Digg Uproar: Revolution Calling!

Digg Uproar: Revolution Calling!

Revolution calling
Revolution calling
Revolution calling you
There’s a] Revolution calling
Revolution calling
Gotta make a change
Gotta push, gotta push it on through
Revolution Calling
Operation: Mindcrime
(Queensryche, 1988)

In J.D. Rucker’s article, Time to Act: Call for Blog Posts About Digg 10-12-2008, he states:

Users are getting banned and there seems to be very little chance that they will get unbanned. The recommendation engine has limits now. The quality of the front page has been questionable at best.

It’s time to act.

J.D. calls for a form of protest, which is set for Sunday the 12th of October, that involves people protesting Digg by posting their comments on their blogs and sending the URLs of their posts to his blog article so that all of the comments can be made public and tied through one central location. J.D. makes it perfectly clear to keep in mind that our opinion is our opinion and the intent is not to guide anyone to feel a certain way.

J.D. has given us some ideas, or guidelines, for the items to be addressed, he states:

1) Recent mass-bannings of Digg users, new and old.
a) Were they justified? Digg posted on their blog, but otherwise, there was no communication, no warning.
b) Should the bans be permanent? They weren’t submitting porn, threatening users, or any of the “felony” offenses.

2) Recommendation Engine Limits: First, they bragged on their blog about how Diggs and submissions were up. Then, they limited the way that we can Digg. Which is it? Digg a lot, but don’t Digg a lot…

3) Forum – Back in November, 2007, Jay and Kevin mentioned that they were working on a forum where Digg users and Digg employees could discuss issues. We’re almost at a year and it seems that we’re no closer.

4) Whitelisted Sites – HuffingtonPost, Arstechnica, YouTube — Digg loves them. Newer sites – good luck! Should Digg have such a favoring of certain sites? Does it make it more of an RSS feed than a social news site?

He also states:

“There are definitely other issues. It doesn’t matter what you want to write about, as long as you write something.”

J.D. states that we can make Digg listen, if we act together.

Let’s look at this objectively, people, even though it may grate against my nature and yours. Digg is a site that is owned and operated by a group of people. They are responsible for all facets of the site, including paying the bills and the setting and enforcing of the rules. Out of the (cough) “Goodness of their hearts” they allow people to come to their site and use it for free. In exchange they only ask that we follow a few simple rules and be active members of the site to help it grow and prosper.

Sounds all warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it? It sort of makes you want to cozy up on a couch by a warm fire with a cup of hot cocoa and dim lighting, while snuggling your puppy or kitty, and say “Awe”. It may be such a sugary view that it want to make you barf, but overall it sounds logical and reasonable. Let’s face it… what was said is right. The Digg site is their ‘home”, and when you invite people into your home you expect them to act like good guests, don’t you? Well you expect it within reason, you can overlook the occasional mistake people make that may cause upset or damage to your home. The fact remains that most people expect certain things out of the people they bring into their home and these forums on the net are no different.

On the other hand there is such a thing called “Trust”, the members of any forum will generally expect to be treated in a just and fair manner. They don’t expect to be abused by the staff and management in exchange for the time and effort they spend on the site… and they certainly don’t care for being treated as scum if they happened to be one of the people most vital to the popularity of the site. What I am talking about here is not only “Trust” between member and the powers that be, but I am talking about a thing called ‘respect”.

It is true that some members knowingly abused the system, they used scripts to help give them an unfair advantage or they may have used multiple accounts to help bolster the position of their main account. Bear in mind that there are others who used scripts and didn’t realize that the thing they used were against the rules of Digg. On top of it all there were people accused of doing things that they didn’t do, all because the people at Digg simply looked at their numbers and said “He must be using a script to do this”. Whatever it is that the members have done, there are still certain protocols that one expects out of the Staff and Management of the site. One of those things is called “Prior Notification”, the word “Warning” can suffice as well. The member simply doesn’t expect to be on the site one day posting their submittals or digging posts, only to find out the next day they were banned with out notice. To do such a thing is a “breach of trust” between the site and the member.

We are getting a little off-track here, but I felt it was important to give an example of both sides of the coin. Digg stands accused of ‘breaking the trust” between the site and it’s members… and so far they offered no reasonable explanation for doing so. This makes it appear to be a simple case of ‘incompetence’ on their part and they seem unwilling to change their ways.

I have a question for Jay Adelson to try to talk his way out of:

“Do you consider what has been happening since the Zaibatsu banning a “revolt” now?”

Users are leaving Digg, by choice or banning, in droves. Over 2,000 Diggers have been reported as being banned, or they willingly left Digg, closed, since the Zaibatsu banning. Is that a ‘significant number”, Jaybo, or is Digg willing to continue using it’s Ban Hammer irresponsibly and allow even more Diggers to slip through their fingers?

My position is not to save Digg, or bury it, but to find the truth. Internet Users have been jumping from Site (or Program) to Site (or Program) for years. In most cases they would praise the new system is as if it was the greatest thing since sliced bread… only to chastise it when they became disgruntled enough to move on and break all ties to the site. This is the normal way of the net and I am accustomed to it. The warning has been given that Digg is in jeopardy. I can see it in the views expressed by the members and ex-members. It’s not the normal “bashing” of a site or person that takes place. There is a real disappointment on Digg and it’s turning into a real hatred for the site.

The last time I have seen this happen, to this degree, over 2 Million users left ICQ for a new program called “Firetalk”. Does Digg really want to tempt fate on a chance of history repeating itself?

On Sunday, the 12th, we will see just how many people participate in this protest. I would not be surprised to find that over 200 blogs will post articles about Digg, and most of them will show an anti-Digg sentiment. You may find that thousands of people participate by replying to these posts. I’ll be watching and trying to decipher the real magnitude of the problem at Digg, along with numerous other people.

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