Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dig THIS, Digg!

A little while ago I sent the following comment to It’s in reference to my post of a few days ago in re Digg’s “bury” function being abused to flag virtually all negative or unflattering article about the McCain-Palin ticket as “possibly inaccurate”:

    I have noticed lately that articles critical of McCain-Palin (and in at least one case, an article COMPLAINING about criticism of McCain-Palin) are almost invariably accompanied by "[Reported by Diggers as Possibly Inaccurate]." These are not exclusively blogs or opinion pieces, but news reports from reliable news organizations. (Example:" Palin bills gov't for travel expenses while staying at home" from the Washington Post; "Polls admit to asking a higher number of Republicans" from the Huffington Post; "Sarah Palin's Alaskonomics" from Time; and many more.)

    It is clear, then, that the "bury" function in is being abused by McCain partisans, and possibly even operatives, who are attempting to cast doubt on anything that may be construed as negative or unflattering about their candidate.

    In this, is complicit. The "bury" function simply means I DON'T LIKE SOMETHING, not that it is inaccurate. But Digg's policy is to record "bury" clicks and then, at some magic tipping point, announce that the article in question is "possibly inaccurate."

    "I don't like this" does NOT equal "This is inaccurate."

    Someone could post an article that says Monday follows Sunday, and if I organized enough Diggers (as evidently the McCain camp has done) and instructed them to "bury" the article, that article would eventually turn up as "possibly inaccurate"...even though Monday DOES follow Sunday!

    Clearly, Digg needs to reconsider the "bury" function. It seems to serve no real purpose, and in this election season is obviously being abused. I strongly encourage you to stop this abuse by terminating the "bury" function, at least until after the presidential election.

    Failing that, I strongly encourage you to do away with the "possibly inaccurate" assertion, and go with the much more accurate disclaimer "Buried by XX Diggers," since "inaccurate" is, well, inaccurate.

I’ll keep you posted on what sort of a response I might get.


Anonymous said...

I think your correct that there are Republican operatives burying stories that are critical of McCain or Palin. However, the bury function has a number of options: Duplicate Story, Spam, Wrong Topic, Inaccurate and "OK, this is Lame", as well as a generic bury.

I don't think just pressing bury results in the Inaccurate message. I think they have to actually choose Inaccurate for this to happen.

I am not an admin or official of Digg, so I could be wrong

Anonymous said...

YES!!! I'm glad someone else noticed that! Actually, they've done the same with over half of the articles critical of McCain as well. The McCain campaign has probably got a little team of 20-year-old campaign staffers sitting on Digg and waiting to "report" anything remotely negative. As a woman, I find Palin's nomination offensive -- it is pandering not only in its most blatant form, but also with total disrespect to women because she is not even that intelligent or qualified, AND they seem to be betting on former Hillary supporters just mindlessly voting for anyone with female parts regardless of their policy positions and values!

William J Reynolds said...

Thanks for the input, Anonymous. I wasn't aware of the different "levels" of burying, so that's on me. But I still smells a rat! --WJR