Sure, some of us are reading every word of every post and thoughtfully weighing the pros and cons of an upvote before committing to a click, but most of us aren't. One team of researchers found that by giving a post a single upvote, the post's overall performance increased by 25 percent. And on a site that has 36 million registered accounts, a 25-percent boost carries serious weight.
Some Reddit users have picked up on this process and have used it to their advantage, manipulating public perception in order to have their competitors banned or raise themselves to prominence on the site.
"I'd like to thank all the me who helped make this artificial, fleeting fame possible."
And while the Reddit community takes it upon themselves to hunt down and ban vote manipulators, all the monitors in the world can't change the fact that we're a bunch of sheep in the first place.