Thursday, May 17, 2007

Digg.com's Autobury Secret Blacklist...Are you still being banned by automatic burying?

UPDATE: PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO DIGG THIS STORY AND TELL DIGG TO PLAY FAIR...



by Paula Neal Mooney

Many of us know the power of Digg.com, dreamed up by Kevin Rose, who touted it as a "user driven" site that says it allows the general public to determine the stories they want to see make it to the front page by voting for interesting articles they find across the web.

The more votes the public gives an article, the better chance it should have to make it to the front page. Theoretically...

The power of Digg's front page
Digg.com -- according to Alexa -- is now more popular than The New York Times.

Getting one of your articles or blog posts to the front page of Digg.com will get your website seen by plenty of eyes.

John Chow experienced a one-day traffic record of 55,856 page views when one of his posts hit the front page of Digg.

Digg Bans Domains...then Supposedly Unbans Them
One day, Digg banned me -- I'm still not clear why. I found out they banned a whole bunch of other people, too.

Then, they supposedly unbanned me -- along with all the other folks.

True, users can submit stories prefaced by my http://paulamooney.blogspot.com to Digg now and vote for them, but they are being automatically buried --- just like stories from other writers on Digg.com's below-listed blacklist -- by a process that obviously has our URLs and/or Digg profile account names on it.

Many of these blacklisted Digg users (and their readers) believed that the URLs were truly unbanned, and that the articles submitted had a true chance of making it to Digg.com front page, or at least the popular section.

But Digg.com's system of automatically burying even good stories -- no matter if those pieces receive 1,500 Diggs or more -- has prevented the blacklisted Digg folks from being seen by a large number of readers on Digg.com...for now.

Digg.com's head honchos are the ones burying folks, not average Digg users
Imagine my surprise last night when I discovered that all my articles submitted to Digg since December 23, 2006 have been systematically buried in an attempt to stop them from ever making Digg's front page --- even -- or perhaps, especially -- the blogger salary post that has received 111 Diggs as of this writing.

I used Brian Heys' tip to do a Digg search on my blog's URL, sorted by newest first, once with the "Include Buried Stories" box checked, then again with it unchecked to find out how long Digg has been automatically burying my stories.

You can use the same method to verify how long your site and/or the blogs on the below Digg.com's Secret Blacklist have been victim to this automated burying process.

"We're not surprised that with the gaining popularity of Digg there would be some that would try to manipulate the system for a variety of reasons," Digg founder Kevin Rose told MSNBC.

Turns out that the ones Kevin Rose says "manipulate the system" are the internal Digg folks themselves!

Neil Patel uncovered evidence of internal Digg manipulation in this article exposing Digg head honchos (the mysterious "crawl3.digg.internal" aka "Kevin Rose"?) that are burying stories before they can make it to Digg.com's homepage.

It's interesting to see what specific stories angers Digg so much that they bury everything that comes after it, like Deep Jive Interests' Digg's Uncopyable DNA, dated February 15, 2007.

Everything after that story submitted from the Deep Jive Interests' site has been buried -- anything newly submitted will be buried in about an hour -- as proven when you check the "Include Buried Stories" box on the Digg search page.

As a test, I submitted Deep Jive Interests' Irrefutable Evidence of a Digg Blacklist? last night and waited. It took a little more than an hour for it to be buried.

Is your Digg user account blacklisted?
But it's not just the below URLs that Digg has blacklisted with the automatic burial (within 1 1/2 hours) of any story from that that a user submits -- it's some Digg user accounts, too.

Using my Paula Neal Mooney Digg account, I submitted a Lebron James' Associated Content piece to Digg.

Then I set up a new Digg account and submitted an Associated Content piece about Paris Hilton.

Like clockwork, the Paula Neal Mooney submitted Lebron James' piece got buried, as if automated, whilst the Paris Hilton piece under the other Digg account remained for a while.

As of this morning the Paris Hilton piece was buried too, as are many Associated Content pieces.

Digg blacklists bloggers who become too popular
So while Digg keeps trying to make folks think they are fair and impartial and that they don't manipulate their front page, it's obvious that they do.

Just look at John Chow, who has had all of his articles automatically buried on Digg since November 20, 2006, when he posted Google Introducing Ad Placement for AdSense, which was made popular.

Scrolling thru the list of John Chow's posts on Digg before November 20, 2006, you'll see plenty of his posts made popular:

* The World's Most High-Tech Urinal
* The Dot Com Boom Goes Bust

And so on. After that date, you won't see any more of his posts made popular, and all of them buried -- or soon to be.

Digg.com's Autobury Secret Blacklist
#Blacklisted WebsiteAutomatically Buried SinceLast Non-Buried Stories on Digg as of May 16, 2007
1 - Paula Neal MooneyNovember 30, 2006Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
2 - John ChowNovember 20, 2006Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
3 - Top Rank BlogDecember 11, 2006Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
4 - Digital Point ForumsApril 2, 2006Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
5 - SEO News BlogDecember 13, 2006Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
6 - Connected InternetJanuary 10, 2007Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
7 - Rock My MonkeyMarch, 2007Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
8 - Paul StamatiouApril 17, 2007Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
9 - EcademyFebruary 25, 2007Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
10 - 10e20March 6, 2007Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
11 - CalacanisFebruary 20, 2007Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
12 - Luca FilighedduFebruary 23, 2007Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
13 - Find In ForumsJune 30, 2006Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
14 - EncyclopediaDramaticaFebruary 3, 2007Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
15 - KinedaSeptember 21, 2006Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
16 - DingorueNovember 8, 2006Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
17 - The Superficial75 days agoLast Non-Buried Story on Digg
18 - Roughly DraftedOctober 22, 2006Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
19 - Tech ReadsForever! All his stories are buried.No Non-Buried Stories on Digg
20 - The PluggOctober 22, 2006Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
21 - MapelliForever! All stories have been buried...No Non-Buried Stories on Digg
22 - Tribal WarFebruary 12, 2007Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
23 - Swollen PicklesMarch 1, 2007Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
24 - iWebTool102 days agoLast Non-Buried Story on Digg
25 - RevenewsMarch 8, 2007Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
26 - Careerbuilder87 days agoLast Non-Buried Story on Digg
27 - Baidu132 days agoLast Non-Buried Story on Digg
28 - Perez Hilton76 days agoLast Non-Buried Story on Digg
29 - 43ThingsMay 30, 2006Last Non-Buried Story on Digg
30 - GOP3February 20, 2007Last Non-Buried Story on Digg

Users don't Digg this behavior...
So how long does Kevin Rose think he can continue to preach his "user friendly" Digg site to the press, while knowingly banning sites that criticize him or don't agree with Digg's political bent?

How would all of John Chow's readers would feel knowing that any hard work they've done submitting and voting up his great articles -- with the belief that they were sharing them with Digg readers -- were in all likelihood deliberately buried (by an internal program, not Digg users) since November 20, 2006?

I could understand if Digg automatically buried sites featuring pornographic pics or something (on the contrary, those would probably sail to the front page with no buries) -- but Digg's secret blacklist burying is subversive, shady and smacks of McCarthyism in the way that the internal Digg folks keep burying sites they just don't like for personal reasons.

Are you on Digg.com's secret blacklist?
Want to know if Digg.com is systematically burying your stories -- and that they aren't being buried in a fair and impartial manner by the Digg reading public?

Do this to find out if Digg is automatically burying you...
(1) Write a quality story and submit it to Digg.com, then perform a Digg search on your URL -- leave "Include Buried Stories" unchecked, search on URL only, newest stories first.

(2) Check back in about an hour, note the time and perform the same Digg search as above, this time with "Include Buried Stories" checked.

(3) Repeat this process on all your great stories, noting the time they get buried. If about 1 hour and 25 minutes elapses after each story gets buried -- congratulations! -- You've made it on to Digg.com secret blacklist.

(4) Leave a comment here with your link so we can have a concise listing of all the people that Digg.com is attempting to blacklist.

It's my fervent prayer that Kevin Rose will go back to the initial idea that made Digg a success: trusting Digg users to know what they want on the front page without internal manipulation.

In due time, Digg.com may learn that just like the DVD HD hack code they tried to suppress until the users revolted, that the Savior nor a good story can be buried without resurrection...

28 comments:

David Jones said...

Wow Paula, this is deep. I really like the Digg guys, I hope that they get this straight

Steve Lorenz said...

Thank you for helping to expose the atrocities that Digg is performing. I read something similar to this earlier but not to this extent. You should be an investigative reporter!

Opal: Vegan Momma said...

Wow! I just learned about Digg a few weeks ago. Thanks for writing this article.

Martin Lindsey. said...

Man it definitely seems like they are defeating their own purpose.

I hope they get it together.

SweetGyrl & StreetBoyz2biznizmen said...

Sounds like a bait and switch to me!

Sherri Caldwell - The Rebel Housewife said...

This is crazy-uncool (the Digg thing, not your expose -- that's pretty freaking cool, well done!). I've never really GOT Digg, I'm not a techie, and it seems highly geared toward that.

For more general-purpose, non-techie Digg-type features & recommendations, I like http://www.fetchREX.com. They just launched, but I like it. I will REX your article, Paula.

Michael said...

I think this stinks. I have never been a fan of Digg anyway. Thanks for reporting this.

swollenpickles said...

Woohoo! I've finally made it into the big leagues!

Hey, has anyone "dugg" this story yet?

Markk said...

Wonderful! Another "real dig" post from the one and only Paula M.

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Hey David -
Yeah, I still really like the whole Digg concept...I guess that's why I want to see them act with integrity.

Steve -
Kudos to Neil Patel at Pronet Advertising for doing the techie work to find out what Digg is really doing behind the scenes.

And thanks, I kind of feel like an investigative reporter some days!

Hello Opal the Vegan Momma -
Now you know the Digg controversy...

Martin -
I believe they will either play right or fold under their own traps that they try and set for others to fall into...

Hey Kim -
Digg knows the power and money associated with their front page, so they are trying hard to control who gets there.

But little do they know, they don't control the world.

Sherri The Rebel Housewife--
Digg's manipulation is crazy-uncool! And I'll check out that http://www.fetchREX.com you recommended. Thanks for REXing my article.

Hey Michael -
It's funny, I'm still a Digg fan. There's hope for them...

Swollen Pickles -
I was amazed to see you on the list! I learned about your Digg banning while researching this piece!

Woo hoo! And yes, this piece has been Dugg and auto-buried already (SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SUPRISE -- affect an Don Knotts accent here) but PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO DIGG THIS STORY EXPOSING DIGG.COM'S SECRET AUTOBURY BLACKLIST.

Markk - Bless you soul :-)

Thanks much everyone!

Brian Heys said...

Thanks very much for the link, Paula. That's a fascinating and well researched post you have there. I hope you get 'unburied' soon.

swollenpickles said...

Sorry Paula, I also forgot to thank you for the link! So... thanks! :D

You've also inspired me to look into adding the DoFollow thing to swollen pickles. I'll check it out tonight and see how much works involved in editing my themes.

Cheers

AgentSully said...

Dugg it! So the big question in my mind, is WHY do they feel the need to do this? Won't the "free market" system work for Digg in keeping things normalized?

You're turning into a bonafide muckraker! Nice going, Paula!

Donbizblogger said...

I tried scanning the article for quick input and realize I'm going to need to come back and take a closer look . . . a lot to absord and learn. I guess it's clear - the digital world is a dynamic world!

AgentSully said...

did you check to see if this one got buried too?

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Thanks everybody, for Digging this post. Digg has buried both this post and the one from my dad's blog that's linked above.

But I believe your votes will still be heard when Digg decides to reverse it's crazy practice of autoburying and starts letting the real Digg users decide what they want.

In the meantime, check out PronetAdvertising's post about a radio show they did recently when a caller who said he was Kevin Rose called in, and the Pronet guys confronted him about Digg's autoburying.

I think it was really Shoemoney pretending to be Kevin Rose.

Hope the real Kevin Rose addresses Digg and the blacklist soon...

Just remember the HD DVD fallout, dude.

Dave said...

Digg is like the best crappy thing in our blogging lives. I agree that they need to go and be systematic and not just pull posts that they dont like.

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Yeah, I guess that's why some folks prefer Delicious and StumbleUpon and other sites over Digg.

Digg is like the bad boyfriend that I needed to break up with long ago...

kweenkong said...

This is terrible, that your Lebron James post was buried. Pretty telling, I'd say. I've stopped rushing to submit posts to Digg.

I prefer the "fairer chance" other sites offer for exposure. I like the sites that give all fresh news top exposure, so there's equal opportunity for all who post.

JA Huber said...

I feel so dirty using Digg, but I Dugg this.

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Hey Kween -
Yeah I'm all over other sites instead of Digg. I finally removed my Digg button for a while.

There are so many other good sites out there to focus on.

Thank JA! -
I don't know what Digg is doing. Sometimes they change my Digg links so when you try and Digg it, it forces you to log in again, and then it doesn't accept your Digg.

They are nuts! Digg is going to implode on themselves with all their shenanigans.

Repeat after me, DiggNation:
I'll will use my techie powers for good...
I'll will use my techie powers for good...
I'll will use my techie powers for good...

Bob said...

I got banned one month after my blog saw the light :)

Eric said...

www.younggogetter.com is also on the secret blacklist, and it's a real bitch.

Jenn Sierra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenn Sierra said...

Another reason Digg might be having problems? Seems the “Diggers” don’t have as much authority on Digg as one might think. Update

Mark Carras from RockMyMonkey.com said...

I can't believe I made number 7 on this list! What did I do to make them hate me so much? I have mp3 links so people can hear the interviews if they question if it is legit. I get my press releases from the same press agents as MTV & Rolling Stone. I notice I am the only music site on this list, so all I want to know is what I did wrong! Any of you independent journalists want to talk to me about this? I am ticked and ready to talk! just go to RockMyMonkey.com for more info. Thanks Paula for talking about this.

Ken said...

The mix of font colors and bold/regular text make this look like a spam site selling some kind of new diet. I was interested in this issue, but this site put me off. Couldn't finish reading the article.

Paula Neal Mooney said...

I know -- I'm totally changing the layout...

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