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Growing Censorship Concerns at Digg 473

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-is-never-pretty dept.
I find site rivalries boring, but growing concerns over Digg "censorship" have been submitted steadily for the last few months. Today two such stories were submitted so numerous that I had little choice but to post. The first claims that Digg is the editor's playground- it explains how a few users control Digg, and that it's not really the 'Democracy' that they claim it to be. Personally I think this is all totally within the rights of their editors to choose content however they like. But it's less pleasant when combined with accounts getting banned for posting content critical of digg, and watching other content getting removed for being critical of sponsors (also, here is Kevin Rose's reply).
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Growing Censorship Concerns at Digg

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  • This should be fun (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sanity (1431) * on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:23PM (#15166303) Homepage Journal
    Of course, it would be remiss not to point out that Slashdot has also been accused [idge.net] of forms of censorship.

    It is also worth noting that Digg has rapidly gained popularity to the point that Slashdot and Digg are now neck and neck [alexa.com] according to Alexa.

    Digg is an interesting site that implements a number of things many long-time Slashdot users have wished Slashdot would do for quite some time. It would be a shame if they are failing to live up to their claim of non-hierarchial editorial control. If this is true, then they deserve to be outed.

    • by Derek Pomery (2028) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:30PM (#15166366)
      Aye. My account was banned years ago from moderation for moderating up a post on slashdot critical of slashdot policies.
      The same happened to others.
      • by DAldredge (2353)
        So was mine - it is only in the past 12 or so months that I have been able to mod again.
        • by plover (150551) * on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:55PM (#15167235) Homepage Journal
          I've still been off the mod list for the last 4 years now, but about two years ago I started being able to meta-mod again. I considered it a good step forward.

          The whole thing pisses me off to no end because I basically got trolled into moderating up one of the "offensive" posts, and I feel like I was caught up in the general moderation bitch-slap that went around at that time. What's worse is I've never actually "trolled" on Slashdot. I've posted some stuff that I thought was funny, and some of those may have been "in opposition" to the prevailing attitudes about the topic (maybe pro-Microsoft or questioning the sanctity of Linux or whatever.) But I've certainly never done any frist ps0ts, obscene ASCII art, or any of the other griefer-type posts.

          I like that Slashdot has a strong policy against censoring, and that they use the mod system to hide the griefers. I honestly don't know how they've avoided the casino spam, but whatever they're doing in that regard is also excellent and appreciated.

          But I don't mind the occasional off topic discussion, and I don't have a problem replying to ACs. I also find some of the trolls hilarious, and I've even befriended one just because she's an excellent creative writer. So while I'm not a troll myself, I do enjoy the (very occasional) troll. I sometimes wonder if I'm too close to the border for them to restore my mod points.

          • I've even befriended one just because she's an excellent creative writer
            Who do you want to fool? No way anyone in Slashdot would become a friend of a "she" just because of her excellent creative writing...
          • Most users get moderation ability pretty early on slashdot, but some never do, and others dont get it until a few hundred posts with a good karma rating. Slashdot has avoided problems by being conservative in their judgments. The biggest thing that people dislike about slashdot is the poor choices of posts. In the past it was the lack of a solid html code base, and slashdot did respond (very slowly). I think that the editors of slashdot realize they must pay attention to what people want, and they usual
        • Wow... Am I really that insignificant? I've criticized /. in my posts (most especially the moderation system) before, got modded as troll and modded back up, but I've never been banned and I still get mod points regularly. Although come to think of it though, there was a time when I didn't get mod points for a month. Damn. If I were a guy I'd be suffering from "small penis" syndrome right now (I think -- men are strange and mysterious creatures, so you tell me).

          Understand, I'm not saying you're BSing us; I

      • by Hognoxious (631665)
        Same here. Despite having had excellent karma for well over 2 years, I never get to moderate since I got hit with the bitchslap for criticising Michela Sims.
      • by jellomizer (103300) * on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:51PM (#15166591)
        It may have been just because of meta-moderation that lowered your moderation ability. When you Modded that post up Meta-Moderators figured didn't agree with the moderation and so your private moderation score dropped for a while. A similar thing happened a while back when I decided to get even with someone who responded to my post and really annoyed me. So I had Mod Points at the time so I went in and searched for that user and I modded everything he had that I could moderate as a Troll. Shortly after that I didn't have moderation rights for a few months. Most likely because Meta Moderators saw that completely untoll marked as troll and Meta-Moderated it correctly. The problem with systems like Digg and Slashdot it is easy to think you are purposely being censored but you may just be a victim of software algorithms, based on democratic results.
        • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:56PM (#15166640) Homepage Journal
          So, you abused the moderation system and then were denied access to it? I can see how people would think that's unfair.

          To be honest, a lot of these "F'ing censoring bastards!" posts come from trolls who hate seeing a particularly good troll post get canned. If you're trying to game the system and get called on it, don't be surprised when you lose privleges. That's all I'm saying.
        • by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:46PM (#15167691) Homepage
          Interestingly, I have been banned from moderation for a long time. Apparently for just viewing certain posts or something. I don't remember the details.

          Interesting because I have had this account for quite some time, and I (used to) Meta-Moderate on a daily basis. I also used my mod points to mod up, and not down. It was very rare indeed for me to mark someone as a troll or similar. Still, I followed a link to a supposed "forbidden" criticism of slashdot and such, and read all the posts therin, and I have not had moderation privilages since.

          I have since stopped meta-moderating as much because, well, while I like slashdot, and it is my homepage on Firefox, I am somehow no longer appreciated or something, or maybe not trusted. I don't know.

          Its funny really, when people like you and me are the ones for making slashdot what it is. Sure, there are posts about various stories, but what MAKES slashdot are the comments. For example, I have always found this thread: http://books.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=129489&c id=10801729 [slashdot.org] to be pure gold.

          What digg aspires to be is a more "open" version of slashdot, whether it achives that or not we will see. Either way, the competition has been good, I suppose everyone has noticed the quick little changes in how slashdot works now? When this site has not changed much in the last five years?

          No matter the outcome, the shakedown on this is bound to be good... It would be nice though, to have mention of the reason users like me are suddenly not allowed to moderate, as opposed to just having it vanish - apparently for "viewing" the wrong threads...
        • by larry bagina (561269) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @03:14PM (#15167932) Journal
          this [slashdot.org] is the thread in question. Though the moderation history has been purged, it was moderated 851 times. (Also check out this [slashdot.org] journal entry about it).

          Moderation Totals: Offtopic=377, Flamebait=4, Troll=27, Redundant=5, Insightful=98, Interesting=205, Informative=49, Funny=12, Overrated=11, Underrated=63, Total=851.

          Seriously, stop and think it over for a moment. The comment has only 2 children with a score >= 1 - 1 that was posted 14 days later (with the moderation totals), and 1 that was posted a day later and is completely unrelated to the thread.

          Do you believe that normal user-moderators went through and moderated down 266 replies? Not to mention the 426 down-mods of the original comment? Then everybody that up-modded it was then knocked around in m2?

          Or do you suppose there is a "bitchslap.pl" script that will moderate a comment (and all replies) to a score of -1 offtopic.

          The existance of the bitchslap.pl script is well known. This is an email from CmdrTaco referring to it. This was after a user lost mod privileges [idge.net] by down-modding signal 11.

          >"Rob 'CmdrTaco' Malda" wrote:
          >Pater, this guy was another victim of the too-powerful-bitchslap
          >punishing comment posters for bad moderation. Give him back his
          >defaultstatus.
          >
          >Jeff: we were using one script to solve 2 problems: Bots autoposting
          >comments to Slashdot (moderating down all comments to -1 and
          >setting defaultpoints to -1) and invalid moderation (karma -1 and
          >remove all moderator points).

      • by helix400 (558178) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:24PM (#15166939) Journal
        Kettle, meet pot.

        Add another Slashdot victom here. I used to get mod points weekly. After I complained about Michael (and got a post of mine instantly modded from +3 down to -1), I haven't seen them since.

        Overall, I find it odd that CmdrTaco complains about Digg censorship, when Slashdot itself has its own glaring examples. For example, check out this thread where every single comment was modded down to -1 [slashdot.org]. Even worse, once when a thread was knocked down to -1, those who mod up anything, *anything* in that thread no longer get mod points. [kuro5hin.org]

        • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:08PM (#15167340) Homepage
          For example, check out this thread where every single comment was modded down to -1.

          While I don't think editors should "bitchslap" threads, it's hard to ignore the fact that every single comment in that thread is in fact off-topic ....

        • by theStorminMormon (883615) <theStorminMormon&gmail,com> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:33PM (#15167553) Homepage Journal
          Or maybe there are just more people modding now? When I first signed up for my account I got mod points all the time. I very rarely get them now. I've never really posted anything that I considered anti-slashdot, and I have no problems modding up posts I disagree with as long as I think it's something worth seeing - so I have no reason to believe it's anything other than just the workings of the algorithm.

          I could whine and moan that the admins don't like me because I'm Mormon, or religious, or some of my politcal views - but that would just be random speculation.

          In any case, I'm not really a fan of modding myself. If I care enough to mod, I'd rather post. When I have mod points I try to pick a topic I'm reasonably well-informed on but don't really care too much about and use them to be helpful. It really is more of a chore than anythign else, however, and I just do it to be doing my part. So if I don't get mod points as often, I'm not missing them.

          -stormin
        • by rpdillon (715137) * on Thursday April 20, 2006 @03:54PM (#15168338) Homepage
          Disagreed.

          What Digg is accused of doing is deleting entire stories along with comments.

          What everyone here is talking about is moderation (either how a comment was moderated, or whether they were allowed to moderate). Moderation (in either form) != censorship. Moderation is a tool to make the comments section tractable for casual readers - making the "good" comments readily available, and keeping trolls, flamebait, etc. off to the side. If you want to read all the trash, go ahead, set your threshold at -1. In other words, the comments are not censored, just assigned on score upon which individual users can filter them according to their needs.

          Unless I'm very mistaken, I don't think there have been *any* cases on Slashdot of entire stories disappearing along with all their comments. That actually would be censorship of the ideas people expressed, and, as I read the article in question, appears to be the approach Digg takes to stories. To Kevin's credit, he indicates that the system is going to be changed to a more Slashdot-like approach soon. The stories will be "buried", but not deleted, much as modded down comments are here.
        • I've laid into Zonk and Micheal repeatedly. I'm constantly insulting both of them and yet I still get mod points every other week.

          I suggest you check what else you've been up to and think about that.
      • by thelenm (213782) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {nelehtm}> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:30PM (#15167528) Homepage Journal
        Aye. My account was banned years ago from moderation for moderating up a post on slashdot critical of slashdot policies.
        The same happened to others.


        Yep, including me. I moderated the first Slashdot troll post investigation [slashdot.org] as Interesting because I genuinely found it interesting. (I link to it because I still find it interesting... just don't mod it up!) That was over four years ago. My moderation and meta-moderation abilities were taken away though I've always been I would consider a good Slashdotter. Emailed someone about it, probably CmdrTaco or Pater (maybe both, it's been so long), but no response. Strangely, meta-moderation ability was restored about a year later, but I've still never been able to moderate since then.

        Not to say that this is a big deal... it's just Slashdot. But it seems a bit hypocritical to talk about Digg's actions as if they were unethical, when the same thing has happened, and is still happening, here.
      • I just unchecked that little box in my preferences that says "Willing To Moderate".

        A good moderator is someone willing to read through all the 0 rated stuff to find the hidden gems that deserve moderation up, and frankly I'm not willing to waste time reading the drivel at that level, so rather than just spending points on already high rated stuff (I browse slashdot at +4) I just got out of the system altogether. I haven't missed it.
    • by Kethinov (636034) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:32PM (#15166390) Homepage Journal
      With respect, the contention here is that the Digg admins do this stuff in secret, whereas the Slashdot editors are completely honest about exerting editorial control over stories and sometimes, but rarely, comments.
      • So "the bitchslap" is your idea of transparency?
      • by Idealius (688975)
        Agreed.

        This story is fairly interesting to me because I recently started reading Digg and using RSS feeds, etc. though I've been a Slashdot mainstay for a long time. I find digg's practice of hiding the fact the editors filter the frontpage stories and ban site submitters at least a huge turn off if not all out scandalous.

        They need to get their shit together or they will die. Slashdot's crowd keeps coming back because they're mostly no b.s. Trust > all.
    • by caffeination (947825) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:44PM (#15166524)
      As I have pointed out after previous mentions of Alexa, Digg has an obsession with Alexa stats that has lead many Digg users to install Alexa for the sake of adding to the view count for Digg.
    • by Pharmboy (216950) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:45PM (#15166533) Journal
      I quit taking Digg serious shortly after I thought I liked it, soley because of the obvious censoring they do, all in secret. Also because they edited my comments, changing the context, AND they were not against Digg or anyone else. Just simply Admin abuse.

      I still find a story or two that is interesting, but mainly I just try to mod up the trash just to prove how fucked up and bias it is.

      Digg is already old news, earning perhaps a footnote in Wikipedia someday.
      • I quit taking Digg seriously after I realized that Digg had brought new life to Slashdot, making the articles much more up-to-date, less dupes, and better comments.

        That, and Digg's travesty of articles like "How to increase your adsense dollars" (aka "How to make your e-penis larger").
        • by Pharmboy (216950) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:20PM (#15167450) Journal
          You are correct that it seems to have breathed new life into Slashdot. To me, Digg is like a Mall, where you don't know anyone and your actions have little consequence, good or bad.

          Slashdot is like a pub where everyone knows you, so you find more meaningful conversation. People actually give a damn about Slashdot, even when pointing out the flaws. Actually, if they didn't care, they wouldn't bother. Digg just isn't a "community" and never will be.
    • by grazzy (56382) <grazzy@@@quake...swe...net> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:00PM (#15166679) Homepage Journal
      The main problem with digg at the moment is the inmature style of writing most of it users has. A quickly written story about a great thing (tm) will get more diggs than the carefully written one that is posted 5 minutes later. This is a huge disadvantage for digg as I have to read the awfully written summaries to find the goodies.

      And I'm not even a native english-speaker.
      • by Skim123 (3322)
        This is why I was/am a fan of Kuro5hin.org. User-submitted content, but it must (slowly) be voted out from an article queue where it has a chance to be "peer reviewed." It leads to some very well-written and interesting essays/stories/commentaries. But it's clearly not built to handle "breaking news" like Digg & /.

        Personally, I don't see the point of censorship at all unless it's spam and other such content. E.g., on my blog I've had a variety of negative comments left by readers about me, the site, my

      • by toby (759) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:19PM (#15167441) Homepage Journal
        I haven't spent much time there, but the inanity, ignorance, immaturity and incivility of Digg posters reminds me of the time I quit Slashdot for a few years - before moderation it was fairly puerile.

        With moderation, I find /. bearable, but it does suffer from that "attention curve" -- comments posted after attention has decayed from the story will probably never be moderated up. If you want moderation attention, you have to post very early.

    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      Digg can have #1 among spyware infested morons.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:24PM (#15166307) Journal
    So you build a website that acts as a community (a webmunity?). And one of the great things is that you get to be God of Gods at your webmunity and do whatever you want to users. You giveth life and taketh life away!

    And all is good.

    But your reader base hates you for it. And one day, dissent might arise. If you don't address it you risk losing your user base. If you try to cover it up and the truth breaks out, I guarantee you will lose your user base.

    So the editors do what they want and you vote with your clicks. This is no grand concept, we provide them revenue by visiting their sites. We are traveling to their sites by keystrokes and clicks (not our feet) so vote with them and everyone is happy!

    If you can't find a fair site, build your own! Show us how it's done and let us know where it's at. I, for one, would like to see more slash/digg hybrids popping up that rate everything (stories, users, comments, etc) and have a tight handle on who gets how many mod points. I don't care for the easy exploitation of digg and I don't care for the veto happy choice editors for Slashdot.

    This isn't a cold war (yet) since they aren't openly bashing each other like the USSR Vs USA war ... or is it? Is this the opening salvo in a war of words between the editors of Digg and Slashdot? I hope not, this site is the center of enough flamewars as it is.

    It would most likely boil down to a witch hunt. Sites will be judged by two qualities: fascist nazism & crap content. It's like precision versus recall, everyone has their own preferred happy medium.

    Frankly, the Godaddy digg [digg.com] seems to be there and intact. But I did have to Google it. Remember, you can hate the diggers who submit (and digg) crap [digg.com], the GNAA trolls [slashdot.org] & Adolf Hitroll [slashdot.org] but only as much as you hate your freedom to submit, digg and post yourself.
  • Old news (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:25PM (#15166314)
    This was posted on Digg two days ago...
  • by xmas2003 (739875) * on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:25PM (#15166320) Homepage
    Just so we complete the circle, here's a DIGG on this /. story ... ;-) [digg.com]
  • by Godeke (32895) * on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:27PM (#15166331)
    Every online community has to make some hard decisions. If you take Kevin Rose's explanation at face value, the story removals were due to the community's response to those stories. The item that showed that the same voters were being used to bring an uncommented story to the front page is more interesting, as that is harder to explain away.

    Either way, this sounds a *lot* like the stories about Wikipedia's Office account and the stuff that goes on there. Slashdot has had it's share of accusations of administrator manipulations behind the scenes. The question then comes down to: what should the power of the administrator be?

    In the case of Slashdot, there is organized resistance against the site via GNAA and other troll groups, not to mention the relentless beating of stupid people upon its shores in an unorganized manner. Overall, I have to say that the end result of the administrator's effort has been successful in keeping the site useful.

    Sites like Digg have to make the same types of choices to preserve the value of the site in the face of an endless barrage of stupidity as well. If they are having to promote stories by hand, it indicates that the core ideal has failed it: but reality very rarely treats ideals gently. Wikipedia has learned that lesson as has Slashdot. Looks like it is Digg's turn to find the balance point that is a fit for them.
    • by Billosaur (927319) * <.ten.enilnotpo. .ta. .rehtorgw.> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:57PM (#15166658) Journal

      Slashdot (and Digg for that matter), is like any organized group -- there will be people who will join because they want to commiserate with the like-minded, there will be people who are "just curious", and then there will be people of questionable character who are there to spread their own form of idiocy and bigotry. Can't be helped -- if you could do an accurate breakdown of membership by personality type, it would probably fit the Bell curve to a tee.

      We're always going to suffer with this. I happen to think Slashdot's system, while not perfect, is certainly better than some. At least, despite the many times I have incurred some faction's wrath with my comments, I feel like I'm communicating with a fairly well-read and intelligent group most of the time. Some people don't like me and that's their perogative. I keep on posting because I think for the most part people appreciate my adding to the discourse and because I don't really care what others think ultimately, as they only have my posts to go by and don't know the real "me."

      That said, I'd never want a faction to come along and mod me up all the time simply because they "like" me, anymore than I want a faction to mod me down because they "hate" me. I"ve noted an inequity now and again, as it's obvious someone doesn't have a sense of humor, doesn't understand my sense of humor, or got their hands on some mod points and plan to punish the "enemy." I think the moderation system here makes it harder for that kind of thing to go on, and I think Digg could learn a thing or two from the idea.

    • Either way, this sounds a *lot* like the stories about Wikipedia's Office account and the stuff that goes on there. Slashdot has had it's share of accusations of administrator manipulations behind the scenes. The question then comes down to: what should the power of the administrator be?

      The problem is - there is two different editorial/administration models being lumped together here.

      • Slashdot - 'accused of manipulations'. Huh? How can you be 'accused of' something that is proudly boasted of? It's neve
  • Hmmm...favoritism or kickbacks at work here? All I can say is if you lose trust it can be very difficult to get it back. While Slashdot plays favorites and practices a form of censorship, at least they don't delete posts. Do they?
    • They have deleted posts at least once in the past, but mostly they're content to blanket-moderate entire threads down to -1. For most Slashdot readers, that effectively deletes those posts, which is why I always read at -1. Sure, the signal-to-noise ratio is terrible, but sometimes there are some real gems at -1.
  • I digged it, did you? er...was it just Slashdotted?
  • Non Issue? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mopslik (688435) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:29PM (#15166358)

    From TFR (the "fine" reply):

    Once a story has received enough user reports it is automatically removed from the digg queue or homepage (depending on where the story is living at that time). The number of reports required varies depending on how many diggs the story has.

    Couldn't it simply be that this is all much ado about nothing? If anything, could this not be the case that the "annoyed sponsors" are merely reporting the story as lame, thus burying it?

    I'm only an occasional Digg-surfer, so I'm not as familiar with their system as with Slashdot's.

    • Re:Non Issue? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by makomk (752139)
      Couldn't it simply be that this is all much ado about nothing? If anything, could this not be the case that the "annoyed sponsors" are merely reporting the story as lame, thus burying it?

      Apparently, some of the stories weren't just buried, they were totally erased (even if you knew the URL, they don't exist anymore, though there is a slight trace - this [digg.com] was deleted, this [digg.com] never existed, compare the page titles and contents). Some of the users posting them were also banned...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:29PM (#15166360)
    At /. they always censor topics such as

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:30PM (#15166371)
    The internet is a collection of tiny dictatorship. It's not a huge democratic thing, and it is even no anarchy (even though it comes as close to the classic definition of anarchy, where everyone governs himself and holds no power over others as it can come).

    Every server is owned by someone. And he's the dictator. As benevolent or tyrannic as he wants to be. Those pages that claim they're "democratic" are so because the dictator decided it would be nice to let his "peasants", his users, act as the ruling body. But ultimately, he is in charge.

    And ultimately, he hangs if something illegal happens on his page.

    The difference to a true dictatorship is only that you have the power to vote with your feet. If the dictatorship isn't to your liking anymore, you can leave. That's it, though. There's no such thing as a virtual coup d'etat (well, you can hack the page, granted, but that's usually overthrown quickly again). You can pick your stuff up and head out. You can even create your own "land" and "declare independence".

    But what it comes down to is, that every page, every server is owned by someone. And this someone decides what is displayed, who may write stuff, even who may read it. Like it or leave.

    Of course, on the other hand, your "international relationships" (i.e. other pages writing about yours) will quickly go down the drain if you turn out as the new Josef Stalin. And other "countries" will cease their "diplomatic agreements", their links, with you.

    So unless you're Google or some other virtual equivalent of the USA, better treat your users nicely.
  • by psycln (937854) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:33PM (#15166403) Homepage Journal

    Two front page articles got pulled off within 10 minutes of being promoted.

    Users can easily create email accounts, change their IP address by resetting their router/modem and create accounts in digg to eventually digg their articles.

    Non-moderated news never works. Digg _is_ moderated. The poor soles who frequent that site just don't know it. As TFA said, digg.com is more of an editor playground that a democratic proccess of picking news.

    here are two examples from yesterday

    Example 1 [digg.com] Example 2 [digg.com]
    • Digg is moderated, but almost entirely by members. Digg employees only remove stories that violate terms of service. As Kevin noted: we need more visibility into the moderation system at Digg. Several Digg stories relating to this whole debacle were removed, but only a couple (one?) by Digg employees. A vast majority of them were removed by Digg members.

      We have plans to fix all this, but things are busy right now at Digginc. We're doing our best.

      Now, on to an amusing sidenote: Digg was "Slashdotted" when th
  • weird timing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by towsonu2003 (928663) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:34PM (#15166409)
    this, the same day I decide to quit "digging" after seeing how their community is racist, sexist, ethnocentric, and so on... weird concidence.
    • It is strange timing; I visited Digg for the first time last night because an article of mine had 300 diggs. Kinda cool. But I couldn't get into it, really. It's an interesting concept, but who's got that kind of time?

      I guess I could give up /.
  • by boxlight (928484) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:34PM (#15166413)
    Ha! Slashdot jumped on this story quickly! ;-)

    Turns out digg's revolutionary "let the users pick the top stories" philosophy isn't letting the editors mold the front page content to their liking.

    Digg should just be open about it -- I'm fine with the digg editors assign bonus "diggs" to stories they want featured prominently, but at least they should be honest that they're doing it.

    boxlight
  • from comments at http://digg.com/technology/Digg_Censors_Stories_Th at_Offend_Sponsors#c634036 [digg.com]

    Keng on 12/19/05
    Thank you Kevin but shouldn't it still be under stories submitted?

    Thanks


    kevinrose on 12/19/05
    Where do you see it missing?


    end of conversation
  • by tktk (540564)
    On Digg, you can only vote to promote a story and have it appear on homepage. You can't vote against the story. The only way a story dies is from old age.

    Also, the general idea of a democracy is that everyone has an equal say. I can promote or bury as many comments as I like. If there is a limit, I've haven't send them yet. So if I vote on 20 comments, doesn't that equate me having 20 votes? If the average user only votes on 5 comments, then I effectively have more power.

  • Digg Sucks... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SpectreBlofeld (886224) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:37PM (#15166451)
    ...recently. I greatly enjoyed Digg, and, for a while, I actually preferred Digg's setup and variety of content to Slashdot's. Unfortunately, its rising popularity and increased 'democracy' has led to severe degradation. Any comments posted that go against the grain of popular opinion gets modded down, or even controversial ones - people aren't as likely to mod things up that they agree with as they are to mod down statements they don't like. Say ANYTHING negative of Apple gets modded down to oblivion, whether the comment is valid or not.

    Additionally, more and more articles linked hide referral URLs, or link to the submitters blog instead of the actual meaty articles.

    I've also grown weary of self-masturbatory articles, such as http://digg.com/technology/Digg_Featured_in_SF_Chr onicle_Article_on_Social_News_Sites [digg.com] . Who wants to go to Digg to read about how great Digg is?

    One last nitpick: the extreme sensationalism that goes into the headline writing that submitters choose, in hopes that their headline will be voted up. Unfortunately, it seems to work, as the masses mod up or down without reading the articles.

     
    • The comments over there seem to be a lot more childish even than Slashdot. The comment moderation is even stranger: I posted a comment once saying how I find GNOME easier to use than Windows for some things, only to get negatively dugg into oblivion.
    • I also hate the teaser descriptions. I want news on Digg, not coersion to read OTHER news sites. I hate when people write "Read the article to find out which brand of keyboard could slice off your fingers!" when 2 additional words could have told me so.
  • Misinformation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by appleprophet (233330)
    Ever wonder what that prominently placed "problem?" popup menu was for on Digg? The GoDaddy article was removed simply because enough people used that to report it as "ok, this is lame" and inaccurate. The article basically falsely accused GoDaddy of buying domains that people expressed interest in on their site. According to the vast majority of the comments on the article, the reality is that it was other registrars who intercept GoDaddy's queries (which are necessarily sent to many services in order to
    • Re:Misinformation (Score:3, Informative)

      by spyrochaete (707033)
      The /. story doesn't really allege anything. It just brings to light the "Growing Censorship Concerns at Digg" (RTFTitle). A concern does not equal or pretend to be a fact.
  • My view (Score:5, Informative)

    by thedogcow (694111) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:38PM (#15166464)
    Each website has its own specific qualities that make it good and bad. For instance, I like Digg because it is updated more frequently than Slashdot (see diggvsdot), but apparently "these updates" maybe too frequent (i.e. stories deleted). I think Slashdot has better comments. I cannot stand Digg comments. Digg comments are the same type of comments that Fark has... people talking about stuff they have no clue of. At least with Slashdot, most of the comments are made by informed people.
    • Bunk (Score:3, Insightful)

      by amyhughes (569088)
      Most of the comments that get seen are predictable. Post something contrary to groupthink and get moderated troll or off-topic.

      Oh, but there's meta-moderation to deal with the abusers. Whatever. The same people that only want to see certain viewpoints also judge the moderation. That works. Not!

      I lost interest in slashdot (and let my sponsorship lapse) when I lost moderation privileges. I was never told I was black listed. I simply stopped receiving mod points. It doesn't really matter if the editors or

  • Round 1, Slashdot Diggs For Dirt
    Round 2, Dig Slashes Back
    Round 3, Slash Diggs Grave
    Round 4, Both Sides Look Dirty
    Round 5, Audience Can't Tell SlashDigg Apart
  • I noticed this earlier, I tried [digg.com] to say something by circumventing the URL ban, but it didn't work out - got buried like all the other stories about this latest episode. The most successful one [digg.com] so far somehow got buried despite receiving a huge amount of "Diggs".

    Today was the first time I ever tried to participate in Digg. I'm not impressed at all. I know that by starting off on such a contentious issue, I've skewed my data, but general consensus in the comments seems to be that people won't "digg" anything

  • by VonSkippy (892467) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:43PM (#15166510) Homepage
    Digg.com, to put it simply, sucks. Without any true editors, their focus and target audience have drifted far from their stated "we're a tech site" definition.

    Most stories have no bearing at all on tech, and comments range for the childish to outright stupid.

    Digg.com is more like Fark.com, except it's not as good.

    As to Kevin Rose, who cares. Like his site, he's a major tech poser.
  • Frankly digg has already become more useful to me than Slashdot. I really just keep visiting here out of very old habit. I've been using this site for years and frankly it has been neglected by the "editors". Maybe this will actually encourage some innovation at this site for the first time in years.
  • It's way to easy to cheat Digg. Create 50 accounts and you write buzz-word-compliant texts for all the apple freaks to drool over and you have a instant money-machine. There has been numerous stories on the frontpage that promotes lame blogs and/or worthless tools hacked together by 15yr olds which _never_ would have achieved that kind of attention unless someone was doing something fishy.

    Ofcourse, I cant prove anything of this .
  • by peter303 (12292) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:47PM (#15166548)
    At least on digg you know who is modding you up or down. Plus everyone's article and comments are accepted.
    On slashdot you have no idea who is removing your submitted articles and comments, not who is modding you down.

    In both groups there is an intolerant and active "politically correct" core. If you dont agree with them on IT or social comments, you get abused.

    My prediction is this comment will disappear because it is "wrong".
  • by globalar (669767) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:49PM (#15166566) Homepage
    A lot of people promote democracy - "government by the people". Somehow this became a thing for companies to promote and websites to make money off of. But there is more to our idea of democracy that just democracy. There is more to our freedoms than just "do what you want".

    The stable democracies today are heavily influenced by Western/liberal democratic republicanism. The Communist statists learned the hard way that founding a society/order on one system was unmaintainable.

    The problem in governments is unchecked power. Whether it's the mob or the elite, power needs to be balanced. Digg quite naturally needs to find ways to balance power. Executive powers are always necessary at some point, so it shouldn't be surprising that Digg exercises them. Democracy is only a *part* of the system.

    If you think about it, our centrist ideals of freedom really are not absolute freedom, but a balance of freedom and responsibility. We exchange some liberty for a more controlled system.

     
  • Very true (Score:3, Interesting)

    by adzoox (615327) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:57PM (#15166651) Journal
    I submit my blog entries to digg regularly (and so do my readers)

    Every other one gets a crappy comment on it ... like blog spam or lame article. The commenter has neither read nor commented on what was right or wrong about the article.

    It made me so mad the other day I posted in the comments to my own submission: "Take your crappy comments to Slashdot!"

    Digg has more or less turned into a censorship site because a few users DO ruin and bury good articles and promote silly ones.

    Funny ?. would post this because the joke is: calling Digg .... Slashdigg
  • True Anonymity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:00PM (#15166680) Homepage Journal
    I'd love to see Slashdot's "rejected" queue. That would really be a testament to "open source", of the journalistic kind.
    • Re:True Anonymity (Score:3, Insightful)

      by caffeination (947825)
      That ignores the issue of confidentiality. Who wants to give content to a site that will humiliate them if it's not considered good enough?

      Viewing failed submissions with the submitters names not shown sounds a lot better.

    • Re:True Anonymity (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Vo0k (760020) on Friday April 21, 2006 @01:52AM (#15171210) Journal
      That would also greatly increase the number of trolls submitting troll stories. That's what editors want to avoid at all cost. Find a solution to this one first, then likely Taco will think of it :)
  • by danpsmith (922127) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:03PM (#15166705)
    ...Plato's original use of the term democracy was to describe mob rule.

    That's essentially what you get at digg. People don't digg stories because they disagree with the viewpoint, they mod down people because of their viewpoints being unpopular. There's no accounting for intelligence there. One important user with a fan base might digg a story and cause everyone else to digg it as well. It's basically mob rule.

    That being said, it isn't without merit. A lot of news arrives faster on digg than slashdot, even if the moderation system does need work.
  • by Otto (17870) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:39PM (#15167096) Homepage Journal
    All this hue and cry of censorship seems to be simply because people don't understand the system.

    A story reaches the front page by people "digging" that story. The total number of "diggs" is listed on the page.

    However, a story can be yanked from the front page by people who mark it as lame or inaccurate or spam, or whatever. These numbers are NOT listed.

    So when a story is yanked back off, there is no visibility as to WHY it was yanked off the front page. Lots of people seem to think that the admins do it themselves, when in fact it's some algorithim taking it off because enough people marked it down.

    If they made this information visible, then there'd be less complaining. Instead of having several options like lame and so forth, they should have a simple button marked "Bury" to allow people to say that the story is stupid (or whatever they feel). Put a counter next to the bury link, to show how many people don't like it. Then when a story is autoyanked from the front page, there will be visibility. People won't have room to complain, because the story clearly got buried from people marking it down.

    The REAL reason people are complaining is because of a poor user interface, not censorship.
  • by npsimons (32752) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:56PM (#15167240) Homepage Journal
    But they rarely completely censor people here. Does the occasional bitchslap happen? Sure, but it usually gets plenty of attention, and the comment isn't summarily deleted, nor is the user account deleted. And how many posts have we seen that poke fun at slashdot, it's editors, or it's moderation system? I've seen plenty, and that's at +5. While it would be ideal that complaints about slashdot are listenened to and fixed, it speaks well of slashdot's operators that they are not summarily censored out of hand. Not to mention that many complaints about slashdot have been addressed, albeit not in a timely fashion.
  • by sacrilicious (316896) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:00PM (#15167282) Homepage
    Today two such stories were submitted so numerous that I had little choice but to post.

    Taco, you made a grammatical error so lingo that I feel compelled to point it out.

  • by applextrent (821630) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @04:05PM (#15168437) Homepage
    Digg's censorship is as plain as day. While I dislike when something I submit to /. isn't posted, the difference is /. doesn't make any claims of democracy and doesn't really have any sponsors that I'm aware of to censor competitors. Anyhow, here is how they censored me [trentl.com].

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