Update: Gaming Digg or is anybody actually looking at the posts?

In our previous post Gaming Digg or is anybody actually looking at the posts? we have shown evidence how Digg is currently spammed and asked users to read articles before voting for them. (our article was removed in minutes while being heavily digged by users)

Since then a few things have happened:

1. Digg support more or less completely refused to look into the issues here. They even asked us if we are confused and only pointed us to their online help section.

2. MuLife.com has put up an article discussing the topic on a broader scale. (The article is also covered in the Blog Herald). It includes references to our story.

3. When you look at the comments for MuLife’s article on Digg it seems quite a few users are saying they (ab)use Digg votes for bookmarking. Given that only 2% or only a small amount of users actually “digg” stories the impact from this might be substantial.

Besides that we’ve done a bit of research and came across quite a few interesting pieces of information. Seemingly there is a growing group of those who made Digg to what it is now – those who “actually” vote and thereby input quality – becoming more and more unhappy with what’s happening there. The range is from disgruntled users that have been banned or blocked most likely by spammers over power users that put up their Digg profile for sale on EBay to Mike Arrington from Techcrunch.com writing about “social” networks to game Digg (read the comments on his article).

Nevertheless we don’t give up easily and here are our suggestions to Digg for an immediate fix:

  • Do not allow to “vote” for a story without accessing it first.
  • Create a bookmark feature that users can store & share links without using their vote.

Both of these features can be done very quickly and can function very intuitively. I’m less concerned that spammers would abuse the first feature as they are more interested in the traffic from the 98% Digg users that don’t vote but have a look once a post makes it to the front page.

4. What does concern me much more than the two missing features is the extend “social” networks are already been used to spam or exploit Digg.

It seems that currently spammers can easily declared themselves as content and remove content as spam. How can you otherwise explain that an article that is digged heavily is removed in favor over non-content. This also opens quite a few questions if Digg with such an algorithm is actually fit to expand into topics like politics as planned. There stories are even more controversial and opinion driven than within a technical subject like computing.

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