June 19, 2012
Reddit was founded on a lie, hundreds of lies actually. Reddit Co-founder Steve Huffman was speaking on a video for online educator Udacity when he revealed that he and co-founding partner Alexis Ohanian used fake accounts to populate the site with links users wanted to read.
According to Huffman:
“You would go to Reddit in the early days, the first couple of months and there’d be tons of… fake users.”
By creating fake accounts Huffman and Ohanian not only made their social network look less like a ghost town, they created the “direction” of the high-quality links they wanted to attract.
Huffman does admit that simply creating a few hundred fake accounts is not enough to make a community take off, according to Huffman: