Story broke yesterday earlier morning of a underground Digg conspiracy group that called themselves: Digg Patriots. The purpose of the group was to work together and deliberately vote down specific users story submissions and comments that appeared to be “Left-Leaning” politically. In essence breaking Digg rules.
A writer who goes by the name oleoleolson broke the story (which I have titled, Diggergate) on AlterNet’s blog with great detail. I for one would like to applaud Mr. OleOleOlson for some great undercover work. You should really apply for the Chris Hansen‘s position at Dateline when he retires. Screenshots, quotes, facts, and usernames; I haven’t seen one report that accuses this is a false report.
I’d also have to applaud the Digg Patriots (let the negative comments start….now). Regardless of their reasons for their actions, the well thought out plan, the network, the behind the scenes actions; it kind of reminds me of the Mafia. To be honest, what they did is no different than any other party that influences news sources to censor what the public is hearing. Ultimately to hide their misfortunes or benefit from someone elses publicly displayed misfortunes. It happens ALL the time in mainstream media. They will do anything to get ahead. In the end, it doesn’t make it right though.
If you think this is the only group that is out there you are probably mistaken. I don’t have any proof but I can probably bet my wife’s wedding ring that their are others out there. More will pop up, and this is, more than likely, not the end for the Digg Patriots. Right now they are scheming to stay a live. Sure this is a blow to them but they will probably lay low for a couple months, wait for the dust to settle and comeback. Meanwhile, Leftist will be trying to make headway into the network and other networks to take a strong hold.
To most, this is no big news and could probably give a crap. Everybody has a motive for why they are power users on Digg or other socially media news outlets. Even MrBabyMan has his reasons. But also, my guess would be MrBabyMan didn’t even bat an eye about the news of being targeted by this group. He probably even chuckled a bit.
Mashable seems to think this is a “major black eye for the social media giant Kevin Rose built.” I was pretty shocked to find that Mashable’s report on Diggergate was very opinionated and forth coming about how the new Digg v4 should be released soon to prevent this type of action. Also, the damaging quote that “Digg is easily gamed” didn’t sit well with me. After all what Digg users have given you Mashable? Tons of Diggs and tons of traffic and you want to single out Digg as the only social news site that is gamed? You see that share button on your posts? Each one of those sharing links are sites that are easily “gamed” and are being “gamed” as we speak. Please do not give the appearance that Digg is the only site that has this trouble.
How to fix it?
Digg, you have come up with a great algorithm to determine which articles go popular and which ones don’t. No one has cracked it and no one should. Suggestion: make the “bury” action a part of the algorithm. If it’s an article that is getting a lot of diggs AND also a lot of buries, maybe it would be great front page topic of discussion. This would prevent a mass group from doing a mass bury because then it could actually HELP the Digg submission in some instances. Obviously, if a submission has no diggs and has an abundance of buries, then this could be determined as a spam submission and then let it be buried away off the site.
In the end
I have the overwhelming feeling that the power users involved probably don’t care. I also have the feeling that the power users uninvolved don’t care either.
The whole thing doesn’t really mean anything. It won’t change much and things will continue to go on. – anonymous power user
Just like any other scandal that happens in politics, this will pass. People forget and it will still happen or they will find other ways. Who knows this could be the best thing that happened to Digg. Bad press could be turned around to their advantage.