Manipulation Report: The Helpful Network

Mods do a lot of behind the scenes work to handle manipulation privately so the attackers do not learn our methods and evade them, but in certain cases like this one I believe it is good to show people what to look out for. Like with phishing, no matter how many protective measures you put in place, knowing is half the battle. If you are interested in this topic, SmarterEveryDay did a good series about manipulation on social media. There are videos for YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Reddit was not included but it does face very similar challenges as outlined by the admins here.

The Helpful Network

We recently started tracking a network of accounts doing astroturfing work on crypto reddit. If you browse the profiles listed below, you’ll see them having super organic conversations with each other, where they recommend and advertise various crypto projects. One account will have a question and another will kindly jump in with just the answer they are looking for! And then they’ll go follow that user to other posts and subreddits to be helpful and answer their questions there too.

This group is humorously bad at pretending to have conversations with themselves, but it won’t always be this easy to spot. There are some common signs of inorganic accounts that you should know to look out for. Some other behaviors and indicators associated with these types of accounts I would like to add:

  • Karma farming to bypass our karma requirements by either begging in /r/freekarma4u or posting agreeable content like “cute cat” in r/aww or “fookin kneelers” in /r/freefolk
  • Posting in other crypto subs with little to no moderation
  • Zombie accounts: The post history shows a complete change in behavior at a certain point, usually associated with a long gap in posts. This change is typically when the account is sold and begins full time shilling
  • Posting in old threads where they won’t be downvoted
  • And finally in r/CryptoCurrency specifically, they will usually have little to no Moons

Previous Reports:

submitted by /u/CryptoMaximalist
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