3 Ways Digg Can Stop the “Bury Brigade” Dead in Its Tracks!

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Recently, @MichDe wrote a post entitled “New Media Concepts, The Digg Bury Brigade and How to Fight it.

I took a personal interest in this post because I have also recently found myself as the target of a Digg “Bury Brigade.”

Digg Burying

As you can see from the screen shot below, when you go to bury an item, you have a few choices. The options are Duplicate Story, Spam, Wrong Topic, Inaccurate, and “OK, This Is Lame.” This means you can simply bury a story if you just don’t “Digg It,” and you can even bury a story without giving a reason.

Digg Bury Options

As Mich explains in his article, Digg has the bury function for a legitimate reason, which is to help combat spam. Unfortunately, he also explained in his post that the biggest problem with the bury function is it has become a weapon for many users. Many users will bury a story simply because they do not like another user. Instead of judging a story based on its merits, they will choose to bury it out of spite. When a group of Diggers acts in unison to bury a story out of spite, this is the “Bury Brigade” in action. Unfortunately, this is happening more frequently, and there is plenty of great content that does not see the light of day because a select few malicious users attacked it with buries.

When publishers take the time to create great content and active users use their time to share this great content, only to have it buried out of spite by a group of Diggers acting in cahoots, it’s unfair to all of Digg’s users, the content publishers and Digg itself. In other words EVERYONE loses!

Now that you know what the “Bury Brigade” is, I’d like to offer three solid ways Digg and @KevinRose can stop the “Bury Brigade” dead in its tracks:

1) Allow it to be publicly seen who is burying a story. If I submit a story, make it visible to see how many buries it has and who has buried the story. This will serve a couple of purposes. If someone was going to bury a story based solely on spite, they will probably think twice before doing it because this will make sure they are publicly willing to stand behind their decision. Also, if they are maliciously burying the same user over and over, this will also be easy for all to see. Other social platforms such as Sphinn and Proppeller have already implemented this system.

2) Digg should monitor group burying practices. In other words, if you have the same group of users routinely burying submissions, then it’s easy to see that they are burying for their own agenda. This should not only be tracked by Digg, but I also think group burying should be a bannable offense. Digg is very active at banning users for a variety of reasons, so I say make this one of the top bannable offenses and we will see how many users want to risk their account in exchange for malicious burying practices.

3) Have a “Digg to Bury” ratio and a maximum number of buries allowed per day. I think a twenty to one ratio is good. This means that you have to Digg at least twenty stories to have the right to bury one. The maximum number of buries allowed per day should be ten. There is no need for any normal user to bury more stories than this, and if they are doing so, then they aren’t making a positive contribution to the platform. While people should be able to vote against a story if they don’t like it or if it’s clearly spam, this limit will help keep any abuse in check. Since Digg imposed a limit on the number of stories users can Digg per day, it seems logical that they would also put a burying limit in place. If someone is aggressively burying stories then the behavior is clearly more abusive than helpful.

If you like the ideas presented in this post, please help us spread the message by tweeting the following:

RT @KevinRose 3 Ways Digg Can Stop the “Bury Brigade” Dead in Its Tracks! http://bit.ly/2lFI8U

*Update* this story itself has officially been buried approximately 6 hours after being submitted to Digg. How strangely fitting and a bit ironic.

Also, please be sure to cast your vote in the poll below:

Gerald Weber

Gerald Weber

Gerald Weber is a professional SEO, social media enthusiast and Internet entrepreneur from Houston Texas. Gerald Founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. Follow him on Twitter and Google+ to learn more.
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  • Personally, I find the entire concept of burrying distasteful. It goes against my notion of free speech. I think I would bury only if the post was something truly offensive (hateful, inciting violence, etc.)

    • I agree. It’s a rare occasion that I bury a story. It has to be something that is either blatant spam or I strongly disagree in order for me to bury.

  • Great post! I agree that burying goes against my feelings about free speech. A huge amount of what passes for “news” on Digg is offensive to me, but I don’t believe that means I should prevent other people from seeing it. Something would have to be REALLY offensive to me to bury it. I don’t guess I have buried more than two or three stories in the two years I have been on Digg.

    I can recall in particular a story I submitted when Barbara Bush had a heart attack earlier this year – the loathing for President Bush is so extreme on Digg that what should have been an ordinary newsworthy story was buried almost instantly. It didn’t expect it to be wildly popular, but it should have been allowed to be seen by a few people, anyway. Don’t like it? Don’t digg it. But don’t think you are the only arbiter of what is good content.

  • David I never thought about burying as going against free speech, but you’ve piqued my interest. Need to think more about that . ..

    The ratio sounds totally appropriate.

  • I agree with David, I find it wrong to be Burying someone’s story. We all have the right to freely speak our mind. If you don’t like something move on to find something you do like. I feel that Digg should monitor for those they bury repeatedly, who decided that they are the editor. However monitoring and showing their names is not enough and the ratio idea seems that it would be effective. Bury Brigades need to be stopped it is an unfair practice.

    • I concur 110%. It’s very annoying from a user perspective when we take the time to find great content and i gets the bury brigade hammer.

  • Gerald I have all the reasons to appreciate your article since I was also targeted by Digg bury sometime back.
    I really appreciate the point which you have added , adding a column to see who buried the post and how many time post get buried…

    Something which is also implemented in Sphinn and I think its justified.. Digg should also think about it and should implement this…..

    Post got Tweeted

    • I’m glad that you appreciated the post. My thinking is that people will be less likely to engage in malicious burying practices when their bury is publicly seen.

  • Oddly I have been banned since I posted about the bury issues on digg. I was told vaguely that I have been reported as either being paid to digg or artificially inflating digg stories. So after proving there were diggers attacking myself and other users of digg. Digg.com attacked me and removed my account without and specific reasons or proof of wrong doing.

    No instances have been put forward of TOS infractions. No alternate accounts or organizations presented. No ‘money trail’ of being paid and no mention or who or what or how I was supposedly inflating digg numbers.

    This may be the statement digg wants to put forward though. Shut up and take it or else.

    Just my 2 cents on it.

    Mich D

  • I love the Post, Digg seriously needs to do something to keep in check those users…

  • Well, it may be buried at Digg, but I gave it a thumbs-up at Stumbleupon.

    I think the critiques many bloggers have of Digg traffic are on the money: the actual traffic from Digg is not worth the aggravation. Digg’s real reward is the PR the link to a story gets and the backlinks from hovering near the front page/getting to the front page.

  • I love the Post, Digg seriously needs to do something to keep in check those users…

  • Have spotted this post on Sphinn and fascinated with the content shared.

    I know there are several cases (or more) where people’s stories got buried for no particular reasons and this is an eye opener. I agree to have the alternatives mentioned applied in Digg’s voting system. One got to have legitimate reasons why to bury a story and sometimes it cannot be judged by merely 1 or 2 persons. The ratio is not a bad idea, quite favored to Digg but it shows the dedication one needs to have before owning the rights to bury a story. I don’t bury others’ stories simply, not if it’s offensive, spammy and really hard to swallow.

    Well shared post. Dug! Hope to create awareness in Digg community.

    Social/Blogging Tracker

    • Thank you for your feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  • This is why we don’t use Digg. It’s dominated by backbiting and cliques, so if you’re not in with the in-crowd, you’re most definitely locked out in the cold.

    Sphinn is a far superior platform, with a much more forgiving and charming user base.

  • Anytime a site creates an opportunity for its users to vote down and bury posts, people are bound to use it for evil. Your suggestions for outing those members that do engage in such practices, along with placing limitations on the Digg to Bury ratio are outstanding. While some people just won’t care if others know that they are the ones voting them down, many will certainly think twice before doing it. Great ideas and nice post!

  • the biggest problem is ideological burying… climate denying trolls are super active at burying. you look at their profiles and they don’t digg anything they only comment and bury… the digg to bury ratio would solve that immediately