Gaming Digg: Is it a Game When the Money Isn't Monopoly Money?

The term ‘gaming Digg’ comes from the idea that the system is a flawed system that is easily exploited for the benefit of those who know how. It’s Survivor. Outplay. Outwit. Outlast. The drug trade on the street is called ‘the game’. The political process is called ‘the game’. The problem is, when real money changes hands, the game is no longer The Game.

This week I have been hard on Digg – and I think they deserve it. To steal a line from the Democratic portion of the political spectrum in the United States, the benefits go to the top 1% and all the rest of us are left holding the bag. I have pointed out others, such as Jason Calacanis who have taken the Digg leadership to task, pleading that the accountability on Burys be implemented.

Yesterday, the big news in the tech world was a reporter from Wired Magazine buying Diggs in order to do research on a story about how Digg operates. Sadly, more attention was given to Wired Magazine owning Digg-competitor Reddit than to the “Game” itself. That’s sad because the point of the story gets lost on the masses. Why should Reddit/Wired play fair when Digg doesn’t? Why should the double standard be applied and when will Digg be held accountable for the actions of its users?

It may come as a surprise to you but “gaming Digg” is not a Game. It is corruption. It is corruption on the part of Digg for looking the other way while votes are literally bought, and it is corruption on the part of the companies that have been created to exploit the service’s lax rules. It is corruption and it’s you that suffers.

I wrap up Digg Week for now, but I continue to wage this battle. I refuse to Digg anyone’s stores. I refuse to Digg my own. And I commend Wired Magazine’s Analee Newitz for exposing the fraud at work and Jason Calacanis for being a permanent watchdog. People like this need to keep speaking up – and others as well – to see the tide sway in a different direction.

Update: Valleywag blisters Mike Arrington for the Techcrunch silly op-ed, Digg should Sue Wired. They are right and say precisely the same thing I’ve said here, albeit with a much larger audience.

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