censorship within the digg community
-Is digg is becoming too big for its own good? how can we further separate the meaningful users from the impulsive noobs.

I see it all the time. Just minding my own business, scrolling through other peoples impressions of some big digg story and I come across a little grey bar sporting the text “show comment”. I almost always read said comment (boredom), and find myself somewhat frequently appalled by how good the comment actually was, and question if the people who voted it down even read and/or understood it. How often is it that the red thumbs down means “I’m too stupid to grasp this”?

given ( X = “user is too stupid grasp it” ) the red thumb down:
1 infrequently means X
2 sometimes means X
3 frequently means X
4 oh yea b****? grasp this! (X)

The digg community is completely self moderated, as most of you already know. For each comment, users can either give a thumbs up or thumbs down, and very rapidly many comments fall deep into the negatives. The question becomes, why? There seem to be three major reasons:

a) uninformed person posts retarded remark
b) informed person posts controversial remark
c) everyone else was doing it

1 I frequently mod down anything I disagree with
2 sometimes I mod down comments I disagree with
3 I never mod down anything simply because i disagree with it
4 D is my answer, I pick D

I have no qualms with blatantly false and easy-to-google-the-answer remarks being removed, but what about the comments that have some truth to them but are simply hard for you to swallow? Any comment that makes you think, enough where you realize you would have to challenge your beliefs in order to entertain it is more often than not red-thumbed out of existence. You will not find controversial comments on digg unless you go digging for them, and by then their score is something like -76.

1 I feel like the comments section on digg should be my personal support forum for the internet
2 My beliefs are made of stone
3 My beliefs are made of liquid hot magma
4 If its controversial, it’s obviously wrong

The green thumb quickly becomes powerless. A comment that has any negatives will be pushed deeper and deeper very quickly by hoards of people who base what they think about the comment on the score it has already received. Unless you are very careful about what you say, do not even think about defending a comment that has received more than a few negatives, or you too will be moderated out of existence. So even the defenders are forced to censor themselves to be heard, and the real meat of the issue is cast aside.

at what point is a comment beyond redemption?

1 -1 to -4 diggs
2 -5 to -9 diggs
3 anything less than -10 diggs (-11,-12…)
4 never

The insightful commentary that actually makes you think is being disapproved of, while the easy to swallow one liners receive much praise. Is this starting to remind you of anything? Sounds just like network TV to me, or any other “news” organization with major bias against meaningful news, and instead tells viewers easy to swallow sensationalist trivia they have heard countless times before. Welcome to a world where the more cliché a statement is, the more true it must be. The real points fall by the wayside in favor of the popular modern excuses for avoiding discussion of the controversy itself.

1 Network TV is the lame
2 Network TV is the awesome
3 Network TV is the so-so-sometimes
4 You mean to imply a cliché can be false? Pistols at dawn!
5 I am a living breathing excuse of a human and I like it

So I must ask, are you really doing any good when you take an insightful point that you simply disagree with and give it the red-thumb? Or instead are you serving to reduce the quality of the discourse in the digg community, and thereby lessen the intelligence of the community itself as a whole.

Now… Assuming there is an insightful point in there…
1 Eliminating just anything that I disagree with is good because then my kind and I feel less threatened (even though the threat still remains)
2 Eliminating just anything that i disagree with is bad, because I enjoy being offended
3 Even if it is insightful, if I find it distasteful or offensive, its red thumb time.
4 The red in the thumb symbolizes the blood I imagine squirting out of your head as I jab my thumb into your eye-sockets. sweet victory!
5 If there is anything even remotely inaccurate, the comment deserves the thumb down

The red-thumb has its place, and cuts out a lot of the crap, but it shouldn’t be used to just eliminate perfectly good points that contribute to a discussion simply because they are different than your own point of view. That’s pure censorship, and it has no place on a free internet. Digg is not the free internet however, digg is a community, and that community can do as it pleases, so the question becomes, will the community stand for censorship, and if so, how does that reflect on the community? What types of people will a community that tolerates censorship draw to them? Interesting people? Or copy after copy of the same exact person…

-What can we do to strengthen the community?
Erm, you figure it out. I have some suggestions, but what the F ever, zero control as Mr. Individual:

Perhaps the digg community needs to adopt some form of user rank system (like a karma rating seen on forums), where each user has a rating derived from how much praise/criticism they have received from ALL comments they have EVER posted. This way you can build a reputation where people will know if it is worth their time to read your comments or not, even if they happen to be moderated down. This would increase the significance of the thumb, and hold people to a higher standard where what they say in one place will haunt them in others, and they might choose their words more wisely, thereby increasing the quality of discourse.

Also it seems strange that there is this discrepancy where we can see all the users who dugg a story, but we cannot see all of the users that un/dugg a comment. Why the sudden anonymity? It’s just an excuse to cast your vote irresponsibly. It would be good to see who was defaming each comment. One upset user cannot really effect you, so it’s not as if they will have the power to ruin your reputation by knowing your identity. If you really mean to say their comment is inappropriate, and it really is inappropriate, than what do you have to hide? Many others will also be on your side.

“what i think is worth at least three cents” 2006