Posted May 14, 2007 5:43 pm by with 8 comments

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It’s been almost two weeks since the latest Digg fiacso. Quick review: stories with HD-DVD encryption codes being censored, Diggers strike back by creating, posting and digging new stories with the codes, Digg’s Kevin Rose conceded.

However, it appears that Digg’s censorship issues are far from over. Rising stories are disappearing after being buried not by the community of Diggers, but by Digg employees (or, possibly, a specific algorithm targeting sites from specific URLs or types of sites). Neil Patel and Andy Hagans have seen this happening to stories that they’ve followed, as have others.

How do they know these stories aren’t being buried by the Digg community? Neil points to a URL that displays the last 10,000 buries. He also provides an archived copy of the last 10,000 buries before a Pronet story disappeared. The Pronet story appears nowhere in the last 10,000 buries. Stefan Juhl apparently reported to Neil the last referrer to one of his stories before it was buried was “crawl3.digg.internal.”

I like Andy Hagans’s balanced attitude, in spite of the fact that he’s had this happen to him twice in the last day:

Now, let me state for the record, Digg is a privately owned business, and if they want to manually pull stories and not own up to it, that’s well within their rights. (Though I would argue, it is bad for business.) I also don’t have a “right” to be on their homepage (even if the users like the stuff I submit). This is business. I evolve and move on.

I also however want to state for the record: it appears from the evidence that the Digg staff are big fat hairy liars.

Personally, I think this was happening long before the HD-DVD controversy, but it does appear as though there is better evidence to substantiate the most recent claims—and it may well be affecting more vocal people now.

I also get the feeling that this is the kind of censorship that Digg users want, or will at least support. How long will it take for the first Digger to stumble over here and extol the virtues of Digg’s staff for protecting users from SEOs’ nefarious linkbaiting schemes?

  • Technically Stefan reported the issue to Twitter, but same idea.

    You are right not only in that this was going on before the whole HD-DVD fiasco but also in your feeling that it is likely welcomed by some of the community…at least for now…

    If the auto-burying (call it what you will) of sites continues to escalate all we will be left with is about a dozen large sites that are able to make the frontpage – and at that point, what is the point of Digg?

  • I disagree that Digg users in general would welcome this. Otherwise they would still be hanging out at Slashdot.

    It shouldn’t be up to Digg to decide what gets on the homepage, it should be up to the community. The only way I can see it being welcomed is if the story is blatant spam.

    There has never been a spam problem in the past, at least not that I have noticed.

  • This happened to me a few months ago. Web charts are provided and the infamous crawl3.digg.internal did me in:

  • bwb

    This happened to me last week, wrote a great story, got to frontpage and was up to 300 diggs and was buried and marked as inaccurate even though there wasn’t anything inaccurate about it…

  • @MG Siegler: So, do you reckon Digg will turn into TechMeme?

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