Aug 29, 2007
My colleague iPhonematters columnist Tanner Godarzi has posted a disturbing piece over on Tech Blot, inquiring if Digg has a "Secret, Highly Aggressive and Fatal Content Filter Machine".
Maybe not coincidentally: I noticed the post on Digg this morning. I read it, found it plausible, even likely. And now, back after an afternoon as Chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies, I see that ... the post has been buried on Digg already. Buried, even though it has over 70 Diggs!
Which makes me think Godarzi's hypothesis is even more likely true.
I've already written about the Digg bury brigades, who seem to get their kicks by making sure as many stories as they can get to don't make it to Popularity on Digg. I've certainly seen many stories about Ron Paul - including a few (but not all) of my own - suffer this fate. They get 20, 30, 40, 50 Diggs in a short period of time, only to be Buried.
Until now, I thought this was result of hyperactive buriers - anti-Ron Paul and other people who don't like open, democratic flows of information.
But Godarzi is suggesting something much more sinister and destructive. He believes Digg may have a blacklist of urls which are given very short leashes - just a few hours (unlike the 24 hours or more for other stories), after which they are automatically Buried, unless they have achieved Popularity.
Godarzi correctly points out that, until a few months ago, certain urls - such as those from MySpace - were banned outright, but now they can be entered on Digg. He wonders: did Digg replace this clumsy form of banning with a more insidious kind? His post (now buried) provides the technical details of how Digg might do this ...
I'm wondering, now, too...
I hope Digg will shed some light on this blacklist.