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Friday, March 02, 2007

Digg Can Still Be Rigged

A freelance writer for Wired News got her lame blog put on the front page of digg thanks to the help of the "gamers" at User/Submitter. Writer Annalee Newitz paid $100 to generate lots of traffic and even got some legitimate diggs from people who wanted to vote for something that was getting traction. This shows that marketers with no morals can work the social networking circuit to their advantage. Among the ratings websites based on reader popularity, digg is like Microsoft's Internet Explorer -- it's the most popular, so people will work harder to expose its faults. The great thing about social recommendation sites such as digg, reddit and others is that so many people can easily get involved. However, because the masses are encouraged to participate, these sites will inevitably fall victim to the unscrupulous marketers who put a quick buck ahead of integrity. While digg may take some legitimate heat for allowing its system to be worked, the enmity should be directed towards User/Submitter and the like (including spyware and spam companies) who will contradict the intent of the open internet and make it a little less valuable.

By John Gartner at 12:10 PM | Comments (1)

(1) Thoughts on Digg Can Still Be Rigged

I agree with all this except the last sentence.

You can direct as much "enmity" as you want against User/Submitter and the like, if you enjoy that sort of thing. Sometimes I enjoy yelling at the wind. :-) The point is, even if by some fantastic miracle your public outrage were to take down User/Submitter, they'd be instantly replaced by five others. I doubt you could even outlaw what User/Submitter does, any more than Google could get laws passed against their nemesis: search engine "optimizers". (Spam is in a different class -- it can be outlawed.) So the burden falls upon Digg to protect the integrity of their own system. You can't just say "it's not entirely their fault -- they were attacked." Well, of course they were attacked. The entire IT industry is in a continual state of attack and defense. I work in IT security myself. The attackers are just an assumed constant force, like gravity. I guess you can blame them if you want, if you enjoy yelling at the wind. :-)

Comments by Damon Hastings : Friday, March 02, 2007 at 04:02 PM

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