Why Reddit Hides Comment Scores: An Entrepreneur‘s Perspective

As a savvy small business owner, you likely know that Reddit can be a powerful platform to connect with potential customers. With over 50 million daily active users, Reddit offers access to massive communities passionate about every topic imaginable.

However, Reddit has an unusual system for scoring comments that may seem confusing initially. Rather than displaying precise vote counts, Reddit deliberately hides comment scores for the first few hours.

As an entrepreneurship consultant who assists small business owners with their Reddit marketing strategy, I‘m often asked – why does Reddit hide comment scores?

Why Hide Scores? Two Key Reasons

Based on my experience, Reddit hides comment scores specifically to empower small communities and prevent systemic abuse.

1. Reduce Bandwagon Voting

Early in a comment‘s life, visible scores can skew impressions via "bandwagon effect", causing organic votes to snowball rapidly. This buries unpopular views and amplifies the early winners – whether or not they offer the best value.

Instead, Reddit gives each new comment a fair chance to be objectively evaluated by hiding early scores. This prevents the rich from getting richer and levels the playing field.

2. Curb Vote Manipulation

Public scores also enable groups to coordinate vote manipulation attacks and unfairly boost their own content. Hiding scores makes this far more difficult.

Reddit moderators have confirmed that hiding scores significantly reduces bad actors attempting to spread spam or manipulate what content gains traction.

This protects the integrity of subreddits and facilitates authentic discussion aligned to community interests rather than ulterior motives.

Duration of Hidden Scores

The default timeframe for hiding comment scores is 2 hours, however subreddit moderators have discretion based on their community needs:

Subreddit Size Typical Score Visibility Delay
< 10k members 0-2 hours
10k – 100k members 2-12 hours
100k+ members 12-24 hours

As you can see, larger subreddits tend to hide scores longer to promote fairness. But smaller groups may prioritize real-time engagement.

Impacts on Community Building

As an entrepreneur, you care deeply about cultivating an authentic community of passionate customers. Here‘s how hidden Reddit scores accomplish this:

  • Encourages voting based on quality content, not popularity
  • Gives controversial (but thoughtful) perspectives a fair shake
  • Reduces snowball/bandwagon effects that amplify early winners
  • Shifts focus to discussion content rather than comment scores
  • Builds subgroups without excessive worrying about karma points

These outcomes strongly align to community building and word-of-mouth marketing for small businesses tapping into Reddit.

The Verdict? Hidden Scores are a Net Positive

While unconventional, Reddit‘s approach to scoring sets it apart from other social channels in how it democratizes access and curbs organized manipulation efforts.

These attributes nurture authentic, organic subreddit communities aligned around shared interests – not popularity metrics that can be gamed.

As a small business owner, this is the perfect environment to build trust and rapport with your ideal audience.

So embrace Reddit‘s unique culture! Hidden comment scores are one reason the platform facilitates meaningful conversations that feel more human.

What has been your experience leveraging Reddit? I‘d love to hear your perspective in the comments!