Sites Banned By Digg

Muhammad Saleem over at The Mu Life (v.1.2) has posted a list of sites banned from Digg. Besides yours truly being on the list, there are also a number of other well-known sites, like Digital Point Forums and Text Link Ads (aff), that has been banned from Digg.

Someone asked if a site could be unbanned? The answer is highly unlikely. When I found out I was banned from Digg, the first thing I did was sent them an email asking for an explanation. Digg sent back a form letter saying the blog was marked as spam. I sent another email asking for further explanation and what article(s) were considered spam. I never got a reply.

As far as I can tell, Digg has not changed their banning system. Ten buries to a story will remove it from the main site. Get buried enough times and the site gets banned. This basically means a small group of Digger can control what is seen on the front page. If they don’t like the story, or it goes against their views, they bury it. If they don’t like the site, they buried every story from the site to get the site banned.

To give you an idea on just how undemocratic Digg is, look at the most popular stories this year. The top story is Apple announcing their new iPhone (of course), following by new Digg v3 (big surprise). Together, the two stories have received nearly 35,000 Diggs. If just 10 Diggers were to hit the bury button on those stories, the stories would be gone. How democratic is it when 10 people can over rule the will of 35,000?

BTW – I don’t recommend you burying those top stories to prove my point. Chances are Digg will just restore the stories and ban your account. If you want to test out the 10 bury rule, do it on a story that is already on the front page or about to go front page.

*Update – Just to clear up this 10 bury rules. It’s for buries that are marked as spam. Marking a Digg as inaccurate, dupe or lame could/will take more than 10 votes to kill.

51 thoughts on “Sites Banned By Digg”

  1. Tyler says:

    Even though you’re site is banned from Digg, did you say in a previous post somewhere that it was still able to be Dugg’d on it or something?

    Maybe I’m just imagining it….

    1. i don’t necessarily believe so that he has stated this

      social bookmarking demon’s last blog post: Review Of The Email Messenger “Mostly Known” As AWEBER

  2. Jane says:

    From that list, it appears that many SEO sites are being banned. Strange because I would think that’s what made digg popular, having such sites use digg as a forum to post. Who knows, I may just be a noobee 🙂

  3. It is things like the ease of burying a story that could lead to people losing interest in digg. It is a great source of news/articles but can clearly be abused.

    It seems you were able to build up some nice popularity before getting banned though.

  4. Carl says:

    Maybe because SEO ‘sites’ are more likely to be submitting stuff to Digg to boost traffic and get the benefits of links from blogs and digg itself.

  5. Ian says:

    It’s clearly flawed and I can’t understand why digg doesn’t change the policy when it’s having such a bad effect. I agree with my new choice, if quality sites start getting banned then Digg will start losing its content.

  6. Carl says:

    (that was in response to the comment by Jane btw)

  7. John Chow says:

    Tyler – Only my blog is banned from Digg. I can still submit stories from my other sites.

  8. I used to be a big fan of Digg, spending at least an hour a day on it.

    But now that the Digg Nazi’s have taken over the site, I have lost interest very quickly.

    Digg can win me back if they so desire by fixing this flaw in their system. Banning a site should not be left up to the users, but to the moderators.

    Advancement of stories left up to the user is great. They need a little more human intervention on the site.

  9. The Digg user-base is a feisty bunch. It is easy to “piss them off”. There is also the jealousy factor. After John repeatedly made Digg frontpage with his articles, users or competitors may have grown jealous and then proceeded to get banned.

  10. Ryan says:

    I think that in the eyes of a lot of internet users something like internet marking is spam because of affiliates and the like. Most people don’t understand the business, so they assume it’s spam, I guess. I imagine there’s a group of techies that hate seeing something that is in any way commerical and just bury it on merit.

  11. From my limited experience with Digg, I think I’d have to say that one of the things that is a surefire way to piss off Digg users is to mention blog-related anything. Digg + ‘blog’ = vitriolic anger (usually from a very vocal minority of Digg users).

  12. Tyler says:

    John – oh then I did read it wrong. Sorry

    Digg had its day and if they don’t change policy then it will be regarded as useless won’t it?

    I don’t think I’ve ever Dugg anything and I have only visted once or twice since it was made public. And I’ve been playing on the internet since before Lynx I guess.

  13. Ryan says:

    Tyler, I too have never used Digg. Maybe I’m just one of the lucky few not to be wrapped up in it. 🙂

  14. Alex Becker says:

    Thanks for the heads up John. And I like how you tell us to just give it a try. 😛 I bet someone will be banned thanks to you. Haha you are evil John, pure evil.

  15. Ed Lau says:

    It’s a seriously stupid rule but I don’t foresee Digg changing anything about it.

  16. Michael Kwan says:

    Like everyone else has said, it’s a stupid rule that it only takes ten “buries” to torch a digg. I think that they should use some sort of ratio system instead.

  17. Nik Agarwal says:

    Digg’s controversies are what prevent me from really even bothering to post any of my original articles on it. I’m just afraid that some dudes will bury my article and get the site banned without even bothering to determine whether or not my article and site were worth banning. I agree, they should re-evaluate their methods.

    I suggest that instead of banning a site or deleting a post, with enough buries, a note should be dispatched to moderators who can then determine whether the article is worthy of being deleted from their site or if the site merits banning. It’s still user driven, but now, users won’t actually get a site banned just because they are jealous.

  18. Gdog says:

    Sometimes I wonder why I even bother reading the comments on Digg…

  19. Paul says:

    Digg is full of these pretty flimsy loopholes. They should learn something from Google, who (after banning a site on a technicality) will physically review your site and then decide whether to reinstate it.

    I also think their site is quite flaky and irritating to use – just try and find a password reminder link for a start. Basic stuff that’s overlooked.

  20. HMTKSteve says:

    I still remember the day I broke this sad news to John. I was trying to put one of his great articles on Digg when it said, “This is a banned URL”.

  21. David Mackey says:

    My blog was banned from Digg, while one of my stories previously had been front page. I definetly think they need to modify this policy. There should be a temporary banning, an appeals process, and a way for site owners to respond to specific user’s complaints against a site.

  22. Tyler says:

    What if john were to make and then create a bit o script that would redirect to the real article here?

    That way he could still be dugg’d and bypass the lame who wish to bury good things!

  23. Paul J. says:


    Too bad your site is banned for reasons unknown.Much like many who have commented here,I feel digg needs a little more human intervention.While complete freedom is great but theres that old saying “absolute power currupts”.

  24. Nate W. says:

    It’s a deadly combination of what is happening with Digg now. They are getting more popular (just cracked the top 20 in Alexa) and more Nazi-ish about their stories. I understand the need to ban spam, but John Chow’s articles always have useful, original content. No way should John Chow ever be associated with Spam. I wish we could bury Digg.

  25. SEOrefugee says:

    I whole heartedly agree. While I don’t know you’re numbers are 100% accurate, the premise is still the same. Digg should simply count buries as negative votes. They already have measures in place to combat spamming and fake accounts. Digg’s supposed to be a democracy, and yet, a few embittered users can kill every story submitted by any member.

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by the site! Digg does get gamed on a regular basis but I would imagine the hacker plans something a bit more interesting than buying a few diggs and getting some stupid story to the front page.

  26. Stew says:

    I’ve never made it to the homepage, not really sure how to “exploit” the system to milk it, so I just submit interesting articles and hope for the best.


  27. Hone Watson says:

    There seems to be a lot of digg backlash lately. It’s so lame anyway with all those grammar nazi’s.

  28. Leif Hearne says:

    If this is really such a big problem I’m surprised that no one has decided to make a point by gathering together groups of Digg users to systematically ban any site that regularly gets to the home page regardless of the interestingness of the articles.

    It wouldn’t take long for this to become an obvious problem to the folks at digg. Any automated system that is doing something in a dumb way can be pushed to the point of breaking.

    I’m definitely not advocating that anyone do this, I’m just surprised that anti-diggers haven’t done it already.

  29. Nomar says:

    this is really weird, why arent they replying.. they should..

    maybe the owners of digg dont like you to 😮

    hmm.. your right about this john

  30. Raghu says:

    Yes I used to like Digg for the type of information I could sometimes get on their site. But in the recent past I have stopped visiting Digg for many reasons

    1. After all Digg is not the only option !
    2. I don’t have too much agreement in the ranking system – sometimes evident from the kind of junk that you might see at the top of the stack
    3. Of course the banning methodology is not ideal by any stretch of imagination

  31. Raghu says:

    For the sake of this discussion – which are alternatives to Digg that are probably more democratic in their approach ?

  32. Chris says:

    John, (and other banned diggers) have you given Blogg-Buzz a try?

    The site is nothing to do with me btw, but it is effectively ‘Digg for bloggers’ – You can’t bury stories, only ‘buzz’ them up, so unpopular stories will disappear naturally.

    It’s early days for the site, but I’ve already received some good traffic from it, and you are encouraged to submit your own posts, as long as you don’t over do it! Just pick your best & off you go..

  33. Marc says:

    Big tip of the hat to you John. Succeeding despite getting knocked out of something that many people feel is really important to a blog’s success.

    This stands as an example to all of us out there who, at one point or another, will be treated unfairly by a larger program. We don’t need them to succeed. They help a lot, but they’re not critical to anyone’s success.

  34. Leftblank says:

    Raghu, I think Netscape and Reddit are somewhat more rational, but also way less popular so theres less of an advantage to gain…

  35. Alex Becker says:

    Yea I just realized Netscape has something like Digg. Thats weird, never knew that.

  36. TheAnand says:

    i use a gprs connection frm my mobile to browse the net, which means shared ip address. . .digg does not allow me to sign up from this ip. . .who cares i sent em a mail bout this, but ther was no reply, NOT even a auto-responder. . .

  37. TheAnand says:

    thanks for posting this in ur blog. this will make 1000+ readers get this info to use. ..THANKS!

  38. Raghu says:

    LeftBlank – You are absolutely right if the alternatives don’t give you comparable benefits what’s the great benefit anyways.

    In fact it was quite some time for me to figure out that Netscape has something similar to Digg.

  39. Jane says:

    I’ve been using Netscape to submit articles and have been on the homepage twice. Surprisingly, you don’t need very much to make it to their homepage and on the same note, traffic wasn’t as great as a digg, but it’s traffic none the less and are very appreciative of the new readers.

  40. Will says:

    I don’t know, I’ve stopped using digg altogether and begun using reddit. Digg is starting to get too much un-needed drama.

  41. Paula Mooney says:

    Those darn Diggers! They intentionally banned two of my blogs. But I still cruise Digg when I’m in the mood for upcoming stories…but you’ve gotta wade thru a lot of crap to find the jewels.

  42. Michael Kwan says:

    Tyler: I think with the rapid expansion (and increasing prominence) of, he may not even need to be Dugg anymore to get tons of traffic.

  43. Hey John, it looks like was “unbanned” from Digg.
    Aviran is the author of the “DiggThis” WordPress plugin.

    Perhaps if you made a post asking all your readers to email “[email protected]” you could also get unbanned?

  44. Dave Starr says:

    Proud to say that I am banned from Digg as well. I noticed a commet or two in the chain that said ‘what if small groups of “Diggers” got together and systematically banned sites they didn’t like”. Well, that’s exactly the point, it’s being done today.

    Digg’s motto appears to have a lot in common with P.T.Barnum … “there’s a sucker born every minite and two to take him.”

    John’s example is very good, the second most popular story is their own site revamp? Wow, earth-shaking news for the world … hang on, I might use a different WordPress template next week … wouldn’t most of the world care about that? If you’re trying to build a blog, build a blog and let Digg play at whatever it is they play at.

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