Digg Uproar: Digg Bans Users

This morning, while trying to decide what to write for my next blog post, I ran into another Digg Uproar. According to an article called “The Grim Reaper Has Visited Digg” on the Get Smart Blog:

So it looks like Digg has gone on some kind of end of the summer cleaning spree. In the list below are 86 diggers that have been BANNED from Digg.

It seems as if Digg hit some of it’s moderate to heavy Diggers. Diggers who have helped immensely in the Digg traffic, like Awesomeintheory and babblin5 were banned. Next I stumbled upon an article called “Digg Is Screwing Itself And All It’s Members“, on that site I found out a little more information. Although the author did not exactly say that her friend was using Scripts, she did say:

Script? All I have to say about that is WHO CARES! Is Digg doing great in traffic and usage? YES! The site could be a little easier to use if you ask me and if script enables people to use it faster….. so be it! It only works in Digg’s favor and you would think they would understand that. It will be very interesting to see what happens in the next few months. Digg might just become a ghost town and Yahoo Buzz could be the next guru.

The use of scripts and bots is against the Digg TOS, every Digg Member ought to know this for they are responsible for reading the TOS (and other items) before using the system. No matter what my personal feelings are towards people, as an owner and admin of my own sites I know that enforcement of the Rules and Guidelines are important. If a Digg Member uses scripts and bots to take unfair advantage of the system, then they are running a risk of being caught and penalized for it.

As I was reading about this, a friend of mine called and asked me if I heard the news. He explained what was going on, as he saw it, and asked me if there was anything to worry about. I told him:

Remember what I said before signing up to Digg “Don’t use scripts and don’t appear to be using scripts. Use Digg for what it was intended and that is to Digg and submit items.

He responded by telling me that he had heard one Digger was banned for using a Firefox Add-on. I thought “Oh Shit!”. I never thought of a Firefox Add-on being considered as a Script or Bot by Digg. I asked him for a source. He sent me to an article called “Digg Bannings: Interview With DIggBoss” that said:

4. Had you kept your Digg scripts secret, only for personal use, would Digg have caught on you?

I could have kept it a secret but I thought it was a benefit to other Digg users so I wanted to share it. I had no idea it was going to end up like this.

I paused after reading this interview, I knew Diggboss (sort of). When I was on Digg, Diggboss was one of my Mutuals and he was a good Digger. Sure he was highly active, but be provided good content and he was usually quick with a digg in return. I always gave Digg Boss and Zaibatsu credit for being the two people that gave me a break on Digg by being the first two popular Diggers to Friend me. My heart sunk a little when I realized he was nailed.

I couldn’t contemplate this act too hard for my friend was awaiting a response, so I told him to not use any API – even if Digg itself seem to allow it. I then lectured him on the fact that a true Digger doesn’t need help with their digging and pointed him to my articles called “Digg Uproar: Attack on Mr. Babyman And Blind Digging” and “Something Rotten In The State Of Digg“. I advised him to especially pay attention to the second article for it pertains to this the most. I briefly explained that the first article indicates the types of people you are dealing with on Digg, some will make big issues out of little ones and try to control the online lives of others on the site. The second one tells of a man who posted 4,000 Diggs in one day without the use of scripts, bots and add-ons… yet he was banned anyway. This tells of the type of people he is dealing with at Digg.

I told him that a person really doesn’t need scripts to get good numbers for digging, commenting and shouting… it only takes time and effort. Let these script babies use their scripts and fall by the wayside when caught, that only means you’ll elevate your level even faster… if rising in the ranks is your objective.

It’s now about 10 hours since I first heard of these bannings and the uproar still resurfaces now and again. I have nothing against Digg, or it’s people, personally… however I do pick on them from time to time. Some of it is in jest, some is in earnest. I realize some people use Digg for the wrong reasons, on one hand you have some who use it for personal gains and on the other you have people who abuse it by burying posts that should not be buried. Digg really needs to try to regain control of their system and clean it up, but I fear that they are doing it in the wrong way.

In my humble opinion, Digg needs to first deal with the various “Digg Mafia groups” and the “Bury Brigade”. They should set up their system to where one user’s rights cannot usurp another and this means getting rid of the bury button – or changing it to where buries do not affect items submitted Digg-wide. These groups, or people with their mindset, are more of a danger to Digg than 1,000 Mr. Babymans. Next, Digg ought to set up all of the APIs and Scripts that they allow through a link on their site and then tell people that these are the only ‘helps’ that Digg will allow. When someone comes up with a good script, it can be sent to Digg for approval and then Digg can either offer it – or a link to it. I fully agree that Digg could make changes that would actually help their diggers, such as a script that automatically finds who in your shout list already received that shout. There are other things Digg could do to help make it better and more attractive to others… but I am not here to fix Digg, I am here to comment upon it. 🙂

The big thing for Digg to understand is that it needs to be more fair to it’s members. It can’t be constantly penalizing it’s best Diggers with out first finding out what is going on. An implementation of notification to ban could be in order, that could have two effects. The first is that it can bring things to Digg’s attention that they haven’t thought about, the second is that it could cause these members to mend their ways.

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4 Responses

  1. It just got a little worse as Digg has just banned Zaibatsu.

    http://www.keywebdata.com/?p=170

  2. AS one of the banned – I say – let’s ban digg!

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