On January 16 (yesterday as I post this) I wrote about about Paypal suspending the account of a Ron Paul supporters group, effectively stopping Paul’s supporters paying for a recount in New Hampshire. The good news (for Paul supporters anyway) is that the authorities granted an extension and a supporter stepped forward and provided the money required in time (the original funds remaining frozen by Paypal).
But here’s the possibly bad thing: either Digg has super users who can single handedly bury stories on Digg, or they’re censoring Ron Paul posts.
I just happened to be reading on Twitter about a service called the “Ajaxonomy Bury Recorder (ABR)” a service launched last year that allows you to see the the number of buries on a Digg story by the time of each bury, the reason and at what stage in the voting process it was buried. Thinking that the Ron Paul story might get a few votes, I decided to run it in ABR through out the afternoon to see what might happen.
At exactly 43 votes the story received one bury for spam, and then it completely disappeared from the upcoming sidebar at Digg in its particular category. I ran a search for TechCrunch posts (newest via URL) on Digg to see whether it was there; nothing, clicked the include buried stories post: bingo, the post appeared in the list.
There have been rumors and suggestions that certain users at Digg have “special powers” in the past, so what I saw could simply be one of those users who can alone bury stories submitted to Digg, at any stage of the voting process. Or (with tin foil hat on) Digg might have decided to ban Ron Paul. There’s zero way of knowing, and Digg never talks about its internal workings so we have no way of finding out which one it is, or even if it’s a combination of both. I wonder how long it will take for someone on Digg to bury this post? Thank god for Reddit, eh ;-)
Update: Pronet noticed that Digg itself buried stories back in May 2007.