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.”
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.
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.