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Mob Rule at Digg

• Views: 4,416

Somehow, I don’t think the “social bookmarking” model is supposed to operate like this. The idea behind an ostensibly non-partisan site like digg.com is that people submit links to interesting things, and other people rate the links, so that interesting stuff gets more votes and rises to the top.

But at Digg, this utopian web fantasy has turned into a system of mob rule.

Case in point, our post today about the ACLU’s newest attempt to get Islamist spokesman Tariq Ramadan into the US: Digg - ACLU: US Can’t Bar Terrorism Supporters.

As soon as this post was “made popular” (received enough votes to get listed on the front page), leftist Digg readers swarmed all over it, clicking the “bury” button like busy little progressive beavers. They also voted against almost every supporting comment, so that they disappeared from the list.

They’re doing this with every LGF post that shows up at Digg now, and the swarm is almost instantaneous. If one of our posts gets to the front page, it’s buried within minutes.

It’s a leftist totalitarian dreamworld. They simply exclude any and all points of view that violate the groupthink—and call it “democracy.”

The most ridiculous example is in the first LGF post that broke through the Digg hivemind, in which the first two dozen comments are hidden: Digg - Iran Uses Photoshop: Fake Pic ‘Reveals’ US Terror Arms.

Here’s a Digg post by someone else who sees how bad the problem has become: Digg - Dear Kevin Rose, Please Create a ‘Who Buried This’ Tab.

And that post was immediately buried.

UPDATE at 2/24/07 11:10:30 am:

Jaron Lanier correctly identifies this tyranny of the masses as “Digital Maoism:” The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism. (Hat tip: Peter Verkooijen.)

UPDATE at 2/24/07 11:26:27 am:

Now appearing above this post at Digg:

UPDATE at 2/24/07 12:58:20 pm:

The “inaccurate” flag appears to prevent a post from getting to the front page at all. As I write, this post has nearly 300 diggs—and still growing—but has dropped off the lists.

UPDATE at 2/24/07 2:47:42 pm:

Allahpundit thinks it’s a lost cause: Slapfight: LGF vs. Digg.

Me? I don’t really have a cause; I’m not trying to change the culture at Digg, although I admit it is kind of amusing to rattle cages and watch them snarl. All I did was install some of the code that Digg themselves make available; took me about ten minutes to integrate into the LGF Blog Engine. It’s been fascinating to watch this develop.

UPDATE at 2/24/07 3:43:01 pm:

If you’re interested, you can actually watch the anti-LGF crowd burying our posts in real time: digg spy.

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 Frank says:

Anyone who is disturbed by the idea of newts in a nightclub is potentially dangerous.