Hungry Competitors Contribute to the Continued Traffic Decline
Censorship Claims About Bury Brigades Won’t Go Away
Will The Site Address the Problems?
Will Founder, Kevin Rose, Sell Out First?Â
Social site Digg, once the shining example of what social media was supposed to be, saw its 2007 traffic in a steady downward spiral. Sites as Reddit, Propellor, Slashdot, Multiply, Vox, Sphinn, Tagsum, Mixx and hundreds of other social media competitors have no doubt chipped away at Digg traffic.
But underneath all that, the Digg “bury” button and the infamous ‘bury brigades’ remain a problem that apparently defies Digg’s best efforts to correct it.
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 CondÃ©Net, 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.
Google Search “bury brigade” and between 17-18 thousand references are listed; the overwhelming amount are negative. Some offer proof of the bury brigades in action. Others rail against the failure of ‘Digg democracy’ and the problem of a few censoring what Digg users will see.
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