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Hunting Down Digg's Bury Brigade

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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:59 AM
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Hunting Down Digg's Bury Brigade
By David Cohn| Also by this reporter
02:00 AM Mar, 01, 2007
(Editor's note: This piece originally appeared in a different form on NewAssignment.Net, where David Cohn is the blog editor. He is also a Netscape Navigator.)

All is not well in Digg town.

On Tuesday, a bug in the social news site's Digg Spy tool gave one smart Digger the ability to peer into the inner workings of the community. Namely, David LeMieux found a way to highlight which users were burying stories on Digg, and why.

In about two hours, LeMieux gathered data on 1,708 buries, fueling growing concern about the benefit of Digg's bury tool and the possible influence of a network of self-appointed censors. The site has long suffered rumors of abuse by a group of users that buries Digg stories it finds ideologically unappealing. Bury Brigade has become the common name for this anonymous mob. (Wired News is owned by CondNet, which also owns Digg competitor reddit.)

Digg's administrators have managed to maintain a level of secrecy around buries, so LeMieux's hacking could provide much-needed insight into what's happening inside the community and whether or not the Bury Brigade exists. But it seems even discussions about the bury effect have been closed off.

One Digg user, Supernova17, was even banned from Digg for submitting the highly controversial link as a duplicate (he has since been reinstated).

More interesting than the drama of a large social network trying to come to grips with itself, however, is the networked citizen journalism effort that has sprung up in immediate reaction. Muhammad Saleem followed up LeMieux's data with a post titled, "The Bury Brigade Exists, and Here's My Proof."


Update: I couldn't help but submit this story to Digg. It was rising very quickly, and then it was suddenly buried. Then I noticed that all submissions linking to offending articles have also been buried.


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displacedtexan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 07:46 AM
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1. The mere fact that Digg has a bury option...
makes my cyberskin crawl.

Thanks for posting this!
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