Digg Uproar: Digg’s Ban Hammer Strikes Again!!

In an article called “The Ban Hammer falls again over at Digg“, by none other than former Top Digger Zaibatsu, it was reported that another 57 Diggers were banned. Almost immediately reports of another 10 to 20 Diggers were found to be struck by Digg’s mighty hammer. The last time the “Ban Hammer” fell, it landed right on Digg’s Number 3 Top User, Zaibatsu, this time it struck number 5 Top User, Supernova17, and number 34 Top User, OptimusPrime, along with others.

According to Social Blades’ Top 1000 Banned Users page, approximately 103 Top 1000 users have been banned and of that figure 12 were Top 100 Users. Zaibatsu and Supernova17 were the only 2 Top 10 Users banned so far.

This propells OptimusPrime1 ahead of Zaibatsu’s in the “Very Questionable” category where the Bannings are concerned. Optimus has been gone on ‘holiday’ for the past week and is not expected to return until later this month, this gives rise to the question of “What could a Digg member possibly do to violate the TOS when he hasn’t been around a computer for a week prior to the banning?”.

The reply from Digg will surely be “justified”, in their view, but unless the reply is along the lines of “We are sorry, we made a mistake… we intended to ban another OptimusPrime instead” then expectations are that this will further drive the wedge into the “trust” issue between Digg and many of it’s members.

Digg release a statement on 3 October, concerning Script Abuse. The statement goes as follows:

Digg: Update on Script Abuse
by Jen Burton at 8am, Oct 3rd, 2008 in Digg Community

Hey all –

Digg enforces its Terms of Use so that Digg remains a vibrant community of people committed to sharing and discovering great content. Everyone who uses Digg agrees to abide by the TOU, which maintains a positive experience on Digg for all community members by prohibiting spam, porn, gaming, hate speech etc.

In many cases, Digg gives users who violate the TOU a second and sometimes even a third chance. When people continue to violate the TOU, or where a first-time violation is egregious, Digg is reluctantly left with no option but to ban the user.

A couple weeks ago we posted a blog entry regarding script usage, reminding members of the community that it violates the Digg TOU. We also rolled out some changes that warned users when unnatural Digging activity was detected. Since this post, we analyzed our logs on a regular basis to clearly identify script use over an extended period of time.

While we never speak to specific instances of user bans to protect the privacy of individual users, we have banned a small number of users for script use over the past several weeks. Some of them are active users that are well known within the Digg Community. While we’ll sincerely miss the contributions of these individuals and are never happy about playing policeman, we believe that the larger Digg community is adversely impacted by people who choose to violate the TOU.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at support@digg.com with questions or feedback. We’re continuously researching and investigating this process, so don’t be shy and let us know what you think.

Have a good one,

Give me a break, Jen, I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday, ok? Don’t insult my intelligence and integrity by trying to tell me that “Digg knows when a user is using a script”. Tell the truth, Digg is looking at stats and “guessing”. In addition they are not even confronting the ‘accused’ with the allegation to try to find out what is going on so that they could fix their system – they simply are making the judgment that the member is committing a violation and banning any account that ‘seems” to be getting higher stats than Digg expects.

One reason I can say this with 100% faith in my conviction is that I personally know a member of Digg who was banned for using scripts, and I know he has no scripts on his computer – all 4,000 posts dugg that day were 100% organic. Digg just saw the number of diggs and reacted with out finding out how it was done.

Since I know for a fact this happened once, I have no reason to doubt that others were banned by Digg for the wrong reasons. It may be that only a small percentage of the so-called innocents are truly innocent… but it does happen and it happens more than Digg wishes to admit. While Digg’s graphs show Digg rapidly on the decline, the same Alexa site shows sites like Mixx on the rise. Who do you think these new members of these other sites are? If you guessed “Diggers”, they you are correct for many of them are.

At this stage of the game Digg really doesn’t want to drive it’s members away, instead it wants to bring these members more into line with the Digg Policies and TOS. You don’t persuade these people to tow the line by singling them out and banning them with out giving them a chance to change their ways. If Digg isn’t careful they will find that Mixx, or another site, is suddenly ‘the place to be’ and Digg will be sitting there with a site that isn’t worth the money that was put into it.


One Response

  1. Good analysis. Well done, sir.

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