AN INVESTIGATIVE REPORT has uncovered that hardcore hard right groups are working together to banish news stories they don't like and liberal opinions, which of course they also don't like, from the Digg website.
According to the report, which comes from the Alternet blog, conservative groups that follow demagogues like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck urge their members to bury websites that they find offensive, but most people would think normal.
Multiple accounts are being used by these people, who combine to dislike articles put up for Digg consideration. By not liking something in their large numbers they are able to push those news and commentary items further and further away from the front page of the Digg website.
The groups regularly send out 'bury' lists that urge the gang to act out against articles that lean to the left or in some cases appear fairly random, for example, "SETI Opens All Data To The Public" and "Sarah Ferguson: I Was Drinking At The Time Of Video Sting".
"Literally thousands of stories have already been artificially removed from Digg due to this group," reports Alternet. When a story is buried, it is removed from the upcoming section, where it otherwise would usually reside for about 24 hours, and cannot reach the front page. So by doing this, this one group is blocking the ability of the community as a whole to judge the worth of and interest in these stories on their own merits. In essence, they are censoring content at Digg.
According to the article the ringleaders include some Digg power users with a large number of followers and sleeper accounts. These Spingalis also offer advice and guidance on gaming the system and avoiding account bans and IP address blockers.
Although the majority of stories buried by this cabal of hard right wingnuts are political or critical of the Fox news network, the censorship goes further. Alternet said that other articles ripe for burying would cover education, homophobia, racism, science, the environment, economics, wealth disparity, world events, the media, green energy, and we suspect, kittens. In fact, one article, "Totally Cute Puppy Pictures", was buried in less than half an hour.
Digg founder Kevin Rose is busy working on the next version of the Digg website, which probably will still be just as open to abuse, but will at least be shinier. But he has twittered that the firm is looking into the report. µ
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