Talk about digging your way into a hole... I don't usually write much about the social bookmarking sites like Digg and del.icio.us but I ran across a pretty long post over at Forever Geek today that casts some doubt on the long term viability of some of these systems. Apparently...the user generated systems aren't quite as unbiased as some might like you to think they are...
From Forever Geek:
So I gathered all the evidence and put it into a post: Digg's founder was involved in this automated promotion system (all the diggs in a row, a comment about how it was on the front page and no comments, etc), ForeverGeek was banned for noting it, and Digg was no longer truly a social network system (as obvious editorial control had come into play).
So what is going? Easy.
Digg got busted. And now they are performing their public relations part to make it look okay. It got busted for using editorial control to force promote pages. It got busted for removing ForeverGeek (even though obviously users wanted it spread). And after the story started to spread, it tried to act like nothing happened by unbanning ForeverGeek).
It's not really all that surprising. After all, anytime you have a user-generated or volunteer generated system grow to be as popular and as powerful as these types of sites do, there's always going to be space for some select few to come in and game the system for their own benefit. This is the exact type of thing the search industry saw happen at the ODP.
Hopefully, this one remains an isolated incident, and I seriously doubt that it will suddenly cause Digg members to abandon ship, but it is interesting to take note of and to keep an eye on.
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