So Much For Being Back On Digg

Since Digg unbanned me, six stories has been submitted by John Chow dot Com readers. All six has been buried, including this latest one that was submitted just six minutes ago by Digg user Kribo. It didn’t even get a single Digg before it was removed from the upcoming stories.

I doubt this is the work of the Digg bury mob. According to Tech Crunch, Digg has a new system for detecting “group” behavior.

Based on a conversation I had with Digg founder Kevin Rose recently, Digg thinks they are winning the war over the problem of “grouping” behavior (where groups of Digg accounts are controlled or effectively controlled by a person or group and can push stories to the home page). The changes they’ve made to Digg over the last few months, Rose says, allow them to monitor grouping behavior and stop it before it can drive a story to the home page. Thus, there is no real need to ban any particular site from Digg. They are confident that if a story from a previously banned site makes it to the home page, it deserves to be there.

Based on the above quote, if you’ve Dugg my stories before, then Digg thinks you’re part of my “group” and the story gets pulled because it thinks group gaming is happening. This surely goes against the one user, one vote “democratic” system Digg was supposedly built on. It also looks like a Digg story can be buried instantly if you’re part of my “group” and submit a story that I’ve written.

I think I liked it better when I was banned.

45 thoughts on “So Much For Being Back On Digg”

  1. Marc says:

    Agreed, better to be banned than to be stuck in a program where you can’t participate. Why don’t you just e-mail Digg asking to be re-banned. Or you could always engage in some behaviour that would get you banned… That is, if you’re evil enough 😉

    1. This really is lame, I wonder why this user(s) are picking on John – is it jealousy or did he piss some one off?

      1. Kalle says:

        It is proably Jealousy. Very badly done of the one(s) who does this. Anyhow you seem to make it very well without Digg, John 🙂

    2. HMTKSteve says:

      I still think this was all caused by a database error on Digg’s part.

  2. That’s super lame John.

  3. Jose says:

    Hello John,

    Your reputation precedes you. I’m sure you’ve seen my mug on your blog before. I have visited several times, but this is the first comment I’ve left.

    After hearing that a friend and fellow blogger, Paula Mooney, was banned from Digg and that you were as well, I thought that it would be a worth goal to get banned also. I look at it this way, if your posts are so popular that Digg thinks they are being spammed is that a bad thing? I want to become that popular! So, I am looking forward to the day I’m banned from Digg. I’ll be happy when that day comes.


  4. John Hok says:

    I’m sure there is more to it and that you are probably oversimplifying it.

    Digg is a huge site and has a big and talented development team. They’ve already shown how far they’ve gone with their “Digg algorithm”, to push the best stories to the front page and I have little doubts that their “buried algorithm” is any different.

    1. John Chow says:

      True. The new grouping algo looks to be new and I’m sure they’ll be tweaking it in the days and weeks to come.

      1. Leftblank says:

        Let’s all hope so, it’d be nice to see John Chow on the Digg frontpage again.

  5. chrisjos says:

    John…there is a saying “every disappointment is a blessing” you just haven’t seen it yet.

    1. I’m sure the blessing in disguise here is that more visitors to John’s site will rally together in support for John. Obviously we all enjoy being here, and I’m sure that most of use would love to help him out of we could!

  6. Jack says:

    The only hope is newbies such as myself, still flying under the radar at Digg. Viva la John Chow!

  7. Edward says:

    This is so weird – They didn’t give you the reason why you were banned then unbanned your site ?

  8. Cory OBrien says:

    I think that this comment is encouraging though:

    “Thus, there is no real need to ban any particular site from Digg. They are confident that if a story from a previously banned site makes it to the home page, it deserves to be there”.

    It looks like banning is a thing of the past, and that they’re going to let their algorithm do the work from now on. Unfortunately, it also looks like that same algorithm is what is preventing your stories from making it to the front page, but I think that even this problem could be easily overcome with a little algorithm improvement. I’d hope that’s the case at least.

    1. Allen.H says:

      Alogrithms malogrithms, what’s wrong with Digg’s good ol’ system that was 100% democratic?


      1. Marc says:

        That’s the thing, it wasn’t 100% democratic so they had to do something. An algorithm is easier to justify than the Digg mafia.

        1. Leftblank says:

          It was ‘100% democratic’, but sadly, as most politicians and intellectuals seem to know; democracy isn’t superb either, it’s most likely the most reliable but not waterproof.

          “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
          — Winston Churchill

    2. HMTKSteve says:

      This sounds like techno-babble for, “We have mods who bury stories so the community does not have too.”

      1. Agreed.

        Doesn’t really seem like John needs to sweat them too much. Things are going pretty well here as is, with or without Digg.

      2. AKA, techno-babble for, “We have automated algorithms who act like mods that bury stories so that the community does not have to”

  9. Jane says:

    Well, I can always submit stuff for you John! Let me know if I can help in any way.

    Hey, your comment box doesn’t ask for what year it is…hopefully I don’t get a dummy pop up and say enter year, guess we’ll find out.

    1. Allen.H says:

      John disabled it after installing the two new plugins.


      1. Jane says:

        Ah, I missed that one, thanks for the FYI.

  10. Nate W. says:


  11. Congrats! Guess that they actually have to think twice before doing something like that again. I wonder the progress of any other banned personnel getting unbanned.

  12. Reaper-X says:

    in my opinion the stories submitted by Kirbo should be to Lesterchan (the author) site instead of your site (and he deserved that)

  13. musicNmovies says:

    this can be good lesson to all Diggers
    once you do BAD then u will remain SAME …

    1. Allen.H says:

      Uh? what bad things has John Chow done except being filthy rich and popular?


  14. Ajith says:

    Hey I think they are trying to kill the popular blogs coz they cant make something like that

    1. Dijo says:

      Thats so lame Ajith. Digg is trying to improve their algo and its not going to work well at first. Give them some time. Just look at what happens when Google updates its algo, sites are thrown here and there, spam sites move up and stuff. Shit like this happens but it doesn’t mean that they don’t want legitimate sites to move up.

    2. HMTKSteve says:

      I think they might be making back room deals with the “popular” blogs cause I know people who constantly bury arstechnica and engadget as spam and those sites never go away!

      1. I don’t know about “back room deals”, but I could see people owning stock or having some other monetary tie to those sites.

  15. Jeff says:

    Haha looks like it’s more of an honour thing to be banned from Digg!! It’s like you’re the coool outcast..

  16. Ronald Lewis says:

    Well, as I mentioned before, do you really need Digg? I think not. If I had the traffic you’re getting these days, I sure wouldn’t care. You’re probably better off with the “power brokers” which make up the Digg community.

  17. Ryan says:

    I wonder who is in your “group”, and if someone that’s not in you “group” submits your story, but then a lot of people in you “group” digg it, will it get buried?

    1. I think it’s an all or nothing deal: if stories from your site get marked as spam x number of times, your URL gets banned.

  18. Aris says:

    Oops, it was me, John. I thought it was a good article so I dugg it to see how would it go.



  19. OK, interesting – so does that mean that loyal readers of a blog should not Digg articles on that blog? Then who is going to Digg it the first dozen times?

    I’m not sure this was a smart move by Digg – they might need to tweak that algorithm a little bit. Of course they should take care of spam – but they also have to be careful not to bury legit Diggs…

  20. Mark Johnson says:

    I think it is a good way to deter specific groups from always bringing a story to the front page and if the blog has a big following, that is easily done. That way, you can’t digg your own article too.

    However, there HAS to be more to the digg-bury algorithm how you have explained John and obviously (like Google’s algorithms), it will never be revealed. I believe the Digg guys are much smarter than that i.e. to base the quality of the digg solely on the person digging it.

  21. Seems that they are working against themselves. They release a “Digg This” button and functionality to add to your website, but if your group (readers) digg the story, it gets buried.


    Take a stance Digg, all or nothing.
    Allow websites to promote a digg submission or make it against the rules. This in between policy is very unclear…

  22. Digg should not bury legit Diggs, while taking care of spam.

    Personal Development

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