Digg, Cut the Bullshit – You Are Not Democratic

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Today Jay Adelson from Digg wrote on [removing the HD-DVD story from Digg](http://blog.digg.com/?p=73). As a business owner I understand why Digg removed that story, but within that blog post Jay said:

Our goal is always to maintain a purely democratic system for the submission and sharing of information – and we want Digg to continue to be a great resource for finding the best content.

If Digg truly wanted to be democratic they would do what Netscape does by showing who buries or down votes stories because this would cause less people to bury a story for no reason. There have been multiple users who requested this feature and complained to Digg about it, but they didn’t respond to our requests.
Another great way for them to show how democratic they are is that they remove stories that talk negatively about Digg. Stories from Pronet Advertising and other blogs that talk about Digg in a negative fashion have been buried when [Digg Spy](http://digg.com/spy) showed that 0 people buried the story. Granted there may be more buries than they are showing, but you would think at least 1 would show up in Digg Spy.
There have been many more cases of Digg being very democratic, such as sites like [Online Marketing Blog](http://www.toprankblog.com/) getting banned because too many users marked the site as spam and complained to Digg about the site. Lee Odden, the writer of that blog never spammed Digg and never submitted his own stories, but for some reason they felt his blog should be banned. Online Marketing Blog as well as others are now unbanned, but for many months they were banned.
There are many other reasons why I feel Digg is no where near as democratic as it could be… anyone else feel the same way?

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at Quick Sprout.
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  • I second your call to show who is burying stories (along with the reason). I still have no clue why the [story](http://www.digg.com/design/Customize_org_Relaunches_Youtube_for_Wallpapers_Skins_and_Themes) on my site relaunch was buried when it was about to hit the front page

  • at the very least they should show why a story gets buried… but i agree with you, they should also show who… lets keep the diggers honest!

  • Neil, we can debate all day about HOW democratic Digg. But more depressing for me is the current reaction from the Digg community about the HD-DVD fiasco.
    Don’t you think if Digg ducks the issue for now, more such incidents will be popping up in future and eventually Digg will have to decide between being up or satisfying a group of unsatisfiable users.
    Something tells me that following this, some Digg members will get more bold and post more questionable content. What do you think Digg should do in those cases?

  • Matt B

    Anyone else notice how Digg seems to be down now?

  • Matt B

    Heh. It’s back up now, must have just been routine maintenance. Confound this over-developed sense of paranoia I tell you!

  • Zach, after a few weeks this will all probably brush over and the users will forget. But as you said, more questionable content will appear in the future and Digg will have act in a way that will satisfy them as well as the users. I am not sure what they are going to do, but I hope they don’t repeat what they did with the HD-DVD incident.

  • Digg has never been a democracy. It doesn’t matter how popular a story gets because a small percentage of buries can kill a story, not to mention a moderator induced bury.
    I’m glad Kevin finally grew a pair and posted on the blog about it.
    Digg should show who buries a story. At least then we would know which stories were buried by digg and not the user base.

  • More Coverage of Revolt Against Digg

    More Coverage of Revolt Against Digg from: SERoundtable.com, Search Engine Land,?Ǭ

  • Surly making the voting anonymous makes the system more democratic?
    That’s why election voting is anonymous so that people do not feel pressured to vote in a particular (unpopular) way

  • Like everyone else, I’ve been watching this one play out over the day, and I confess to feeling a little bit sorry for Kevin Rose. Like a lot of us, he’s trying to balance community against commercial interests – and that’s a difficult call to make.
    I do believe that the storm will die down and the Rose love-fest will be full-strength within a few weeks. Didn’t you guys post a while back about Digg users having memories like goldfish?

  • Kevin Rose felt the awesome power of the bury feature first hand. It smacked him down hard — without it it would have much more difficult for Digg’s users to take over the entire site so quickly.
    I think he will defang the bury feature but won’t eliminate it. He’ll need to wait a few months for things to cool down and then will use another reason to justify it. My guess is that he begins to limit the number of buries per user per day, but with some kind of sliding scale where power users get more of them to use.

  • Erm…when was the last time that the government made your vote in an election available for everyone to see? Never?

  • Digg needs to do two things.
    1. Add a simple point system. If you post a positive comment, you can post a negative comment.
    2. Show who digged it or buried it, and require a detailed reason.
    Until then, you’ll continue to have people spam their own content positive, and bury all others.
    Digg abuse solved.