There’s Something Really Really Fishy Going On at Digg(UPDATED)

I’m just going to let it rest after this because I don’t need to waste my time. The only thing I really care to know is:

1. Does the Digg team (as in company) know what’s going on?

2. Does the (real) community care?

First of all, this isn’t a rant against the community or management. I’m just pointing out something that is very very strange that turned into a massive cluster fluck[sic]. When I say fishy I’m talking about a particular user.

Anyways, I did a bunch of follow-ups to my initial story about spammers taking advantage of Digg’s blogging feature. I submitted it to Digg, got flamed and buried for being a self-promoting bastard and called a “hypocritical gumshoe bastard” by an adoring reader (hello if you’re reading this). Not really anything surprising and I’m cool with that (because I was well aware of the risk).

At the same time, I wasn’t about to engage in the futile exercise of trying to raise awareness within Digg for something that could clearly benefit the community and get beat down and even banished to boot. I can only take so much abuse.

However, inquiring minds want to know. So I dug up some dirt on Digg user Sicc’s SEO activities taking advantage of Digg’s blogging features. But aside from putting it on my blog, I pretty much kept it to myself. Apparently some members of the community have read it.

DigiDave, a prominent Digg member, apparently agreed and had the following observation to add:

An overall ranking of 57
Has Dugg 7,427 (NOTE: I’ve been on Digg almost a year and I have 8,041)
Submitted 933 storiesI’ve spoken with Jay Adelson before and one thing he stressed was that Digg is a self-policing community. It relies on individuals being taken to task. Assuming the information on Sicc has been overlooked, I’m going to take this post to put it out there in the open again to let the community come to their own judgments.

These numbers seem off to me. Just looking at his profile it appears that he submits stories in batches (that’s fine) separated by about 2 minutes per submission (hey, I’ll give it to him) every day (sure, why not) 8 times a day (right). In addition to the submissions—he Diggs roughly 165 stories a day, every day. When he is not submitting or Digging—I’m sure he is painstakingly pouring over RSS feeds to find just the right news stories for the Digg community that he loves so dearly.

DigiDave: I’m Gonna Feel Sicc—Is Digg Being Gammed By a New Star User?

If you look at Sicc’s submission pattern, you’ll notice that it happens very quick (like 8 in row separated by 2-4 minutes). If you’ve ever used Digg to submit a story, you’ll also notice that the site is very unresponsive and slow even for submitting stories. So I find it hard to believe that any single individual can maintain this pace.

Well, with such a hot topic, you obviously have a bomb on your hands that will blow up sooner or later. So earlier, we had two stories on Digg covering more or less the same topic, “Top 60 Digg Account Worth $4000 to Some SEO” and “I’m Gonna Feel ‘Sicc’ – Is Digg Being Abused?”.

Both of these got Diggs like crazy but also got buried at just about the right time before they reached critical velocity. I smell a rat.

Despite being buried these stories just refuse to die and still get stray diggs. I think the people who care to read up have enough to be concerned about.

Funny that these submissions die despite the interest of long-time community members who rank very high in the pecking order with a history of contribution.

In one comment, the number 1 digger DigitalGopher weighs in:

I say BS. Once you read the stories via the links posted below by canwediggit and richstyles, there is far too much evidence against sicc’s shady digging habits and his vocation for me to believe that this conversation actually took place. I say it’s a nice fabrication, at best. Nice try sicc, but there’s too much ‘hair’ around your story which makes you less credible at the time being. but I’m willing to be convinced otherwise.Oh and as the #1 person on the top user list, I can say for certain that this ‘coreyE1027’ (assuming he exists) has never contacted me about buying my account. You would think that they would at least try to approach the top user.

I even get an honorable mention from the man himself:
Also, people are now going around to blogs and making spam comments and sticking my url as the poster. The whole thing is retarded. It’s probably that site doing it.

So at this point all I can say is that whatever Sicc’s original intentions are, they are going fubar on a Titanic scale, so now he’s going to do a smear campaign against me.

However, it does raise some additional questions. Is Sicc an individual or a team? Is that also the only account? It’s also funny that Sicc suddenly stopped using the blog this feature (without any clear explanation).

We do get some enlightenment from the man himself:

I didn’t intend for the post below to be submitted to digg, it was actually made so I could show friends and people I know from digg. I wasn’t even aware that people were reading my blog on a regular basis to be honest. I don’t really have much on it. Maybe once a week I make an original submission with my own content, otherwise it’s just shit form digg that I find interesting.So now, this post is also on digg.

Plus many blog postings about my digg account. What seems to be the issue? Look at the stories I submit, they’re normal stories form major sites. I’m not spamming digg with my own shit, so wtf?

I have submitted and a few of my blog postings, but other than that, it’s all stuff from major sites. So why is everyone freaking out? Also, people are going around and making spam comments on peoples blogs with my URL as the submitter. People need to get off my nuts already.

Hello =o » Blog Archive » Jesus…

So, there you have it folks. Quite honestly, I don’t have a personal vendetta against Sicc whether he’s an individual or a group. The fact is he’s submitted a lot of quality stories. No spamming or trolling. In every respect a model citizen. I’m not and never have called for him to be banished. So he used the “blog this” feature for a little SEO. That’s a short-coming in the system and not his fault.

I’m cool with whatever the community and the company is cool with but the word is out. Hat tip to Alister who’s sharp observation put me on the trail for this series.

This is the last word I have to say on this topic regardless of outcome (although I might append an update to this post for the stray visitor).

Digg – Top 60 Digg Account Worth $4000 to Some SEO

Digg – I’m Gonna Feel ‘Sicc’ – Is Digg Being Abused?

Digg’s Blog This Feature is a Haven for Spammers at Baron VC

The Mysterious Trail of Digg User Sicc: An Example of How Digg is Used for Shady Spamming and SEO at Baron VC

Hello =o » Blog Archive » Apparently my digg account is now worth $4,000


I for one got a satisfactory answer on this. There are some ethical implications but in this case I went a little too far in singling out Sicc.

Oops… (Closure on the Whole Sicc Issue) at Baron VC