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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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  • by Godeke (32895) * on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:27PM (#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.
  • Non Issue? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mopslik (688435) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:29PM (#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.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:30PM (#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 boxlight (928484) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:34PM (#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
  • by tktk (540564) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:36PM (#15166429)
    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 @01:37PM (#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.

     
  • Misinformation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by appleprophet (233330) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:38PM (#15166461) Homepage
    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 see if the domain is taken, iirc). Since GoDaddy is a darling company of many, and the article was patently incorrect and defamatory, many people (as you could see in the comments) reported the article as lame or inaccurate. Hence, it was removed. Oh yeah, GoDaddy isn't even a sponsor of Digg.

    As for the other allegations, I have no idea, but if you're going to bash on a rival site, at least do some research before you post false information. Too bad there's no way to report crappy articles on Slashdot...
  • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:40PM (#15166475) Journal
    So was mine - it is only in the past 12 or so months that I have been able to mod again.
  • by caffeination (947825) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:44PM (#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 Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:44PM (#15166525) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • No. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:44PM (#15166526)
    Sorry, his explanation was bullshit.

    I read Digg for a while because I found it to be an interesting idea. The day that story about Go Daddy got pulled off the front page for no good reason was the day I stopped visiting the site. The story was getting more and more "Diggs", and it kept moving up, then, nothing. It was pulled out, which obviously makes it stop getting "Diggs" because nobody was seeing it anymore.

    That is not democracy, I can't believe that anybody would rationalize something like "Well it was pulled off the page because it was getting negative reviews" when hundreds of people are obviously not finding any problem with the story since they are "Digging" it.

    Digg is bullshit. Go Daddy sponsors their podcast, not Digg. Fiiiiiiiiine, whatever. They get revenue from Diggnation, Diggnation depands on Digg.com, end of fucking story. Kevin Rose is a jackass.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:48PM (#15166554)
    Well, it's close to anarchy but not to the full extent. After all, as soon as someone enters your turf, your page, you have "governing power" over him. By the classic definition, this would not be necessary because he would govern himself.

    Unfortunately, humans will be humans.
  • by Leviathant (558659) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:48PM (#15166557) Homepage
    One thing I noticed about Digg stories in the last month or so is that scientific studies would get posted, and then marked as inaccurate, even after an excess of 500 diggs. I'm fairly certain you can guess the theory that was being discussed.

    It made me want to post a tongue-in-cheek headline like "Digg and the Christian agenda" but I realize that people on both sides of the ID/Evolution pissing match wouldn't take well to that at all.

    What gets really frustrating is that once your story gets marked for review, that's about all you know, and that URL can not be resubmitted. I had a story go front-page fairly quickly, only to disappear. It didn't say why - it had more diggs than other stories on the front page. I had to do a specialized search to find out that it was marked as 'buried.' If Digg can count and display positive diggs, why can't it show the negative marks as well?

    I find it a little troubling that a site that rejects stories for not being techy enough seems to also reject stories that are too techie for modern semi-fundamentalist Christian religions.

    This is a fundamental problem of 'true' democracy (assuming Digg is a simple voting system.) What is popular is not always what is best. It is for this reason that I personally prefer sites with editors, no matter how many mistakes they may make. I used to go to Digg several times a day, but after actively participating in the system for a few days (and managing to get the word cunnybungler on the front page, if only for a few minutes), this made apparent to me the opaque-to-a-fault rating system driving the site... and now I don't go there as often.

    It's still interesting, but I felt pretty disappointed after watching this phenomenon.

  • by globalar (669767) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:49PM (#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 @01:57PM (#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
  • by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@NOsPAm.optonline.net> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:57PM (#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.

  • by grazzy (56382) <<grazzy> <at> <quake.swe.net>> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:00PM (#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 eno2001 (527078) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:01PM (#15166696) Homepage Journal
    Agreed. As soon as I saw Digg pop up in an issue of Wired magazine (AKA Tech Poseur's Journal) I knew it had to be crap. I went over there for a bit and perused articles. There's too much crap over there. Who cares about the social implications of technology for example? That's highly UNINTERESTING to a real tech. Then there's also way too many things like the notification of hard drives on sale for cheap at Best Buy or what have you. You also see too many stories about Windows only software. Again what REAL tech cares about Windows? Frankly, I think the Digg will eventually blow up. One more gripe... not enough opportunity to troll idiot users there. When someone is an idiot, they need to be made aware of it and what better way to do that then troll them? Trolling is an integral part of a real community. Suppress trolling, and you lose the ommunity entirely or even worse, wind up with a virtual gated community. How dull.
  • by danpsmith (922127) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:03PM (#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 jeffc128ca (449295) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:08PM (#15166759)
    I have been a reader of slashdot for years and a reader of Digg for a few months. What's going on at Digg doesn't really suprise me. Once a site become popular it's bound to be exploited, for marketing, for personal ego trips, you name it. Letting the community run the show is a neat idea in small doses. But collective intelligence sooner or later devolves into the lowest common denominator and open to manipulation. Just look at congress for a good example of that.

    To people who think collective intelligence can truely make us all better, I point you to despair inc's take on it http://www.despair.com/idiocy.html [despair.com]

    Slashdot is not perfect, neither is digg. I consider slashdot a tyranny of editors that happen to point stories of interest to me. I consider digg a mob of mindless users who sometimes find stories of interest to me. So now digg is a bit more on the tyranny side. So what?
  • by That's Unpossible! (722232) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:21PM (#15166902)
    So "the bitchslap" is your idea of transparency?
  • by The Walking Dude (905913) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:37PM (#15167084)
    "So my idea was to start a news website where you would give complete control to the community ... People like the fact that it's a democratic approach to news," Rose said. "There's no handful of editors in a smoke-filled back room deciding which stories are important; the masses are deciding." (http://money.cnn.com/2006/03/24/magazines/busines s2/diggdemocratizes/index.htm [cnn.com])

    As much as I like Digg I've wondered if a democratic approach is truly possible without putting at risk their aim of being a tech related news site. Imagine what the front page stories would be, if all MySpace users opened a Digg account. This seems like a microcosm of world politics - is their some good in having a ruling elite? I would say there is, as long as those in power have earned their position (i.e. they are educated, not just well connected).

    Here are the Digg submissions as I saw them unfold in the last few hours:
    http://digg.com/links/Story_about_Digg_s_corruptio n_deleted_within_seconds [digg.com].
    http://digg.com/technology/Digg_Corrupted#c1505447 [digg.com]
    http://digg.com/links/Slashdot_chimes_in_on_DIGG_c ensorship_controvery [digg.com]
    http://digg.com/technology/Growing_Censorship_Conc erns_at_Digg [digg.com]
  • by godscent (22976) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:42PM (#15167115)
    Mine too. I couldn't metamoderate for a while, and I've never been able to moderate since. The post I got banned for had over 700 moderations, and it looked like every account that moderated the post up got banned from moderating.

    Here is the post [slashdot.org]. Here is a journal entry by sllort [slashdot.org] that does a much better job of describing what happened.
  • by thelost (808451) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:50PM (#15167202) Journal
    newspapers have editors for a reason, websites have editors for a reason. Editors do a really important job in filtering out all the shit that we have to otherwise put up with which is pretty much as bad as spam.

    The idea of digg is noble and great and in some respects it's definately a success, like the speed that it delivers news stories as they happen compared to slashdot. This makes a difference to me.

    The most negative thing I have to say about digg are that the comments section is filled with a bunch of fucking assholes, I call them the digg mob. It's due in a great part to a fucking stupid comment moderation system that doesn't encourage people to think about why they are modding a person up or down because mod points run like honey. The result is the mobb effect, where someone says something contrary to popular opinion and gets buried under a massive amounts of undiggs. I'm at the point where I completely give up reading digg simply because people are such assholes in the comment section.
  • by npsimons (32752) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:56PM (#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 IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @03:08PM (#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 ....

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

    by makomk (752139) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @03:29PM (#15167521) Journal
    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 thelenm (213782) <mthelen@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @03:30PM (#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.
  • by fv (95460) * <fyodor@insecure.org> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @04:00PM (#15167812) Homepage
    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.

    That may be, but the site popularity is comparable in at least some metrics. For example, a Digg link can generate more traffic to target sites than even the notorious Slashdot Effect. For example, the big Nmap 4.00 release [insecure.org] was covered by both Slashdot [slashdot.org] and Digg [digg.com]. According to my referrer logs, Slashdot delivered a respectable 4,934 hits, while Digg brought more than twice as many (11,349). An article in Heise.De [heise.de] generated more traffic than either of them.

    Of course there could be other explanations for these results. Maybe it is just more evidence for the sterotype that Sladhot readers don't RTFA. And I realize there are many other variables involved -- but the results surprised me.

    -Fyodor [insecure.org] (still a loyal /. reader)

  • by philovivero (321158) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @04:09PM (#15167892) Homepage Journal
    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 this story came out. Looking at the database statistics (I'm the DBA), I note a marked spike as the Slashdot story was posted. This means that there's definitely a set of Slashdot readers that aren't Digg readers. The good news for all of you is, Slashdot and Digg are fulfilling their separate roles in the tech news sphere. Doesn't look like much danger in one putting the other out of business.

    (Some of our vocal members, though, probably hope otherwise. I know there's a set of tech professionals that wish Slashdot would be eliminated by Digg, and probably vice-versa).
  • by larry bagina (561269) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @04:14PM (#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 ConceptJunkie (24823) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @04:20PM (#15167993) Homepage Journal
    Depends on which President you ask and when. Clinton was handing 'em out like candy in 2001.

    On both /. and Digg, I find a huge level of arrogance coming from the editors, who, in many cases, aren't doing anything to "merit" arrogance, if you know what I mean. Both forums also suffer from a surfeit of immature, ignorant or downright stupid comments. I think both are great experiments in collaborative communication, but there is room (IMO) for much more radical ideas.

    Digg tends to have more interesting "fluffy" or "neat" articles, /. has more substance, and /.'s forums, however low-tech and old-school they might be, have 10 times the good content than any Digg forum. The best feature /. ever added was the ability to be notified when someone replies to your post.

    I think an interesting comparison would be to study the effects of /.'s rather limited moderation compared to those of Digg where you can mod comments up and down till you're blue in the face (and the comment has dozens of + or - points).

    I find it rather odd that a score of +5 for a commment (given I have the karma bonus) means only 3 people out of hundreds of thousands of potential readers thought it worth modding up. What happens when 10 times as many people can mod and the mods can go 10 times as high or low? Will a better meritocracy of discussion emerge are will be just be giving the frost pisters and other morons more free reign to be infantile?

    In the end, both sites are run by, and largely populated by, a bunch of know-it-all computer geeks, nerds, posers and wannabes, and this ultimately might be their biggest problem.

    Now excuse me, I have some socket code to debug. :-)

  • by rpdillon (715137) * on Thursday April 20, 2006 @04:54PM (#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.
  • by applextrent (821630) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @05:05PM (#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].
  • by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @05:22PM (#15168591) Journal
    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 hexix (9514) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @05:34PM (#15168687) Homepage

    I thought this too until I read the story [splasho.com] slashdot linked to. What you are describing are burried stories. As far as I can tell, you can still search for burried stories and you can view them if you want to.

    The story linked to by slashdot gives you the links of the two stories the guy put up, and digg.com claims they do not exist. A really interesting thing is that this url: http://digg.com/technology/Suspicious_Digging_ [digg.com] goes to an error page, yet the title of the page shows "Suspicious Digging?" Notice the question mark at the end, which is not in the URL. Also, if you make up a fake story name like http://digg.com/technology/this_story_does_not_exi st [digg.com] you'll see a blank page without the error message.

    I don't know if this is normal behavior. Seems like someone actually deleted the stories.

  • by La Camiseta (59684) <me@nathanclayton.com> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @06:10PM (#15168944) Homepage Journal
    Yes, /. practices censorship, but they're up front about it, and it's within reason. Every comment (except for the Xenu one) is available to be read, even all of the GNAA/goatse spam ones. So yes, they do censor, but what they don't do is completely remove those spam/troll comments from the search engine/site history (in essence).

    And a lot of the issue with the bannination that you experienced most likely had to do with you or someone else using your external IP trolling as AC. If you want to troll while signed in, that's one thing, because the karma system will eventually knock you down to starting at 0/-1, but when you troll or post off-topic as AC (and start out with visible comments), the only real solution that they have it to ban your IP.
  • by rtb61 (674572) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @09:11PM (#15169896) Homepage
    Personally I find moderation points a bit of a hassle. Sure there is a measure of recognition in receiving some but when you try do do it seriously and force yourself to read at -1 and try to find the best posts within a thread, it does become rather hard work.

    As for digg, I might be a bit hard but I see it as being a cynical attempt to create a for profit marketing forum which is just masquerading as another Slashdot. When everybody gets to moderate all the time, the paid professional moderators with numerous accounts will dominate.

    It is interesting to pick up on the early indications of this with buttons for automatic story posting in cnet articles (cnet has to be with out doubt the very worst advertising as tech news sites on the web).

  • by Mistshadow2k4 (748958) on Friday April 21, 2006 @12:12AM (#15170709) Journal

    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've heard of this happening enough that I'd be foolish for simply dismissing it. I'm just wondering why it hasn't happened to me.

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