Is there a Digg 'bury brigade'?

— 3:46 PM on April 10, 2007

For the past few months, we at TR have been regularly submitting links to new articles to Digg, the popular community-based news site. However, we noticed that several of our recent submissions have been mysteriously "buried" for no clearly apparent reason. As the term implies, burying a Digg post makes it invisible and removes it from either the site's front page or the upcoming stories queue, depending on how popular it was before the burial. While Digg shows which users "digg" a story to promote it to the front page, the site withholds information about which users bury stories. Searching for information about the subject led us to an interesting article on Wired that talks of a "bury brigade" over at Digg.

According to Wired, the purported group of users "buries stories it finds ideologically unappealing." The Wired article appeared after a user called David LeMieux briefly took advantage of a Digg bug to find out which users were burying stories. A list of buriers was put up here, and interestingly, some names came up a disproportionate number of times. A more stripped-down version of the list available here shows one user buried a whopping 275 stories out of the 1,700 logged by LeMieux. Amusingly, the account of these findings was submitted to Digg and promptly buried. The person who wrote the article on Wired also attempted to submit the story and his post, too, was buried.

All things considered, the Wired article raises an important question—are those burials a legitimate community act, or active censorship by either ill-meaning users or the site's management team itself? And if they are a community act, why are all discussions about this topic systematically buried? (Thanks to TR regular Usacomp2k3 for the tip.)

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