Spike The Vote Gets Spiked

Spike Vote Spike was supposed to be a system to game Digg.com. The object was to get 1000 Diggers together to vote in groups to promote stories to the front page.

Spike the Vote works on a point system. Each day I give you a mission with several stories to Digg. 20% of your mission involves digging stories submitted by users in this community, while 80% of of your mission is completely random. This is to eliminate footprints and keep things anonymous.

The site made some big headlines when it was featured on Tech Crunch and even CNet. However, for whatever reasons, the ower(s) decided to sell it on eBay before the site became fully operational. This is where Jim Messenger at FamousAgents.com comes in.

Jim saw the eBay sale and decided to buy it. He then turned the site over to Digg. 700 Digg accounts, members who signed up for Spike The Vote, has now been banned.

When we learned that it was available on Ebay, we immediately jumped at the opportunity to shut down a scheme that attempts to undermine the legitimacy of Digg’s voting system. We thought, “Hey, we’ll buy it and turn it over to Digg. That way future cheaters might think twice before starting or joining such networks.”

SpikeTheVote.com now forwards to Digg.com. While Jim said he turned the site over to Digg, I’m pretty sure Digg reimbursed the $1,275.00 he paid for it.

*Update – Jim received no money from Digg for the site.

20 thoughts on “Spike The Vote Gets Spiked”

  1. Gdog says:

    Very interesting…this will help the Digg community from having bogus stories dugg and legitimate stories dugg down (such as your blog!).

  2. Hi John,

    Thanks for the mention.

    We have not received compensation from Digg. Consider it a birthday gift.

    Jim & Andrea Messenger

  3. They have me banned too at digg, and now 700 more, what is that for a politic?

    Nobody is allowed to say hwhat he wants!

    I do not like digg more and more they do not answer to any mail.

  4. That is some crazy stuff, good thing they were caught and banned..I wonder if this is the only such group within digg though. I am sure there is a few more, or a few in the process now that this has been released.


  5. Ed Lau says:

    Hahaha! Oh man, that’s just stupid. 700 people aren’t even necessary to get on the front page.

  6. Jason says:

    As the owner of a start-out site myself, I feel deep regret in that move Jim Messenger(no quick traffic from Spike I guess motivates this), but at the same time I can see how that move on your side would probably be the best link-bait of recent times… Both have you preserved Digg.com from a spam attack (so that we can all illegally digg our own stories to the front page in the future) and you must have had a hell of a lot of publicity from doing such a noble deed for no compensation (such as this article on a well trafficked site – JohnChow.com)

    So I can only bow down in respect. Enjoy the traffic! 🙂

  7. Michael Kwan says:

    I think that Jim Messenger should be compensated by Digg, at least partially.

  8. Kim says:

    what keeps this from happening again? there’s really no point in him buying it or digg for compensating him, it just encourages others to copycat. digg will just have to figure out another way to deal with these scams.

  9. Even if he didn’t get reimbursed… it still got him some positive rep in the community.

  10. Randy W. says:

    The site never got off the ground probably because it wasn’t profit-driven, so it’s not really that big of a victory for digg.

    http://www.usersubmitter.com is what the digg community needs to worry about.

  11. David Mackey says:

    Thats not much for the site, considering what it could have been.

  12. I think it would be fair to recompensate Jim.

  13. engtech says:

    Thats not much for the site, considering what it could have been.

    When the news of the sale broke, I did calculated some metrics:

    “it only has 470 backlinks on Google, page rank of 0, and 60 links from blogs.”


  14. What a bunch of cheap [email protected] at Digg.com! Jim should have gotten something! Maybe he should have sold the site to digg.com 🙂

  15. HMTKSteve says:

    You do realize that he could have added a few names to the list before he gave the list to Digg? Or even blackmailed some of the people on the list to not tell Digg they were on the list!

  16. Day of reckoning nigh for the gangs @ Diggs… but can they undo the evil they have done to johnchow.com? How many of these “Gang 700” are among the Top 30 front Page Digg Users http://digg.com/topusers ? they should go down with their phony friends too.

  17. drew says:

    engtech, the site was released after the most recent visible page rank update, so it’s of course going to have a visible page rank of 0.

    BTW, it’s a shame that I registered an account at spikethevote and listed digitalgopher as my user name. Oh well. ;P (j/k)

    But in all seriousness, a friend of mine did register for spikethevote and his digg account that he listed is not currently banned. John, are you just speculating that the accounts have been banned?

  18. John Chow says:

    drew – I’m reporting what Jim said. He purchased Spike The Vote and gave it to Digg. Digg says they will ban all the accounts. Maybe they haven’t gone through them all yet.

  19. drew says:

    Cool, thanks for the response John. 🙂

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