From a HN comment:
(...) Aside from this move that is an obvious way to steer user toward the official app and have tighter control, the r/de and /r/France community have find some really concerning behavior by Reddit .
Moderator from those community have been contacted by reddit admin to tell them that they created localized version of popular subreddit ( /r/offmychest, /r/tooafraidtoask, ... ) and asked them if they basically could signal boost them. In itself nothing is wrong here. The issue is that people have found that a lot of activity in those subreddit are seemingly just poorly google translated popular post from the original english sub or just plainly generic classique karma bait post (but also clearly google translated).
Karma bots are nothing new but in this case, those subs are brand new, have very few member and very few karma to gain and are basically of interest only to reddit (since the communities already usually had their own better moderated subs). So there is a lot of finger pointing at reddit themselves using bots to try to force engagement in non-english community and virtually (since it is mostly bots) bump their stats before their IPO, which is very dodgy.
Automated , but with admin approval