FYI, they say "hacked" but this wasn't done in the sense that anything illegal occurred. Manipulating upvotes on reddit isn't illegal, and that's all they really did.
(the link was taken down and I had to use google cache to display the page)
On Sunday, December 27th, I sat in my office stressed out. A big campaign we had launched in November had not taken off like we hoped it would. The idea had received some coverage on California TV , Huffington Post, and the Washington Times but we really needed much more if we wanted to make the idea happen.
This happens a lot when you launch a media campaign. The initial idea doesn’t take off on the first shot and from there you need to hustle and make magic happen. Without the magic, it will flop.
The only difference this time was that the idea had cost our client $1 million dollars and our ass (and reputation) was on the line like never before. Our client was a successful entrepreneur who has big political plans in California. The only issue: no one knew him. So we decided the best way to make him known would be to do something that would totally shake up the California political landscape and put him in the spotlight. And it wasn’t just an idea: it was a proposed law that we wanted our client try to get passed.
We took the idea from a popular internet political joke: Wouldn’t it be nice if politicians wore the logos of their sponsors like Nascar drivers so we know who owns them? It was funny meme and was generally well-received. We pitched it to our client and advised that he try to make it a law through the California ballot initiative process. He agreed and gave us a budget of $1 million to make it happen.
(For the launch, we printed out 120 full-size cutouts of everyone in the California Legislature and reserved the steps of the Sacremento State Capitol building)
Despite the initial coverage when the idea was announced, it just had not taken off like we had hoped.
On that Sunday night as I sat there stressed out, I began testing new ideas. After a quick brainstorm, I set my sights on Reddit. I follow various threads on Reddit on a daily basis and understand the power it has to make something go viral. I just didn’t know how to do it.
I knew that if I could get one of my links to the top of Reddit Politics, I would have a pretty good chance of making the idea spread, so I set that as my goal: Get to the top of Reddit Politics within 24 hours.
What I did next was simple and cheap. From my own personal reddit account (Probably should have used a fake account or someone else’s), I posted a link to our Washington Times story on Reddit Politics.
Then I went to Fiverr.com and bought every UpVote package that was offered. Total cost: $35. Two hours later I came back to check the results. We were number one with over 500 comments already.
I don't know how legitimate these claims are, because they could just be advertising for fiverr.com. But if there is any truth to this at all, then it's something we could use to make our message go viral. And make our talking points get more exposure.