Digg Spam Mob Strikes Again

I received an email from Xavier Lanier with a message to help spread the word about Harrison Leonardo, a Filipino-Caucasian toddler that needs a bone marrow transplant to save his life. Harrison’s story was featured on ABC Channel 7 News and Xavier submitted that news story to Digg with this description:

Harrison’s just 2 years old and battling Leukemia. The cancer went into remission in August, but now Harrison is back in the Hospital. His only hope is a bone marrow transplant. He’s half Filipino and half Caucasian, which makes it extremely difficult to find a donor. There’s a matching donor out there, let’s find him/her by blogging & digging this.

When I received the email, the article had received 24 Diggs. I Dugg the story and told a few friends about it and I assume they Dugg it as well. The story made the front page and within 10 minutes went over 200 Diggs. Then it got buried for being spam.

Reading through the comments, I can tell that some Diggers needs a visit from the ghost of Christmas future because they need a wake up call. This also proves the major flaw in Digg’s voting system. The story went to 200+ Diggs in less than 10 minutes, yet 10 Diggers marked it as spam and it was gone. Is that democracy at work?

29 thoughts on “Digg Spam Mob Strikes Again”

  1. Sunny says:

    That’s how some of them are, you can’t do much about unless you get a strong group to go against it.

  2. Richard says:

    I’d like to know how the spam dumping on digg _really_ does work. I’d bet it’s a little more complicated than that… or there would be no stories on the front page.

  3. Amrit Hallan says:

    Yes, this really sucks. Since Digg is having so much influence over the exposure a deserving website or a blog post can get, they should device a way to curb such practices.

  4. John Chow says:

    I can tell you without a doubt that it works the way I stated – 10 buried votes and the story is removed from the front page. Once buried, no amount of positive voting will bring it back.

  5. Jay says:

    An interesting experiment would be to find 10-20 volunteers and see if every story on Digg could be buried as spam… that’d pretty be sweet. 🙂

  6. marlon says:

    that is a great idea we should get together and bury everything

  7. Ed says:

    Its really scary to know there is people out there with no heart. Why would these people buried a story that was meant to help the survival of this little boy? Digg should take more control of the handling of stories and not let it be run by users, especially the ones with no heart or not enough brains.


  8. Xavier says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for mentioning this on your blog. Every last bit of exposure helps, which is why I originally submitted it to Digg. I’m an active user over at Digg and very disappointed in the Digg. Obviously the Digg community really wanted this story to ‘make it’ Sounds like it may be time to put effort into a different news site.

  9. Nomar says:

    hmm to bad those people have no feelings 🙁

  10. HMTKSteve says:

    I’d blog about this story (not the burying part) but I know I’d be buried as “blog spam” for not linking directly to the story!

  11. Mayo says:

    Wow i never used Digg before (silly me 🙂 ) but as i can see there is some HEAVY HEAVY EGO-TRIPPERS ON DIG!!!!

    They dig, bury and un-bury their posts??????? Man i never seen ANYTHING like THAT!

    I mean bury this – digg this – who the hell constructed such option for comments???

    And how can a bunch of LOOSERS have A WORD ON ANYTHING??


    Sorry for such harsh words, but having been raised in a country with war (Croatia) we never ever had someone say F. YOU… especially to a little helpless child 🙁

    Digg management should seriously consider the way they are threading….

  12. Mayo says:

    Oh and this SHOULD get to national TV, John do you have some influence in Canadian media (newspaper, radio??)
    ANYONE ?? this should get to the public!!!!

  13. Babak says:

    How is this spam? It boggles the mind.

  14. Paul says:

    The buriers probably didn’t read the site and thought they were scamming for money or something. Digg is obviously flawed, but I think Digg will be smart enough to continue to improve the system. 10 buries vs 200 Diggs to bury a story has it’s obvious problems.

  15. Rat says:

    Digg is a bunch of toddlers more worried about the release of the next star wars flick. How sad that they killed an important story. Good luck Harrison.

  16. I agree, I’ve had two stories this week get 10K pageviews within a few hours (celeb site) because it was that juicy. I submitted to digg in the celeb area and was buried both times.

    Now, where is the democracy in that?

  17. I agree that it seems crazy that a story like this would be buried.

    To those saying that the user control should be removed from Digg however, that defeats the purpose of Digg. The entire concept is based around the users deciding what is interesting and what is not. (And when it works, it works really well).

    It clearly is a complicated application, but looks like it needs quite a bit more tweaking to curb abuse (not only spamming abuse, as has clearly already been targeted, but *burying* abuse also).

    I agree with previous comments summing up a lot of Digg users as having a mindset of “wait a minute?! this story isn’t about Wii OR Playstation?!?! BURY IT!!”

  18. are you sure it takes 10 people to bury a story or to ban a domain?

  19. Lawrence says:

    The story was SPAM. It was asking for money.

    Online panhandlers are annoying.

    John, I’m just curious, did you give them any money?

  20. Yan says:

    Maybe you should actually take a look the site before spouting out fallacies.

    The site is asking people to help find a bone marrow donor. I didn’t see anything on the site asking for money!

  21. Stephen says:

    A group of Diggers either have it out for John, or are completely heartless. There is no way that was SPAM. If asking to locate someone with the right medical match to save a life is SPAMMING, I hope they feel the wrath when someone they love goes through this and no one is willing to help.

    SPAM is flawed. Better yet, SPAM is highschool that never ended. Absolutely juvenile!

  22. Stephen says:

    Oops, replace DIGG with the last two SPAM’s.

  23. David Mackey says:

    Mmmm…Hopefully they will correct this at some point. Also would be nice if they offered some notification to individuals on why their site gets banned and perhaps how they can revise their submissions to ensure it doesn’t.

  24. Ed says:

    Someone should have submitted the story on netscape’s version of digg – the story would have stayed and the submitter might have been paid too!!

  25. Michael says:

    What’s really ridiculous here is that a while back Diggers accepted an appeal to donate hundreds of dollars to help some 20 year old girl fly to England to meet her online fiance in person for the first time, yet they bury something like this as spam.

  26. Derrich says:

    Sad, sad day. A worthy cause…and one not asking for money. I hope that toddler gets help. I know if it was my son, I’d do everything I could to get him well.

  27. Geiger says:

    I totally concur. Digg has no real algorith for spotting SPAM or fake diggs other than by IP address.

    SPAM is subjective. What is a good percentage for spam? It sure isn’t 10 solid votes or 5%.

    Maybe I am being to introspective here, but I would be that these people are SPAM SPAMMERS, the DIGG very little and mark articles as SPAM and BURIED alot!

    Side Note: John, is there any way to browse comments by person on here? I like to see responses to comments that I write. You’ve disabled the registration feature so I was wondering if there was another mechanism for finding replies to my own comments.

  28. John Chow says:

    Geiger – I am not sure how you would browse comments by person, other than to subscribe to the comment RSS.

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