Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
Author’s note: I had put “Teabaggers” in the title instead of “Conservative Activists,” as I am sure you have noticed. The Tea Party political movement, an ideological direct match for this group, often self-describe themselves to be “teabaggers,” the humor of which is seemingly lost on them. However, due to reader discomfort, I have changed the title. – Alex
If you can’t win, you might as well cheat, right? So goes the thought process behind a massive, and now massively exposed group of conservative Digg users who were furtively breaking the Digg TOS to tilt the entire site towards their own political ideology.
The group, called Digg Patriots, has amassed endless accounts that they have, and still do, use to bury stories in the ‘Upcoming’ section of Digg. Bury a story enough times and it will have no chance of reaching the Digg front page, thus gaining real exposure. In short, they wanted only stories that they agree with to get noticed.
Is burying based on your views against the Dig rules? Of course not, but this group’s tactics are. Artificially gaming Digg, past the usual one person one vote way, is a big no no. To hide from the generally quick to act Digg overlords, the group communicated off site in a Yahoo group and used a plethora of different accounts each. More buries meant more bad news for stories that the Digg Patriots just didn’t like.
What were they burying? According to AlterNet their political views are as follows:
They hate Obama. They hate progressives. They hate the UN, diplomacy, and peace/disarmament efforts. They hate reforms of health care, Wall St., and immigration. They hate science, in fact many are creationists, and some even blog about it. They hate the secular nature of our nation. They hate environmental protection, requiring polluters to be responsible for their own cleanup, and especially hate climate efforts. They hate unions and any attempt to level the playing field to give all Americans economic opportunities. They hate the government, except the military-industrial complex. They hate abortion rights. They hate public schools and really hate higher education. They hate anyone in the media except far right personalities like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Michelle Malkin. They hate anyone who doesn’t think Obama is a secret islamist and/or marxist who was born in Kenya. They just love to hate.
And now, thanks to a marathon piece (which we strongly recommend that you read in its entirety) by the friendly AlterNet, the group has its pants down around its waist in public. A list of Digg accounts associated with the group are now in the public, and will, we assume, be dealt with quickly by Digg.
Will another group spring up in its place? Of course. But the level of sophistication that the Digg Patriots achieved will take time to reconstitute after Digg cuts them down this first time.
C’mon everyone, Digg is an open exchange. Don’t hate the game and be a player.
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.