A year long undercover investigation into one of the most powerful social media sites on the web reveals a deliberate effort to target users and accounts on stories submitted from subjects ranging from the environment to politics.
One bury brigade in particular is a conservative group that has become so organized and influential that they are able to bury over 90% of the articles by certain users and websites submitted within 1-3 hours, regardless of subject material. Literally thousands of stories have already been artificially removed from Digg due to this group. When a story is buried, it is removed from the upcoming section (where it is usually at for ~24 hours) and cannot reach the front page, so by doing this, this one group is removing the ability of the community as a whole to judge the merits or interest of these stories on their own (in essence: censoring content). This group is known as the Digg “Patriots.”We thought Digg was created so users could choose which stories they did or didn't like, silly rabbits we are, but tricks are for kids and this reminds us of a playground fight with two groups fighting over the ball. If you won't play by my rules I'm taking the ball and going home.
The ball is the issue (Digg stories) and the rules are the separate ideological viewpoints (progressives vs conservatives) going home is the attempt to influence if the game gets played at all (stories submitted are not influenced).
This would be an amusing circumstance if it were not so serious--censorship and undue influence in any form is dangerous and the organized efforts by conservatives to impinge upon this giant of a social website are quite disturbing, but not surprising considering their usual modus operandi.
What these groups did involved deliberate violations of Digg's TOS and that steps it up a notch and moves it into another area of "not fair."
But doesn't this raise the issue of what the inherent flaw is with social websites? Large segments of people are able to organize and influence results. What bothers us is that the "enemy" on either side resorts to raiding each others "play areas" when both sides have an abundance of avenues that singularly support their view. Digg on the other hand, should be somewhat of a neutral zone and relatively free from these communist style tactics by conservatives who claim to be freedom lovers, that is until it goes against their agenda.
Taking their pissing contest against progressives to Digg isn't a new game, but it's a dirty one just the same.