Digging a bloody great big hole.

April 21, 2006

Digg is in strife. Big time. Despite some unfortunate comments from Jason Calacanis which I think were totally unhelpful, For those of you who haven’t been following the whole thing, I’ll try to surmise it (some parts may be missed, comment if I need to add anything).

1. Jacob Gower (good bloke by the way) from Forever Geek posts here about suspicious activity at Digg, in particular 17 people Digging 2 items at A List a Part in the exact same order. I’d note that Jacob neither accused Digg, or Digg Founder Kevin Rose of doing the wrong thing, but did ask whether it was more than a coincidence, a not unreasonable question in the circumstances.

2. Other blogs pick up on it, and they get Dugg. Then mysteriously their stories are manually removed, and in some cases their accounts are suspended. Digg responds to these bloggers it was because their posts supported accusations of wrong doing at Digg.

3. Forever Geek is suspended from Digg according to Kevin Rose, for spamming Digg

4. Now its on Slashdot, tech.memeorandum, and all over the place. Jacobs follow up post is here that fills in the rest of the story.

5. Digg results start going wonky. Posts with 44 diggs make the front page. Something is going on at Digg, something very strange.

OK, so thats the short version. I don’t have any evidence that Kevin Rose or others are doing the wrong thing here, but I do know that the odds of having 17 odd people digg an item in the same order for the same blog in a short time frame are astronomical if we were to presume that they were all done legitimately. If these diggs were blogs everyone (including Jason Calacanis) would be yelling spam blogs from the tops of the tallest buildings.

Reality is: it smells, and it smells big time.

Digg also now has a pretty big PR disaster on it’s hands, and its founder is totally compromised because it would appear, is some respects, that he may have been involved in the matter. For him to rule that nothing was untoward and then accuse Forever Geek of spamming has absolutely no credibility.

I like Digg, and a frequently visit the site mainly because of the interesting things I can find there. Now that I know that potentially the content delivered is potentially no reflective of the interests of the greater blogging community….well I’m not going to stop using the site, but I’m certainly not going to hold it in the same esteem anymore, and I would suggest, neither would a whole lot of other people.

5 responses to Digging a bloody great big hole.

  1. I just read his followup – http://forevergeek.com/news/responding_to_kevins_nonresponse_post.php – and the last point makes a lot of sense: if that site was banned for spamming, why was it unbanned?

  2. Great commentary, Duncan! I’m still hoping for a better response by Kevin and/or the DIGG crew on this issue.

  3. “Digg results start going wonky. Posts with 44 diggs make the front page. Something is going on at Digg, something very strange.”

    I’ve seen front page stories with fewer diggs. It’s a function of both number of diggs and rate (i.e. one that gets 40 diggs in an hour vs. 40 diggs in a day)

  4. If you want a good summary you might want to mention that IMO one thing that got it major attention was this submission to reddit http://reddit.com/info/4p19/comments (mine) and then about an hour later this http://reddit.com/info/4p29/comments

    For a long time they were the top 2 on reddit, and the majority of my hits (several thousand) came from there before slashdot got it.

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