corruption at digg?
April 20, 2006 1:43 PM   Subscribe

Is Digg being censored? Accusations have been flying about, and posts about it on Digg itself have been getting huge numbers of votes while mysteriously staying off the front page...
posted by reklaw (24 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Comments vanish from Metafilter sometimes and the users have no idea why. Oh no, the conspiracy! The corruption! ;-)

The biggest thing that I've noticed about Digg is the fact that a lot of duplicate stories endup sticking around for a while.
posted by drstein at 1:50 PM on April 20, 2006

I read through all the links provided in the Slashdot post and found Kevin's explanation (link) lacking. If Kevin really does have 16 alias he can use at any time to vote a story on to the front page, then he'd have 16 aliases at any time he could use to flag a post to get it off the front page.

He say's it's all technology, just scripts running everything; but fails to address the claims about him having editorial control by gaming the system.

I don't really care one way or another. A dictator running a show pretending to be on equal standing as all the users weilds too much power, but a small group of idiots in a democracy too weilds much power. Either way, you have a system that keeps stories from you by means of the whims of the population of idiots (or dictator.) In any event, Digg ain't what it is pretending to be.
posted by pwb503 at 2:07 PM on April 20, 2006

Digg has been sucking lately. If there is a vast editor conspiracy - designed to, say, improve quality of the front page - these so-called (possibly secret) editors have also been sucking huge zombie llama wang.

The alternative to Digg actually being sucky is that I might just be spending too much damn time on the net mining through the murky backwaters of a dozen or three different link aggregation sites, and just see way too much crap before it rises to the front/top pages of these various aggregation services.
posted by loquacious at 2:16 PM on April 20, 2006

If Digg is intentionally misleading people it's censorship no question. But if they would just come out already and say that they have legit editors then it's a qausi-newspaper. Is having editors a bad thing?
posted by |n$eCur3 at 2:28 PM on April 20, 2006

|n$eCur3 - Is having editors a bad thing?

only if you've marketed yourself as being editor-free.
posted by pruner at 2:40 PM on April 20, 2006

So this is kind of like the evil censorship that removes shitty pages from wikipedia?
posted by Artw at 5:02 PM on April 20, 2006

As usual, the cover-up is the real story.
posted by Richard Daly at 5:14 PM on April 20, 2006

Digg can be interesting, but I'll concur that as of late the content has seemed a bit sketchy.

Aside from the amount of duplicate stories and the length of their time on the front page, there seems to be a pervasive trend in users to copy press releases to a personal blog post and link to that rather than a product or company website. This will range from users with simple BlogSpot pages to people who run forums at domains like "spread(myfavoriteAIMclient).com" that consist of nothing but regurgitated press releases, empty forums and advertisements. Half the time their username is their URL or a permutation thereof, see above re:

If the argument against the editorial monitoring is anarchy at all costs I find that to be very naive. I think Digg can be interesting due to the automation within the posts and within the commentary, but there always comes a point when a human hand can game the system - or rectify that situation.
posted by prostyle at 5:18 PM on April 20, 2006

what loquacious said. digg can suck almost as frequently as metafilter, compounded by the fact that it's a group of suckers all sucking at the same time, sucking the place up with their sucking, whereas mefi is simply "One man, one FPP", inviting a few bad apples. and don't get me started with the comments. in fact, sorry i compared the two.
posted by MarkO at 5:23 PM on April 20, 2006

Comments vanish from Metafilter sometimes and the users have no idea why.

I had a comment removed from MeFi recently, because it referred to another comment that was inappropriate -- and I received a really polite and reasonable email notification on the subject from the person who deleted it.

Just wanted to throw out the props where due.
posted by davejay at 5:28 PM on April 20, 2006

Digg's users seem to be about 12 most days, and believe everything they read. This is the real problem I've found with the site. In general, it's a great implementation of a community modded news site though.
posted by cell divide at 5:39 PM on April 20, 2006

It appears that some of the 'censorship' was caused by an automated system.
posted by delmoi at 5:00 PM on April 20, 2006

I wonder if Matt's kicking himself over digg. A few ajaxy widgets pasted onto MeFi, and this place could have been touted as the 'new Slashdot' (with relatively smart community already in place), be the media-darling of the week, and he coulda sold it for MILLIONS and retired.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:22 PM on April 20, 2006

A few ajaxy widgets pasted onto MeFi

matt prefers comet.
posted by quonsar at 5:40 PM on April 20, 2006

Matt prefers coma.
posted by furtive at 5:53 PM on April 20, 2006

I blame SixApart/LiveJournal.
posted by Eideteker at 7:48 PM on April 20, 2006

That COMA link is hilarious. :)
posted by Malor at 8:33 PM on April 20, 2006

I have no opinion on the subject at hand, but as a related adecdote, I know someone who owns hundreds upon hundreds of digg accounts, and thousands more on other 'buzz'-worthy sites. I know that he owns about 5 metafilter accounts, all registered after the $5 registration fee, all well used and difficult to call 'plant' on.

I've no idea if he's using bots or other bad stuff, but he does have the ability to influence what stories are shown on sites like digg.

Maybe digg is eating itself.
posted by toby\flat2 at 10:24 PM on April 20, 2006

Digg sucks arse anyway.
posted by sjvilla79 at 10:38 PM on April 20, 2006

I know that he owns about 5 metafilter accounts, all registered after the $5 registration fee, all well used and difficult to call 'plant' on.

Aside from the ability to post more askmetafilter questions, what would be the point?
posted by dial-tone at 10:54 PM on April 20, 2006

There's only one real reason I've heard of for people to have lots of accounts like that. Hmm, but I forgot what it was while I was drinking this delicious refreshing can of Pepsi Blue.
posted by markr at 1:07 AM on April 21, 2006

As others have said, Digg has problems beyond the automated-or-not story submission/digging system. Just look at any article even vaguely related to biology or cosmology. They quickly deteriorate into an evolution vs ID debate, with everyone giving thumbs down to the opposition's comments and thumbs up to people on their side of the argument. This same thing occurs with articles on operating systems (Win vs Linux vs Mac) and other contentious issues. Even reasonably intelligent comments from 'the other side' are buried into obscurity. You can watch the thumbs-down/up wars in real time if you have the time to waste.

Along with the duplicates (which was a major gripe about Slashdot), FPP's to blog posts which post about/to the actual article, spam/Pepsi Blue and all the ways of gaming it with multiple accounts really show the weaknesses of the system.

I don't think it's a weakness of an automated editor-less system per-se but perhaps a problem with the execution.
posted by melt away at 4:02 AM on April 21, 2006

Agreed with melt away. I think a mod-pointesque system would go a long way towards putting an end to frivilous thumbs down and buries. Each user gets mod points when a story they submit is front paged, or when another user thumbs-up their comments, and on the flip side loses mod points when their comments are thumbed down or a story they submit never makes it past the queue. The points can then be used to post stories to the queue and for moderating comments.

I think this would make folks think a bit harder before they got to frivilously clickin', which seems to be the downfall of the system as it stands now.

And for the record, I think Digg is totally being gamed by the "editors" for advertising purposes. But that's a whole other can o' worms.
posted by rabble at 10:45 AM on April 21, 2006

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