Earlier this morning, while checking out Techmeme, one story that caught my eye was “Kevin Rose Admitting Digg Has Moderators.” The whole brouhaha is around the fact a story with a single Digg can make it to the front page of Digg.com, and the evidence that was presented was a screenshot of a
n IM conversation comments to a post on Digg, including a response from Kevin Rose. Except that it is an IM chat from March 2005.
Why this is being tossed around as something important today defies logic? Maybe because it is the relative quiet after the official Thanksgiving Day? Or is it just fashionable to diss Digg!
It should not come as a surprise that Digg has moderators. Most social communities have some balance and checks, If they didn’t, then I am sure that there will be some who will be quick to lament Digg’s lack quality control.
A more balanced and sensible response comes from Deep Jive Interests who writes, “the system of moderation that both Diggers and moderators take part in is clearly broken. Digg needs a better system of checks and balances in this respect that protects both its own reputation (from fake posts, spammers) and others (those who risk their privacy being violated).” After reading Niall’s post exposing the spammers and Digg-gamers from last week, I agree with DJI’s assessment.
15 thoughts on “Dissing Digg… Why?”
The reason for the whole brouhaha, as you put it is that Digg has always said they leave the moderation to the users. The users have the power to bury stories. They say that is what makes them better then other sites.
The reason why its up on Techmeme is probably because it got a ton of traffic at around 1am this morning due to the Digg effect AND its slow (black friday!).
First of all, There is a common misconception that digg has no moderators. I think this story has been blown way out of proportion. Neither Muhammad’s post, nor the post he linked to at Inside Social News insinuate any foul play on Digg’s part. They are just stating the existence, which Kevin R. confirmed in the comments, of such moderators.
The sad thing is that the digg submission was marked as inaccurate when it is clearly not.
Also, everyone seems to be harping on the fact that the screenshot is from such an old digg submission. In a ZDNet interview dated Feb 06 Kevin stated that…
“for the most part I’d say it’s probably 95% user-driven, so the users handle most of that for us – which is really nice from the admin side, in that we don’t really have to have a large staff that’s policing the site. It’s actually only one person who watches the site in general – it’s not really that big a task because the community handles most of it.”
That is here: http://blogs.zdnet.com/web2explorer/?p=109
I want to make it clear that I am not pointing fingers, but the timing of it all just caught me by a surprise. Of course, the fact that the whole thing is based on an old comment just made me seriously wonder, what’s up, and why this, why now.
Om, please have a look at the latest update on my post.
I wasn’t dissing Digg for having moderators at all, rather I wanted to make a commentary on the misconception that Digg is entirely user driven.
I completely agree with you when you say “Most social communities have some balance and checks…” I just think we need a degree of transparency about the moderation that is going on too.
I think Steve’s comment sums it up very succinctly.
I think the social website pot was stirred up when Jason Calacanis stepped down from netscape
Yes, Muhammed and Steve, I do agree with you. Since we all like Digg so much, this is not seen as criticism, and we are all wanting better service, clarity.
But i have to say, not saying its you, it has become generally fashionable to beat up on Digg these days.
Thinking that it just fashionable to diss Digg is a simplification of sorts. The idea is to keep looking for a realiable online news experience, won’t you agree? I have written about Digg’s problems and news ways out at my blog.
you know, i’m still thoroughly confused about the fascination with digg…moderation is a bonus, particularly in light of the admitting spam gaming (check out http://www.usersubmitter.com) – perhaps they’d be well served by a footnote to the ‘where users submit etc’ blurb on the home page (as in, ‘we also moderate to eliminate and reduce system gaming)…
…so let’s abstract out a bit here: do you people really need digg to help you uncover items of interest or learn about new and interesting things? or sites like megite? or do you tend to just go seeking new and interesting stuff on digg hoping that you’re not part of a larger paid advertising game?
personally, i prefer the slashdot model, where competent editors review all submissions and limit total volume, encouraging more intense debate around consistently interesting items…kind of like (duh) a good blog, like this site, where we all come back each day knowing that a bunch of interesting items are going up from the editors themselves, and not just random crap…
Probably the harsh critique on Digg isn’t very fair, but at least it might stimulate more efforts from Digg to think (and share users) how to deal with the latest problems.
Moderators? Kevin thinks “that’s BS man.” Spammers? Kevin says “that’s bogus dude.” Like, Kevin’s pissed. Kevin’s gotta go. But first, Kevin’s going to have a beer. “Like, now dude.” Digg this beer? Kevin says “that rocks.”
All this over a March 2005 IM chat. Wow, there must have really been too much turkey eaten and nothing happening in the news! Of course Digg has moderators, its cant be helped in todays world of spam and gaming. Its a constant battle for them to try and keep there site a quality user experience. To me, whatever they need to do to keep Digg working is a good thing. I am with Om when he says you gotta look past the front page to find the gems!!