Skip to main content

Reddit upvotes and downvotes are about to be less fictional

Reddit upvotes and downvotes are about to be less fictional

Share this story

Reddit is adjusting its voting system to make a post’s score more accurately reflect its popularity, according to a post by founding engineer Christopher Slowe. The company has been removing what Slowe (aka KeyserSosa) calls “outdated, unnecessary” rules that mask post scores, and recalculating vote counts for older posts as part of the process. As a result, many scores will be rising — and the system will hypothetically be getting, if not more transparent, a bit more trustworthy.

The rules in question were created to prevent spammers or vote manipulators from seeing exactly how their efforts were affecting a given post — they changed the number based on hidden variables defined by Reddit, “fuzzing” the upvotes and downvotes. But they also had unintended consequences. As Slowe writes, the calculations could artificially deflate scores, sometimes in ways that made it seem as though posts were being mass-downvoted. This could undercut faith in the scores, making vote counts seem meaningless.

Votes will still be ‘fuzzed’ slightly

These still aren’t precise counts. “There'll still be some slight fuzzing,” writes Slowe. “The intention here is to make it ever so slightly hard for cheaters to know if their attempts are working.” The recalculations also don’t affect karma earned from posts, which is calculated separately. But they’re supposed to stop drastic, improbable drops that could happen under the old system. One user, for instance, describes posts’ points getting cut in half repeatedly, or popular posts suddenly losing points at a rapid clip. Making this less likely is “the intention with this change,” says Slowe.

Reddit has been struggling to balance control with openness, and scores that are closer to straight vote counts make it tougher to argue that it’s pulling strings behind the scenes to favor or disfavor certain groups. And preventing sudden, unwarranted popularity drops could mitigate the paranoia around vote brigading or other kinds of manipulation. This isn’t a seismic shift, but it’s an example of how basic structures like scoring can help shape an entire platform’s tone.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 46 minutes ago Dimorphos didn’t even see it coming

J
External Link
Jess Weatherbed46 minutes ago
Won’t anyone think of the billionaires?

Forbes reports that rising inflation and falling stock prices have collectively cost members of the Forbes 400 US rich list $500 billion in 2022 with tech tycoons suffering the biggest losses.

Jeff Bezos (worth $151 billion) lost $50 billion, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin (worth a collective $182b) lost almost $60b, Mark Zuckerberg (worth $57.7b) lost $76.8b, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (worth $4.5b) lost $10.4b. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (worth $83b) lost $13.5b while his ex-boss Bill Gates (worth $106b) lost $28b, albeit $20b of that via charity donations.


T
Thomas Ricker6:45 AM UTC
Check out this delightful DART Easter egg.

Just Google for “NASA DART.” You’re welcome.


M
The Verge
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
Youtube
Richard LawlerSep 26
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship.

The NSA whistleblower has been living in Russia for the 9 years — first as a refugee, then on a series of temporary residency permits. He applied for Russian citizenship in November 2020, but has said he won’t renounce his status as a U.S. citizen.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 26
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.


A
External Link
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.