Friday, August 06, 2010

How Social News Can Go Bad: Right-wing Censor Cabal on

Now, we all know that to make your news site work, you must take a distinct editorial view (avoiding the 'view from nowhere' approach). But, what can you do if a big, very big social news site lets a right-wing cabal flourish? That appears to be the new Digg story.

Digg is no longer in the forefront of social news sharing, despite the huge traffic (25 million page views per month), and having let sites such as Huffington Post (curated liberal news), Reddit ('Cool' news stories & the many sub-reddits), Hacker News (News for Startups and Entrepreneurs), Fark (highly readable, curated news stories, with punchy headlines) and of course Slashdot (Tech stories & a knowledgeable commenting crowd) get ahead. There is just no editorial focus on Digg, formal or semi-formal. As a result, anything goes. Really. Including censorship on a huge scale.

A writer on Alternet exposes the shenanigans of a group of conservative-minded Digg users who manage to search and bury articles from 'liberal' news sites , using multiple accounts, IP proxies (so that they can register more accounts), upvote padding (of stories with conservative angle) and more.

These users number around 100, they have a Yahoo Group called Digg Patriots (DP), and have a companion site at coRanks. They use the Group and other online resources to issue bury orders and discuss strategies to censor Digg and other social media websites.

Is it social news? It may be or or it isn't. I leave that up to you. But I sure do think if Digg wants to be known as a news site for conservative news, it should say so and that would be the end of it. That would guide users who are sharing 'liberal news' to stay away and go elsewhere. But Digg wouldn't want the traffic to go away. It wants to have the best of both worlds, pardon the cliche.

P.S.: I might point out that Alternet promote liberal causes

How to Fix Digg

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