A Bullet Proof Way to Cheat Digg?

Spike the Vote ImageDigg used to be about content. Content that deserved attention based on the quality of that content. Spike the Vote is set to destroy that once and for all.

Digg is constantly on the look-out for people that cheat Digg, such as with multiple log-ins. But what if each Digg is from a unique user with a different IP? You could not say that it was not legit. That is exactly what Spike the Vote is aiming to do.

“Spike” the founder of the site says his motivation for starting it:

“… I’m tired of 30 elite users (or bots, perhaps) controlling the front page content of digg.com. That’s why I created this little community here. We collectively vote each other’s stories to the front page.”

I am not sure that is entirely accurate. Especially considering the fcat that the algorithms on Digg were recently changed to prevent a group of “Top Diggers” from controlling what gets to the front page. Now there has to be a greater diversity of Diggers, Digg a particular story in order for the story to get to the front page. I guess ironically that very fact makes this venture even more successful.

So how does it work? You must be registered to use the service. Second each day you are given a “mission”, that mission is to Digg some stories on Digg. You have 12 hours to complete your mission. 20% of the stories are users of Spike the Vote the other 80% is random stories on Digg. This is to:

“… eliminate footprints and keep things anonymous.”

Each story you Digg will earn you points that you can trade for Diggs on your own stories. “Spiking” was not going to start until there were 1000 registered users. They must have reached this total as at the bottom of the page there is a list of the current “missions” and their status. Seems they are having some success.

I don’t know what Digg can do about this. There is no way of determining which users of Digg are a part of the “Spike theVote” community… unless they intend to plant a spy? Be careful Spike.

More than anything does not the actions of this site contradict the very principles that motivated it’s invention? That stories are pushed to the front page by few users. I think so, so how does he justify that.

Sink or swim? Swim I think, who would not go for a fool proof way to game Digg and for Digg to be able to do nothing about it?. That is of course if “hits” are all you are in it for. The motivation is certainly there for people to complete their mission as they then get to have their own stories Dugg. It is pyramid schemes for Digg! I also wonder how many commercial and profit organisations will gravitate toward this service? Many would find even a few thousand hits profitable.

I am not blogging just to get noticed and I have written before about the value of being Dugg. While the buzz is nice the everlasting effect can be argued. But the other fact is that I don’t have the time to Digg in the first place. Is this the tip of the iceberg and beginning of the end of Digg? Potentially the end of creditability.

UPDATE: Sold to Jim Messenger for $1275 on ebay. It would seem that he is a strong Digg supporter and donated it to them. Looks like a few Digg gamers just got caught. Seemed like a bit of a low thing to do even though they were gaming Digg. That is just my opinion though.


4 Responses to “A Bullet Proof Way to Cheat Digg?”

  1. engtech Says:

    The sad thing is that a community like this is actually *needed* for Digg to work.

    There are too many stories submitted to Digg, so unless you’re purposely seeding a story with a certain amount of Diggs in the first few hours it dies into oblivion. Even if 80% of the people who have clicked on the link Digg the story, that doesn’t mean squat if only 4 people get a chance to see it before it is pushed off of the upcoming page.

    As it is, the only stories that make it to the front of Digg are the ones that are already a widespread story because a) the site has a large reader base that uses Digg or b) the story has been picked up by a site that has a large reader base that uses Digg.

  2. tomo Says:

    i like digg. i like it alot but since when is conventional wisdom the ‘best’ way to get news? it seems like most people digg stories they think are interesting, not that they think are newsworthly. what is news anyway? it is different to everyone. i don’t care about what the UPS guy thinks about my welcom mat or why some dude thinks apple failed, or what happens with 10,000 coins topple like dominoes and those are three stories on the front page of digg at 10:10 PM PST Friday night. if anyone believes that the news is a function of what we like to read about then it is no wonder that Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones, Oprah and any other content catering to the welfare set is more watched on tv or viewed online or read in a magaizine or newspaper have been on the air for as long as they have. news shmews…figure out what you like and that is your news. some of us live our lives in ignorance and some don’t. most of the front page of digg is blogs and blogs are written or recorded by the everyday joe who barely gets by and doesn’t have the grasp or scope to analyze why apple is a success (it makes money dude!!! it’s called a business and that is what businesses are supposed to do) let alone try to write an informative article(NOT STORY) on relevent issues like why the middle east is so f’d up or why the catholic church can’t come clean with what they have been brushing under the carpet for so long. the point is who cares if 30 users are hijacking digg because at the end of the day by considering digg your source of relevant news you are by default subscribing to the theory that conventional wisdom is correct. does anyone reading this think slavery is ok? in the 1700s and 1800s and in some part of the world today that acceptance of slavery was the conventional wisdom of the population. had it not been, your ancestors wouldn’t have had slaves.

  3. engtech Says:

    @tomo: that is a *really* great rant. 🙂

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