Who said the internet was a sunshiney liberal wonderland of free speech? In an attempt to steer the internet, a group of conservatives calling themselves the ‘Digg Patriots’ have taken it upon themselves to decide which submissions deserve to be lost to the ever-shifting sand of content. These submissions are, of course, anything at all liberal or progressive.
I’m going to assume you know how Digg works: a page hits the site and can be voted up (digg’d. Dugg?) or voted down (buried). A simple, democratic concept, and one that regularly sees websites shut down due to the volume of traffic received by a good hot digging. Sultry. Digg is by far the largest content aggregation site, ranked the 117th most-visted site in the world. It is not small bananas, guys.
So who are the Digg Patriots? Sounds kind of like a good thing, like they’d be protecting Digg’s interests. But alas. In a conspiracy of nigh-4chanian proportions, The Digg Patriots have become a conservative force to be reckoned with in the Digg ecosystem, able to cockblock and bury a reported 90% of the articles by select liberal users and sources in less than three hours of their appearing on the site, effectively runing the content’s chance at a healthy Digglife.
With over 100 members operating from a Yahoo Groups headquarters (closed at time of writing, go figure), it’s suspected the Digg Patriots have been systematically voting down thousands of articles for over the past year. And they’re no small time gig, either – group leader Bettverboten is a poweruser who has dugg over 70,000 articles in her short stint on the site. And I thought I had no life.
“The more liberal stories that were buried,” said one user, PhoenixTX, “the better chance conservative stories have to get to the front page. I’ll continue to bury their submissions until they change their ways and become conservatives.” Though Phoenix’s gusto has to be commended, the exposure of this ring of censorship will certainly impact the group’s effectiveness going forward.
All I can say is, Mr. Rose better get his ass to top gear and roll out that new Digg he’s been promising us.