Rose Speaks Out On Digg Fraud

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After seeing complaints posted at the forevergeek.com blog complaining of suspicious mass-promoting of stories and its banning from Digg, site creator Kevin Rose addressed them in his Digg the Blog.

Earlier today, ForeverGeek posted suspicions of orchestrated promotion of two stories submitted by the same Digg user. The two stories quickly appeared on Digg’s front page, with nearly all the same users voting for each story in the same order:

What really caught my eye with the situation was the sequence of diggs. On the bottom it notes who has dugg an article, and it lists them in order. Confounding as it was, the two beforementioned stories had the same sixteen people digg the story in a row. So the 7th digger of one article (Insomn1a) was the 7th digger of the other article. In fact, removing bribera’s digg of one article showed that the first nineteen diggs of each article were identical.

Rose found himself dragged along for the ride as well in the post:

What made this really interesting was that the 17th digger was none other than Kevin Rose, aka celebrated creator and founder of Digg. I’ve read that Digg gets anywhere from 500,000 to 800,000 readers a day. 16 (or 19) identical diggs for two articles by the same author? 22 of the first 24 diggers being being the same for both articles? Somehow I don’t think that is a coincidence.

Attempts to submit the Forever Geek story, for some reason, ran afoul of Digg’s system. Digg had banned Forever Geek. Rumors and guesswork followed on a number of blogs throughout the day.

Rose has responded first by noting the use of some type of automated method to Digg stories using apparently valid accounts. “This is a violation of our terms of service and the accounts have since been banned,” he wrote.

As to Forever Geek’s banning, Rose claimed its stories were the focus of a little gamesmanship too:

Aside from the dozens of user reports, several accounts were created to artificially inflate the digg count of their stories. When a single URL hits a threshold of reports, our standard procedure is to block that URL from submission (spam control). Again, mass fraud digging is in violation of our terms of service.

Rose also said that he reads lots of stories on Digg and votes for ones he likes, which is why he had a Digg in one of the stories in question.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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