Suspicious Digging

Update: follow up in the next post

Have a look at this blog post, which talks about Digg potentially being misused. I posted this partly because I was unable to digg that post. If you scroll down to the list of diggers here and here, you will notice that the order of the first 16 diggers is identical and that only 2 of the 24 vary in each.


You can click the images to confirm the results yourself. Whether this is a coincidence (KevinRose is there) or more malicious (trying to accelerate things to the front page) I don’t know. Read about it on ForeverGeek.
Also: See ForeverGeek’s follow up.

I submitted this post to digg a while ago. I was puzzled that it dissappeared after about five minutes. This was it( highlighting is because of this):

So I submitted it again:

Again it has vanished. They were located at: here and here. You will notice that the title of those pages is correct, whereas this displays nothing. That shows they WERE there.

Update 2:
I then found I was no longer logged into digg, tried to log in and:
A little 1984-ish.

Update 3:
Made a new account, posted a comment linking to this post here (please digg up manchild’s comment). My comment was promptly deleted and I am now blocked from logging in by IP. 🙁

Update 4:
After an email to, explaining that I did not believe I had broken the ToS I received this reply:

Dear Sir,

As you pointed out “to abuse, harass, threaten, impersonate or intimidate other Digg users”. We have had many problems in the past due to users accusing other users of abuse based on false facts. As we have told other users that have emailed us about this subject, there is no abuse involved here, we have investigated it and yes it does look suspicious to the eye, but they are all legit users and therefor we can not ban them. We ask you kindly to email us if you believe a story is being abused. We would have done the same to any other user that might have been accusing you. You can post negative comments and negative stories [I had implied perhaps unjustly in my email that I was blocked for submitting negative stories about Digg] about digg, but please restrain from accusing or intimidating other users. Your account has been unblocked. If you have any other questions, please email us and we’ll do our best to help you.

Thank you,

-The Digg Watch Team.

So I now have an account back, which is nice. I guess they could well be telling the truth when they say there was nothing suspicious going on. It wasn’t the initial story ‘gaming of digg’ that annoyed me rather it was the censorship of submissions that sort to point that story out.

I think Digg should rely on its users to make editorial decisions. Users can do a lot to rectify incorrect submissions as in this case. Stick by the text on the front page: “With digg, users submit stories for review, but rather than allowing an editor to decide which stories go on the homepage, the users do.”

Update 5:
Ken points to an Aviran’s Place story about more Digg editorial control. The same thing seems to have happened to ForeverGeek which is why I wrote this post at all.

Update 6:
OK. Digg has now not deleted Digg Corrupted even after 47 minutes and with 49 diggs.

However, it has not made it to the front page. These two screen captures were taken at the same time. The former is from the front page, the latter is still in diggall.

You will note that the one on the front page has less diggs than the other. This is despite the fact that it was submitted almost a day ago whereas the other was submitted less than an hour ago. This means that the “Digg Corrupted” submission has received almost 24 times as many diggs per minute. And yet it has not been promoted to the front page. I smell ‘hierarchical editorial control’. The articles are buried so they’ll never make the front page, I guess they could’ve been user buried. But this doesn’t detract from the fact than mine and other’s submissions were deleted (not buried).

Update 7:
Well at time of pressing Save button an article has made it to the Digg front page unburied. Ironically it points to the Slashdot item about ‘Growing Censorship Concerns at Digg’. Oh, and that links to me so hello Slashdotters! (and Diggers turned Slashdotters!)

Update 8:
Kevin Rose’s response. I will respond to it when I have time, but I don’t at the moment. It contradicts the email above.

Update: follow up in the next post

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