47. Product Hunt is Doomed

Thursday November 18th 2021

Paper Website launched on Product Hunt and ended up getting #4 Product of the day!

I had some incredible support - thank you so much if you checked it out.

The day was bittersweet though - and I wouldn't usually say anything, but there is definitely some foul play going on with upvote rigging on Product Hunt.

I went to bed and my product was in 8th place - it had been hovering there for the past few hours. When I woke up - I had miraculously been bumped up to 4th. Why? Because most of the "top" products above me had their upvotes removed. The only reason this happens (according to Product Hunt) is if they used bots/fake upvotes.

Take this Product:

It was the number 3/4 product for most of the day. If you take one look at the comments you'll notice something very fishy:

 They all give that fake review vibe. If you check out the profiles of these excited commenters - guess what you see? That's right, every, single, one is new, and they only upvoted this product.

What's even more worrying is that this product was hunted by the head of community at Product Hunt:

Product Hunt is a great company. The fact they removed the fake upvotes and bumped me up 4 places is fantastic on their part. However, because the votes were deleted late afterwards - I missed out on a lot of exposure throughout the day being further down the homepage.

This sucks for everyone - as an indie developer, how can I compete with large companies gaming the system?

As a user of Product Hunt, how can I trust that the products on the homepage are genuine?

As Product Hunt (the company), less people are going to visit the website each day if all they're seeing is spammy products.

Open the frontpage of Product Hunt right now. Sometimes there are some gems, but do any of them look interesting to you? I think it's lost a bit of that Indie Hacker spirit.

It's only fake internet points at the end of the day, but as an indie developer/hacker/creator, Product Hunt can give you some big exposure if you do well.

This whole post might come across as salty - but I feel less inclined to post on Product Hunt after this experience - and if more people start feeling like me, who's going to keep posting their products there? Ultimately, if upvote rigging isn't fixed then Product Hunt is doomed.

Anyway, rant over. I'm so excited to have finally launched Paper Website - we did it!