Here’s a story we doubt you’ll see reported on FOX News. AlterNet recently completed a year-long investigation into so-called “gaming the system” at the content aggregator, Digg. A Yahoo group calling itself the Digg Patriots (whose site has since been taken down) figured out how to rig Digg’s voting. If you don’t know, at Digg and many similar sites, you can vote for the stories you want to see featured prominently, or in this case, those you want “buried.” As AlterNet reported:
Literally thousands of stories have already been artificially removed from Digg due to this group. When a story is buried, it is removed from the upcoming section (where it is usually at for ~24 hours) and cannot reach the front page, so by doing this, this one group is removing the ability of the community as a whole to judge the merits or interest of these stories on their own (in essence: censoring content).
The immensity of the impact is commensurate with the reach of Digg. Again, according to Alternet:
It is ranked 50th among US websites by Alexa (117th in the world), by far the most influential social media site…Digg generates around 25 million page views per month, over one third of the page views of the NY Times. Front page stories regularly overwhelm and temporarily shut down websites in a process called the “Digg Effect.”