tiny bloody pieces, but who balks at the idea of double-parking his car.
GamrFeed’s apology was followed with a “yeah, but” moment towards the end, serving as a Super Mario Bros.: The Movie-like peak at what to expect from a potential sequel…
We have already instructed him to no longer submit gamrFeed content on Reddit and no other gamrFeed agents will be submitting our content to Reddit for quite some time.
…while G4TV.com instead opted to continue its campaign of deceit with this rather ridiculous statement:
In the end, what we want is for Reddit users to be aware of G4tv.com’s content, and know that G4tv.com is a good gaming website with quality reviews, interesting features, and intelligent writers.
The same writers who make unsourced claims, fail to research basic information about games, and misrepresent the available information about a subject? I guess rampant stupidity is a kind of intelligence.
In any case, there’s nothing I like more than seeing shit game journos getting caught out for being generally rather shit. So well done Reddit community members for being on the ball.
* As an aside, my favourite singer-songwriter is Alanis Morissette.