Special to The Public Record

The Rigging Of Digg: How A Covert Mob Of Conservatives Hijacked The Web’s Top Social News Site

If you’re at all web-savvy, you’ve probably heard of Digg.com. Founded in 2006, Digg is the reigning king of the social news ecosystem, cracking the top 50 websites in the U.S. and the top 100 worldwide. Its million-plus users democratically filter the torrent of online media, upvoting or “digging” desired content while “burying” rubbish and spam. The most popular content is promoted to the site’s highly-trafficked front page. The result is a peek into the consciousness of the internet: a mixture of comics, videos, sensationalism, and breaking news that is the growing face of new media.

Digg’s popularity makes it a tempting target. Endless SEO schemes and link farms attempt to subvert the site, often successfully. Some exist merely to push spam blogs and commercial messages – many a Digger has seen comment sections peppered with poorly-spelled pitches for drug outlets and online jewelry stores. And others offer to use the power of the Digg homepage to give a boost to fledgling websites, promising instant popularity to webmasters that pony up a pay-per-vote fee.

But more recently, the site has been under attack by a variety of groups seeking to promote their personal cause célèbre. Perhaps the most infamous was the Ron Paul movement that swept the web in early 2008, when libertarian activists dominated Digg and other social media sites with content praising the Republican presidential hopeful. This ill-fated gambit was soon followed by efforts from other sources, including a comical push by the radical nativist British National Party in the run-up to the 2009 EU elections (Digg’s audience is largely American).

Such efforts, however, pale in comparison to what we have uncovered: a highly organized underground collective of right-wing partisans using an assortment of tactics, from tried-and-true spamming methods to the vilest and most dishonest tricks, in order to not only spread conservative disinformation throughout the internet, but to censor and suppress anything resembling a liberal opinion.  Our researchers have gained access to the secure web forum where they discuss their strategy and rally their troops, and everything we have learned is detailed in this report.

Welcome to the Digg Patriots.

EVOLUTION

The Digg Patriots arguably found their origin at FreeRepublic, a bastion of radical right-wing opinion. FreeRepublic members, or “freepers,” are infamous for ganging up on internet polls, using coordinated force of numbers to swamp the poll, “freeping” it to their desired result. And when they find themselves outnumbered, freepers have no trouble simply cheating, changing their IP addresses and using automated scripts to vote thousands of times.

As Digg grew in popularity and influence, it soon came to the attention of FreeRepublic’s forums. Prominent users began recruiting others to the site, penning articles explaining what Digg was and how best to cheat it. As one freeper explains in a 2009 post:

BuckeyeTexan: I’m not asking you to deal with obnoxious liberals. You don’t have to read their comments. You don’t have to respond to them. All I’m asking you to do is vote for an article at Digg and then leave. That’s it! Digging conservative articles is the same thing as FReeping a poll.

As FreeRepublic’s targeted raids grew more successful, their methods became more sophisticated.  Several users set up “ping lists,” rosters of Freepers that could be alerted through the site’s internal mail system to digg or bury an article at the same time. As the ping lists grew unwieldy, they transferred to public alert sites such as a blog (Diggs & Buries) and a Twitter board called DiggCons, maintained by the conservative DontGo outfit.

But these resources, while effective, were ill-conceived. The websites were soon discovered by regular Digg users confused by the sharp uptick in conservative propaganda on the site.

Le0pardess: just want to let you know that someone leaked and/or found the D&B blog and has posted it in a story that went popular a few hours ago

Soon, these efforts at gamesmanship petered out and failed. The cause was abandoned.

Or so it seemed.

HEADQUARTERS

Using private backchannels, Digg’s disaffected conservative activists soon reconvened at a new and improved location: an invitation-only Yahoo! group called Digg Patriots. Members took pains to hide the group like a shameful secret:

ChronicColonic: Please remember this is a group that we are trying to keep below the radar. Please do not disclose this group’s existence to anyone outside the group on Digg or elsewhere. The longer we can keep this group on the down low, the better. I know you probably aready knew that, but I wanted to make sure we are all on the same page as far as the keeping this group from being exposed to the public. Thanks and let’s continue making a conservative difference on Digg!

Established in May 2009, the group started off slow, but quickly gained momentum as old friends and contacts from other partisan sites were ushered into the fold. By August, the Digg Patriots (DP) group was steadily generating more than 3,000 messages per month.

The conversation rarely involved discussing conservative topics. Rather, the group focused on controlling content on Digg. If conservative content was found, scores of DP members (many of them maintaining multiple accounts) were called on to boost it to the heights of artificial popularity. And if anything liberal was encountered, DPs were commanded to bury it into oblivion. Each day, everything from popular stories to individual comments was targeted for promotion or suppression in violation of Digg’s terms of service.

And the standard of judgment stood in stark opposition to the views of the Digg community, and indeed of the wider internet. While the Digg userbase skews young, progressive, and irreligious, the DPs strove to promote young earth creationism, global warming denial, and a variety of virulent conspiracy theories involving the Obama Administration. In truth, Digg Patriots was a hotbed for the most dissident of the Tea Party crowd, eagerly spreading the most baseless and inaccurate conservative memes and peppering their chosen stories with empty one-liners before forcing it to the front page.

TAKING AIM

The DPs soon encountered resistance to their plans. Webmasters of niche liberal sites that had enjoyed the occasional boost from Digg noticed their page views from the site declining, along with a corresponding rise in hard-line conservative articles. And it was easy to see that this change was being driven by the same few dozen users, time and time again.

As Digg users began complaining about the bad behavior, the DPs honed their suppression. Individuals were targeted for harassment, their activity monitored and hounded and their websites slated for blind burial. The most vocal were roundly mocked in the DP forums, their personal lives and past researched and held against them:

rjwusa: We need to mine his stuff. I think if we look hard enough, we can get him banned. We should form a team to mine his submission and another to mine his comments for incriminating material.

The demonization of the opposition was relentless – it had to be, in order to discredit anyone who might expose their activities. As one DP member so succinctly said of a progressive writer and Digg member:

We should make it our sacred mission to gang-bang this liberal bitch.

And with demonization came rationalization, projection and paranoia. DP members became convinced that they were fighting a liberal conspiracy more organized and powerful than their own. When one DP user was banned for submitting homophobic content, he lashed out with derogatory remarks towards Digg founder Kevin Rose that were quickly repeated in the group:

I’m sick of little Kevin Rose and his bunch of Frisco malcontents playing favorites with the digtards and banning guys like me, just because I post an article about a study that was critical of homosexuality. Had I attacked someone or violated the digg Terms of Service, I would expect a ban. But, because I hurt someone’s feelings, they give gays protected status and ban me?

I’ve been banned several times for submitting articles that do not support the worldview of the common rump ranger. Unless you’re a flaming liberal with scorch-marks around your butt, do not attempt posting those items. You’ll get banned quicker than Kevin Rose sticking his butt up in the air on date night with the boys.

There’s no ‘algorithm’ at digg. The ‘algorithm’ most likely consists of a bunch of liberal, bi-sexual, emo-types, who drink mimosas all day, and engage in a circle-jerk by night.

Strangely, DP users had no trouble viewing the vast left-wing conspiracy as incompetent and weak:

vrayz: I’m amazed at their lack of organization.  If they had half a wit among them they could bury any and every submission we have but as in real life I guess, liberals just roll with the tide through Digg like they do in real life.  They have no work ethic, no core values and no common sense beneath the paper thin liberal skin they cover themselves with.

Despite this strong feeling of contempt for the average Digger, DP users feel comfortable relying on the most prolific Digg submitters in order to bolster their own attempts to commandeer the site. Indeed, they emulate the strategy that so-called “power users” employ to consistently promote content to the front page: befriending hundreds of users and using automated tools to reciprocally upvote hundreds of stories per day, while using third-party statistical sites to weed out those who don’t play into the “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” dynamic. By engaging in this behavior, DP power users can expect hundreds of automatic votes from blind supporters in addition to scores of extra votes from DP users and their duplicate accounts.

But the DPs do not trust their power user friends, as evidenced by their maintenance of dossiers on the political leanings of the most influential Digg users:

tccbossm4n: The top power users that are left-leaning are:

MrBabyman (he stays politically in the closet until he feels the need to wield his incredible digg power then he becomes hard core lib submitting from all the worst sources)

Noupsell (I can’t believe I was a mutual friend of his at one time. He is easily the scariest power digger, because he has lots of influence and is hard core, extreme liberal)

Badwithcomputer (Dropped him as a mutual during the election)

MSaleem

VTbarerra

Jaybol (Another mutual friend I dropped, he was much more politically active during the election)

irfanmp (always submits everything pro-liberal from Stewart and Colbert)

Bukowsky (he used to be a mutual friend until the election when his true colors came out)

1KrazyKorean (has been known to support the left quietly)

d2002 (diggs pro-left submissions and makes comments that back that up)

kplo (Another former Houston mutual friend who has turned into a hard core lefty digger)

bixby1

This information is used to develop arcane strategies for suppressing left-leaning content. For instance:

tccbossm4n: I’ve been wondering, if we have a submitter whose subs we typically bury and that person is submitting multiple stories at a time, let’s take Amprather as an example. He subs about 8-10 per day. Typically, maybe one of those stories is something very liberal, the rest are just general news, comedy and such. Would it make sense to pick one of the least harmful subs and digg it in an attempt to get it to go popular, or at least not bury it? My thought is that if we get one of the wimpy subs to go popular, it’s less likely the political sub will pop, especially if we all bury it.

GETTING DIRTY

As the DPs grew more successful, they turned to more unorthodox tactics. They pretended to be African-Americans in order to call their opponents racists:

EdHurl: I reported DDR Skata for using the racist term ‘Beulahs and Uncle Toms’ when referring to a conservative black woman. Additionally, I also told a fib and I stated I was African-American. I said that I was deeply offended by the terms he used.

And backed it up with sanctimonious lies to Digg Abuse:

As a conservative African-American, I get deeply offended when someone (DDRSkata) refers to one of my conservative sisters and other conservative African-Americans as, ‘Beulahs and Uncle Toms’. Had I been white, and had used the terms, ‘Fag or Nigger’, I could expect to be banned from digg in a very swift fashion.

White people who aren’t in the know have no idea how derisive and abusive terms like ‘Beulah and Uncle Tom’ really are. Those using such terms know these terms are capable of inflicting great emotional harm on the same level as do the terms, ‘Fag and Nigger’ when they are hurled against the Gay and Black communities.

I trust you will do right by the people of color who use digg.

They discussed framing left-leaning users of the same behavior they were engaging in:

VRayZ: what we should do is start a fake liberal public site where we all use their names to post digg and bury submissions. We would have to figure out to do it anonymously.

They set up multiple profiles to engage in duplicitous behavior and concern trolling:

rjwusa: In the process of grooming my new personna, EmersonBiggins, I will be playing ‘devils advocate’ to some of your comments to lull the diggtards into thinking I am anyone other than EdHurl reinvented. This as they see that some of us are mutually-friended. As always, since they cannot determine whether I have dugg you up or down, or dugg a submission, I will always digg you into positive territory. Please feel free to bicker with me and to poke at me as needed as I will be doing to you. This is merely a ruse to prevent me from being detected and being banned. I promise to not take any discourse between you and me personally. At other times, you’ll see me in agreement with you. I am attempting to keep my political philosophies ambiguous for the most part.

And worst of all, they planned elaborate sexual harassment hoaxes using account names similar to users they disliked in order to slander them:

Dilberto: I have an interesting plan for screwing over the No-brigade guy.   First we need to find a female conservative/libertarian who is very active on digg and comments a lot.   We coordinate with her to be the knowing victim of sexual harassment.  (Yeah, this is going to be a false flag trolling operation.)

Meanwhile, I will create about 3 bogus no accounts that won’t bury anything but will pose as the guy that calls us all “son” and trolls our submissions.  After about a few weeks all three no accounts will let loose with some heinous sexual innuendo.  Several of us will then proceed to report all no accounts and accuse all of them of being the troll.

After a while, many diggers will just blindly report any no account that posts.  Remember that Herkimer, Onetimer, and JCM267 all got banned when they stirred up a shitstorm.  Now we just have to foment one behind the scenes.

Do you know of any willing falseflag female targets on Digg?

Dilberto delivered, fouling the site with multiple sexually graphic comments and rape threats aimed at DP user ThePartyStar. One example of many:

“NoTeaParty”: I CAN’T STOP J***ING OFF OVER THE PARTYSTAR’S SWEET HOT P****! I ATE OUT THAT PAULTARDS P**** AND F***ED HER SEVERAL TIMES AND IT FELT SO HOT!

THE MACHINE IN ACTION

As the Digg Patriots have become more adept at manipulating the site, their efforts have become ever more efficient and effective. Two case studies are illustrative of their improving methods.

First is the case of EsorNivek, one of the many accounts of DP user rjwusa. By announcing the creation of the persona on DiggPatriots, he netted the newborn account 164 friends in less than 24 hours, and his first three submissions gained 36, 40, and 59 votes, respectively. Not by growing authentic social connections or submitting quality content, but by tapping into the coordinated power of the DP group.

More troubling is the meteoric rise of a DP-backed website, The Rattington Post. “RatPo,” as its makers refer to it, is like the Platonic ideal of an inferior partisan blog. Its logo is an oversized repulsive image of President Obama’s face photoshopped on the body of a rat. Its description is a rambling mixture of isms and grammatical mistakes:

Joined in solidarity, we fight against Progressivism, Liberalism, Marxism, Socialism, and any other ‘ism’ that threaten American ideals. The United States is still the best damn country on the face of this planet. We seek to shine a light upon those from the left and to expose them for their hypocrisy and corruption. No one from either side of the political aisle is safe from scrutiny or commentary when they may act contrary to the U.S. Constitution and the interests of the American people.

Unsurprisingly, the editorial viewpoint of the site is viciously right-wing.

Despite these detriments, within its first week of existence The Rattington Post was submitted to Digg ten times by four separate users, all of them DP members. Half of the submissions garnered 100 votes or more, and one advanced to the front page, barely one week after the site was created.

This instant success is not shocking, as the Rattington Post was conceived, named, and promoted on Digg Patriots:

rjwusa: Ok guys, I have a proposal.

I propose that I create a blogger account. The purpose of the blogger account it to engage in the same tactics that Anomaly, JanineWallace, Novy and the remaining gaggle of Leftard malcontents engage in. That is, to take a news story and to spin it in such a fashion that we editorialize the submission title and the byline (Description). That’s what they do to get around the digg Terms of Usage agreement.

Editorializing a submission is considered the ‘hijacking’ of a submission by digg. Doing so can (and has gotten me) get you banned.

By utilizing the same tactic, we can stoop to their level, not be in violation of the digg TOU and at the same time we can have some fun.

phil dobson: Okay, I’m about done dusting off old pieces I can use so I’m not gonna be able to post as easily the rest of the week. I’ll keep my eyes open for press releases that I can re-write or outright steal (they’re not copy written) but otherwise we need to keep the flow going daily!!! The more we post the more exposure we’ll get.

It is clear that the Digg Patriots are now capable of lifting any content they wish to the forefront of the largest social news site on the web, no matter how vitriolic and biased the content is and no matter how artificial its support may be.

THE NEW DIGG

One wrinkle in the future plans of the DPs has been the advent of Digg 4.0. This new version of Digg implements fundamental changes in how stories are submitted and voted on for the front page. But despite the relative lack of knowledge in how the new Digg will function, the DPs have already set their sights on how best to subvert it for their own ends:

allisonrose870: for those who have been testing the waters, Liz, Boss, J, Ron, with the new version, I was wondering if thru some feed back mechanism or discussion thread if its been asked why digg chose to abandon the bury feature or something like that and if they have given any feedback, if at all? separately, whatever avenue you guys take, I will follow…

And if the new Digg is not to their liking, there is already talk of focusing on smaller sites like Reddit, Mixx, and Propeller, sites which many prominent DPs already have accounts on.

In the course of researching this report, we reached out to the staff of Digg with extensive documentation of this group and their efforts to undermine the site. Our concerns went unanswered.

WHY IT MATTERS

The value of sites like Digg is in the way they enable a community of people to organically raise up the most interesting and engaging content on the internet. When people who do not respect that interfere with the system, they degrade it and reduce it to yet another noisy platform for the most effective cheaters. Many outsiders criticize Digg for its lowbrow humor or its more immature users. But the truth is that it receives more than a third the daily readership of the New York Times and is, for better or worse, a powerful driver of content and opinion on the web.

When unrepentant manipulators like those found at Digg Patriots cheat the system, they are piggybacking on years of community-building from countless Digg contributors in order to spread their fringe message to an unearned audience of millions. Their content effectively gains the Digg seal of approval, and no matter how quickly the site’s regular users bury spammed content, that content still receives the ad revenue and exposure that most sites must labor for years to acquire.

Digg users must ask themselves if they want to allow this material to be forced on their community. If they want creationist essays from Conservapedia administrators or misleading videos from Andrew Breitbart or slanted headlines from the Drudge Report to grace what is supposed to be their front page. If the answer is yes, then acquiesce to the advances of the Digg Patriots and their affiliates, and allow them and their schemes to control political opinion on the site.

But if the answer is no? Then be vigilant, take responsibility in keeping the site free of disinformation and gamesmanship, cleanse the Upcoming sections of spam before they are forced to “popularity,” and be aware of Digg Patriots agents in all their incarnations. Only then can content of true quality that has authentic support from the Digg community flourish, and the malicious propaganda of activists intent on domineering social media for their own ends fails.

Ole Ole Olson is Senior News Editor and Chief New Media Strategist for News Junkie Post.

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47 Responses for “The Rigging Of Digg: How A Covert Mob Of Conservatives Hijacked The Web’s Top Social News Site”

  1. Thanks for bringing this story to the light of day. As a former Digger I find this extremely funny.

  2. Terrintokyo says:

    well done research – and not at all a surprise. in the marketplace of freely discussed ideas, these rightwingers know that reality has a liberal bias.

    this was covered today at Kos, as well:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/8/5/890710/-Daily-Kos-UnDugg-by-Digg,-Massive-Fraud

    hopefully DiggV4 will work against attempts by anyone to do stuff like this.

  3. digger says:

    There’s something wrong with the blockquoted text, everything in a quote after the first paragraph looks like part of the main article. Also, all the links are broken because:

    “_\t_”_top

    gets added at the end.

  4. Brooke Dunne says:

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

  5. JigabooJones says:

    Conservatives will etch out a prominent voice on Digg no matter what measures are taken. Change Digg too much, and it might cease to exist for you diggerals which may be a win for us.

  6. cdoom says:

    Tragedy of the Commons. Any time a resource is not policed or regulated, the least common denominator will win out. Originally named for Commons in New England being used by all residents, so they wound up being used to graze cattle. The cattle pooped on everything, and made the Commons useless for any other use. The Tragedy of the Commons is a book that describes this phenomena. It doesn’t cover internet (written in 1994, just missed the big boom to come) but it is highly instructive nonetheless. Every public internet resource that stays popular winds up becoming like the Tragedy of the Commons.

    Or put another way, stupid people ruin it for everybody else. We’ve all seen that.

    Digg has choices to make, will it allow this or will it evolve and enforce terms of service. It might not even be capable of it, but I’d think logs and pattern parsing would shoot down some of this stuff. Of course then the offended righties would scream censorship.

  7. cdoom says:

    “Meaning

    The metaphor illustrates the argument that free access and unrestricted demand for a finite resource ultimately reduces the resource through over-exploitation, temporarily or permanently. This occurs because the benefits of exploitation accrue to individuals or groups, each of whom is motivated to maximize use of the resource to the point in which they become reliant on it, while the costs of the exploitation are borne by all those to whom the resource is available (which may be a wider class of individuals than those who are exploiting it). This, in turn, causes demand for the resource to increase, which causes the problem to snowball to the point that the resource is depleted (even if it retains a capacity to recover). The rate at which depletion of the resource is realized depends primarily on three factors: the number of users wanting to consume the common in question, the consumptiveness of their uses, and the relative robustness of the common”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

    original 1968, guess I read a reprint in 1994. Good essay. Basically describes why everything on the internet eventually sucks unless it is modded and abusers are beat down.

  8. futurebird says:

    How did Digg get to be the way that it is today? It really goes all the way back to the way that the site was set up. The choice of topics that Digg would cover and the audience that the reached out to and cultivated has been, since the early days of the website, almost all male. And instead of moving towards diversity Digg has done NOTHING (that I know of) to encourage women to feel welcome at their website. There are a lot of articles that describe the rampant sexism in digg. They go back to 2006.
    As a result the numbers of women there dropped even further, with women gone the opinions skewed to the right. (women tend to be more liberal) Then progressive men started to leave too– and the result is what we have today.

    Here is what I wrote in 2007 about digg:
    http://community.livejournal.com/feminist/2910475.html
    (I’m not shocked at all that such a nasty mob found a home there in retrospect.) At the time, I met some criticism for being “too sensitive” for daring to point out the rampant sexism on that website. (I think I posted it in the now defunct Liberal community) The swing right of the site is like a casebook study. And it has happened at other online communicates. What’s scary is there are websites with a lot of influence that risk the same pattern: like the wikipedia.

    Once casual sexism and bigotry become tolerated there is a walling out effect– anyone who dares to challenge the sexism get shouted down and mocked. The website become a tribe of like-minded people. This isn’t always a negative thing, like minded people can do great thing together, but when the rallying point is sexism and bigotry you can end up with a pretty nasty crowd. The mob at digg who is doing this hiding of articles isn’t just “conservative” –I will distance the conservatives I have respect for from this group– They are conservative AND actively cruel. They also enjoy mocking the handicapped people and stocking young people on youtube leaving comments that say things like “kill yourself” –none of these anti-socail behaviors are inherent to the conservative philosophy– but, they do seem to go hand in hand with the type of conservatives who embrace sexism and bigotry.

  9. Nate says:

    There are two paragraphs in the above article that do not appear in block quotes, but appear to be quotations from freepers (i.e. not the author’s own words, as current formatting seems to suggest). The suspect paragraphs are as follows:

    “I’ve been banned several times for submitting articles that do not support the worldview of the common rump ranger. Unless you’re a flaming liberal with scorch-marks around your butt, do not attempt posting those items. You’ll get banned quicker than Kevin Rose sticking his butt up in the air on date night with the boys.

    “There’s no ‘algorithm’ at digg. The ‘algorithm’ most likely consists of a bunch of liberal, bi-sexual, emo-types, who drink mimosas all day, and engage in a circle-jerk by night.

  10. Samizdata says:

    OMG!

    You mean, people might actually game social internet sites?

    What WILL they think of next?

    Search engines?

  11. Ronald Marcus says:

    Here’s how I feel, … if Digg can’t police it’s website and GUARANTEE the integrity of it’s content making me feel comfortable from the pervasive intent of the “FUCKING RIGHT” … then shove it. … If I wanted to drink tea, and suffer the FOXNOISE … toxic poisoned rhetoric of the Limbaughs of the world then I’d feel right at home w/Digg.
    I’m ashamed for you … if you are not … you’ve allowed this to happen.

  12. khan says:

    headline needs a slight correction to make sense — the P is missing in what i presume is ‘top’

  13. Matt says:

    Wow! What load of half-truths and outright lies. I haven’t read anything this pathetic since Hillary’s ‘vast right wing conspiracy’ theory. Try doing some actual journalism next time!

  14. @khan thank you and apologies to all for the errors

  15. thepartystar says:

    Excuse me but your entire section about Dilberto is inaccurate. I was NOT an accomplice in any of that. Dilberto is another one of NoLibertarians accounts and I didn’t even know he was in the DP group because I never check that email. If you all have the correspondences in the group then at least report the truth. If you looked at my emails you would see I consistently spoke out against mass burying and when NoLibertarians wrote those comments I was genuinely shocked and disgusted. If its true that I was used in a falseflag troll operation then that is just plain f’d up. My name is ruined even though I didn’t do the things this article says I did. Guilty by association is one thing but I can’t believe that I was being used without my knowledge as a pawn by diggers i trusted with personal information….like the fact i was assaulted in real life. This whole thing is sickening and I’m very upset that I’m being slandered in articles like this. Go read the emails before you write about me please.

  16. @thePartyStar, or should I say MyCarteBlanche, or how about LibertyCheeks, You can try to claim whatever you want, but we have evidence on everything (and I mean everything). If your DP clan used you as a pawn in their game with sexual harassment strategies, that is something you should take up with them.

  17. Gruntled says:

    @Matt: Heheh! Well-argued rebuttal! You’ve convinced me!

  18. thepartystar says:

    @ole ole olson

    If you have the evidence that I was a willing accomplice in any sexual harassment strategy than provide it. I volunteer with RAINN (Rape and Incest National Network) to speak out against rape. How dare you make these claims about me without proof. You have no evidence WHATSOEVER of me gaming digg or using DP foranything more than a shout feature. If you did, why am I not quoted in any of these articles? because I was NEVER on there and the only info you do have shows that I stood against blind burying and against harassment. As a rape victim who has dedicated time and energy into helping other rape victims overcome the pain, your association of me with this Dilberto sex scheme is not only a complete LIE but a defamation of character and I demand you retract your statement claiming I was a willing participant. You need to rewrite that section to reflect the truth: that if there was a plan by Dilberto to troll, it was a plan I had no knowledge of. Get your story straight.

  19. thepartystar says:

    Novenator,

    Fix this article within the next 24 hours or I will contact a lawyer and have you shut down. I have a strong criminal defamation case against you. Your claim that i am a willing participant , “Do you know of any willing falseflag female targets on Digg?” negatively impacts my ability to help rape victims because it calls into question my character. This publication viewed by over 10,000 people and 300 to this url specifically, is grounds for a serious lawsuit. You will be held criminally responsible for your lies. You really did it this time novenator…you really messed up this time.

  20. Steely Dan says:

    @thepartystar

    Bwahahahahahahahaha, breaking out the legal threats to cover up your complicity in this disgusting underground censoring scheme? You’re the scum of the Earth and rightly deserve to have your name forever sullied for participating in this conspiracy. Deflate pufferfish, for we all know you’re full of hot air.

  21. @thepartystar. As the co-founder and editor at large of this website, I need to educate you a bit. Defamation is not a criminal act in this country. No one gets sent to jail for defamation. Two, the burden of proof is on you to show that you were defamed. That means you would be subpoenaed and deposed by defense attorneys and forced to provide evidence showing actual damages. In other words, the loss you suffered as a result of this. In all defamation and libel cases, truth prevails.

  22. Loowow says:

    @jason

    Defamation is a tort not criminal. However, hacking into, or otherwise gaining access to a private, invite only, group is a Federal crime. It’s called wire fraud, look it up.

    @PartyStar

    Don’t worry, I have all the emails too. I’ll be contacting you so I can send them to you. They are so damning to novenator and all those who post his article it’s going to be fun to watch the perp walks. And no, Dilberto was never a DPer. We rejected the idea of inviting him. And I really don’t think it was him posing as one of the No_ people harassing you. And I know you well enough to say that there is no way in hell you would have stood for the harassment and your reactions to them were obviously causing you much stress. Those who say otherwise are just ignorant.

    @ ole (novenator)

    PartyStar is right. You’ve stepped into a huge pile of crap while opening a big can of worms with your criminal trespass into a private group, and you now have no legal way out. And that’s all I’ll say to you atm.

  23. Dilberto says:

    OleOleOlson,

    I did not have anything to do with the trolling of ThePartyStar, and your criminally-conducted muckraking exposition is one of the sickest social media manipulations I have ever seen. You make it out to be like liberal voices were supposedly silenced, but on yours and Anomaly100′s Digg profiles you two have a lot of front page stories.

    You are very ignorant of the fact that a digger who repeatedly buries the same thing causes his buries to lose potency. Therefore, it will be your ignorance and the complaining of your circle of Digg friends that will lead to the eventual demise of Digg when the site ceases to be user-moderated.

  24. Progressive says:

    I know this guy named Greg Keranen who I am 90% sure is the Dilberto in question. The views he expresses around me seem to match.

    http://proliberty.com/dilberto/

  25. I love how the Digg Patriots are trying to scare me with all of this. I will not divulge any information about the undercover investigation in question, but I can tell you this as fact: no laws were broken, so go ahead and waste your time if you want, that’s your business.

    What is most interesting however is the fact that instead of coming clean and just admitting what you all did was wrong in the first place, you try the same terror tactics to shut up the investigators. Now THAT speaks volumes.

    You got busted, man up and deal with it.

  26. Loowow says:

    As I said…nothing else to say to you right now.

  27. Progressive says:

    Thank you for outing these racist hacks on Digg. Some of them are actually people who are somewhat known who hide behind their Internet identities.

    http://proliberty.com/dilberto/

  28. Progressive says:

    His webpage host even cites “anti zionist” and troofer sources.

    http://proliberty.com/references/

    Jews United Against Zionism
    Libertarian Party
    Coalition to Reform Money

  29. Loowow says:

    Jason

    When it comes out that this story is completely out of context and contrived to his hyper-liberal bias will you admit to your mistake by allowing his posting at this site and print a retraction? Or will you let the site go down in flames for hosting stories that are abject yellow journalism?

    I have the proof that novenator is manufacturing what he’s saying. When the time is right it will all come out. Will you “man up” to this nonsense by keeping novenator from ever posting here again? Or will you do what novenator will probably do, by saying “But but but”?

    Our attorneys have told us to stay quiet on this for the time being, but when our side is finally released…what will your reaction be besides sticking up for another hyper-liberal?

  30. I know Novenator. And I know he has integrity. That’s why this superb investigative article was published here. And his reporting was vetted by the best of the best. You have thus far attacked him and his reporting and have failed to back up your hyperbole with documentary evidence. When you can provide actual documentation to support the unsubstantiated allegations you have leveled then I will listen. Until then you’re simply making empty threats.

  31. I am curious to see this “proof” as well Loowow (whatever your Digg Patriots name is, we may never know). I find it hilarious that for a while some of you thought Dilberto was novenator though, that was the subject of endless humor. If you are waiting for the “right time” to clear your name, I think NOW is it.

    Didn’t think so.

  32. Scott Ryan says:

    For the record, I am not happy with the democrats or the republicans, I find myself somewhere in the middle these days. I do know that if you go and look at the stats, Huffington posts, NY Times, CNN, LA TIMES and more liberal news organizations go front page a lot more than do posts from fox news and more conservative sites. I was asked on a number of occasions to bury stories from fox news. I refused and they started burying anything I submitted from any site, so I just left digg in 2009. It happens on both sides, Obama stories made the front page all the time, while Sarah Palin and Ron Paul were buried fast. Maybe it’s true the left wasn’t as organized as this group, but the fact remains people on both sides have people doing the very same thing.

    Another well known fact I just saw mentioned by one other person is true, when you bury a story or stories from a certain topic on a regular basis, it begins to not count as much. I am also certain that it gets your account flagged and reviewed. The people at digg are not dumb. They are very on top of things whether you think so or not.

  33. Scott Ryan says:

    If you look at this link it clearly shows therattingtonpost never went front page.

    http://digg.com/search?s=therattingtonpost

    If you use the search term therattingtonpost +p to show promoted stories there are none.

    If you use the search term therattingtonpost +b to show buried stories you see that 21 of the 24 stories submitted were buried. Only 3 somehow avoided being buried.

    Also, everyone seems to think this group, DP, really buried content, but if you look at the top 100 sources for digg front page stories for the last year you can clearly see they didn’t come close to burying all, or even a majority of the liberal posts.

    youtube.com
    telegraph.co.uk
    wired.com
    i.imgur.com
    news.bbc.co.uk
    dailymail.co.uk
    news.yahoo.com
    physorg.com
    nytimes.com
    arstechnica.com
    time.com
    huffingtonpost.com
    mashable.com
    gizmodo.com
    cnn.com
    cracked.com
    break.com
    imgur.com
    sciencedaily.com
    msnbc.msn.com
    guardian.co.uk
    engadget.com
    washingtonpost.com
    reuters.com
    techcrunch.com
    sportsillustrated.cnn.com
    npr.org
    news.cnet.com
    flickr.com
    newsweek.com
    newscientist.com
    online.wsj.com
    globalpost.com
    torrentfreak.com
    totalprosports.com
    treehugger.com
    mint.com
    collegehumor.com
    rawstory.com
    edition.cnn.com
    livescience.com
    pcmag.com
    techradar.com
    pcworld.com
    news.discovery.com
    articles.latimes.com
    cbsnews.com
    abcnews.go.com
    networkworld.com
    boston.com
    blogs.laweekly.com
    apod.nasa.gov
    thrfeed.com
    foxnews.com
    greenbiz.com
    hollywoodreporter.com
    computerworld.com
    askmen.com
    chicagotribune.com
    io9.com
    latimes.com
    dailytelegraph.com.au
    blogs.sfweekly.com
    sports.espn.go.com
    asylum.com
    hothardware.com
    guyism.com
    news.nationalgeographic.com
    theweek.com
    truecrimereport.com
    sportingnews.com
    movieline.com
    radaronline.com
    fora.tv
    timesonline.co.uk
    popularmechanics.com
    aolnews.com
    dailyfinance.com
    indecisionforever.com
    articles.sfgate.com
    thehoopdoctors.com
    blogs.citypages.com
    environmentalgraffiti.com
    gamingbolt.com
    holytaco.com
    ccinsider.comedycentral.com
    chicagonow.com
    theonion.com
    upi.com
    kokugamer.com
    theatlanticwire.com
    funnyordie.com
    thenextweb.com
    web.mit.edu
    xkcd.com
    1up.com
    popsci.com
    politico.com
    blogs.seattleweekly.com
    cinemablend.com

  34. Scott, I appreciate your reply, but the issue here is not whether as many conservative stories front page at Digg as progressive stories. The userbase is heavily center-left, and tend to be highly educated, so there are simply going to be a lot more of the latter.

    The rattingtonpost is not front paging on Digg because it is a DP front that is full of very poorly written blogospam that is very far right. There is no organized liberal bury brigade that is shutting them down, it is the digg community, despite DP rallying their membership to upvote every article.

    That is what this entire article is about, an organized and deliberate censoring of content by a very tiny minority.

  35. Not Telling says:

    Meanwhile, I will create about 3 bogus no accounts that won’t bury anything but will pose as the guy that calls us all “son” and trolls our submissions.

    That guy is from York, Pennsylvania.

    Digg has banned him many times over.

    He has been known as: sportsstar 67, nolibertarians, noliberties, etc.

  36. JR says:

    I highly doubt these guys had much more effect than their individual efforts would have had. Banned users can just get new accounts, and going around IP bans is pretty easy.

    I think the authors of this story are exaggerating the diggpatriot effect to promote their work.

  37. BuckeyeTexan says:

    You now have my e-mail address and my IP address. Now perform some “intrepid new journalism” and get my comment on this story. We’ll see how honest you are when you decide whether or not to post this comment in its entirety.

    I had NOTHING to do with Digg Patriots. Quoting me in your article and thereby linking me to Digg Patriots is absolutely dishonest. Yes, I’m a FReeper and dang proud of it. For a very short period of time in late 2009, I encouraged other FReepers to vote for conservative articles on Digg. But I didn’t encourage trolling or targeting Digg users or lying about their identities or creating multiple accounts to game the Digg algorithms.

    I don’t want liberals invading Free Republic, so I don’t promote invading liberal sites. Read my Free Republic home page. I do engage liberals on their turf, but I ALWAYS do so in a polite, respectful manner and my discussions with liberals are about political policy, with one exception. There is a liberal site on which I participate where we make fun of birthers and Orly Taitz. Honest individuals can disagree in a respectful manner. And they can laugh together about batsh*t crazy conspiracy theories.

    Here are all of my comments from the FR article where you retrieved my comment about Digg:

    - I’ve argued up, down, and around with the libtards over there. I haven’t been suspended or banned, yet. I’m not encouraging people to go bury liberal stories or attack liberal comments. I’m simply encouraging FReepers to help promote conservative content by digging conservative articles. They don’t even have to post a comment at Digg.com unless they want to do so.

    - Yes, Digg is completely biased toward liberals. That’s because their members are liberals and they vote for liberal articles. If conservatives join Digg and vote for conservative articles, then those articles will make to the front page and most popular section. It’s possible to influence the content on Digg. Just digging conservative articles will not get anyone banned from Digg. If you start burying articles and comments and engaging in heated discussions, you run the risk of being banned. Getting conservative information in front of the sleepwalking public is a good thing. Don’t give up.

    - Exactly. And I’m not encouraging people to call anyone names, engage in heated conversation, or make controversial comments. Just digg the conservative articles. And if you feel like it, post some conservative comments on those articles and talk to other conservatives about their opinions. You don’t have to engage the libtards. You can ignore them. The whole idea is to get real information in front of them so they see something other than what the MSM wants them to see. Don’t think of digging as fighting with liberals. Think of it as slapping the MSM and taking some of the wind out of their sails.

    - YES! That’s why it’s a great opportunity for conservatives to influence the debate. You don’t have to read the garbage that the liberals over there are spewing. You don’t have to engage them. But if enough conservatives digg articles, we can effectively influence the quality of the information that they see and read. It’s a significant opportunity to counter the MSM, please don’t discourage others from participating.

    - I’m not asking you to deal with obnoxious liberals. You don’t have to read their comments. You don’t have to respond to them. All I’m asking you to do is vote for an article at Digg and then leave. That’s it! Digging conservative articles is the same thing as FReeping a poll. If you would vote for an opinion poll to influence the results, then you should digg conservative articles. It’s the same concept with the same goal.

    - I agree with you but it’s like pulling teeth to get FReepers to digg articles. If I can just get us over there to vote, I’ll consider that progress. We do have a few brave FReepers who will go mano e mano with the liberal diggers. FReepers, if you’re up for it, please do review article comments and digg or bury them.

    I gave up on Digg shortly after that post. I don’t think I’ve logged into Digg in about a year, maybe more.

    Regards,
    BuckeyeTexan

  38. BuckeyeTexan says:

    Digg Patriots tell their side of the story on BOTW
    http://bannedontheweb.com/digg-patriots-tell-their-side-of-the-story-on-botw/

  39. BuckeyeTexan says:

    Now we find out the truth. That Dilberto guy who thought up the plot of sexual harassment against a female WAS NEVER a member of Digg Patriots. He thought up that plot in an attempt to infiltrate their group to set them up.

    He sent the idea to a member of Digg Patriots who sent it to the entire group to expose what an awful wretch he was. That’s the only reason that information is in the Digg Patriot e-mail archives. When the Digg Patriots read his plot, they decided that he could not join the group.

    Dilberto was not a conservative and was NEVER A MEMBER of Digg Patriots.

  40. JacksonY says:

    Do your best not to trip over your lover while you’re backpeddlin’ there BuckeyeTexan.

  41. Anomaly100 says:

    The person posing as “Progressive” has been commenting the same comments at my site, however, I did not allow the comments to go through after checking his ip address and noticing it was the same as several others that were commenting using different names. @COINTELAgent, who I have contacted is one of the names he used. His email address is on his Digg profile so I’m sure that’s where they got it.

    Apparently, this person has used his name all over the Internet leaving dubious comments for quite awhile.

    My thought is, it’s Dilberto. Check the ip address. I could be wrong, but it’s worth a glance. He also commented using Greg’s name, who I think is also Dilberto. These people use so many different names and ip addresses, it’s impossible to keep up. If I were any of you, I would take my email address off of Digg or any other site. COINTELAgent is now victimized in other forums by these very same people. They are unconscionable.

  42. Anomaly100 says:

    Buckeye Texan: You mean the Digg Patriots *attempted* to tell their side of the story. They looked pretty bad…to a credible person, but then that leaves you out.

  43. Lida Shafaghat says:

    Thank you for your comments!! I didn’t know your website at all , The speech used on this web , is difficult for me to understand . I was quite direct , though. There is no lover issue , neither patriotisme , I am not interested in politics at all . I am an Iranian lady civilian , independant . Whoever has started this stupid , disgusting ‘ GAME ‘ (which I still don’t have enough information about )has to know the battle was made real by someone . It reveals a cheap , low intellectIectual level of thinking but the huge crime happened ; I was truely tortured and have injuries . This is a court human rights case , whoever is responsable and has allowed this to happen by abuse of power and misuse of govermental facilities to put my security and my life in danger has/have to answer in front of judges in a true court .They are threats for international security.
    I thought you were human right activist , I needed an action and specially access to the best Medical care in the world . It seems, I made a mistake .This is rather a debate web , I am not interested and it doesn’t resolve my problem .
    GOOD BYE everybody,
    Lida Shafaghat M.D

  44. Progressive’s info: gregggreen46@yahoo.com
    201.160.239.249

  45. Belinda Gomez says:

    Cddoom–if you think cow poop is what destroyed the commons, you’re sadly misreading that citation.

  46. Rehsab Thgir says:

    “Wow! What load of half-truths and outright lies. I haven’t read anything this pathetic since Hillary’s ‘vast right wing conspiracy’ theory. Try doing some actual journalism next time!”

    Translation: “We got busted showing our true colors! Deny everything! Poison the well!”

  47. Tenburn says:

    Yall are nuts, you know that right? All of you. Go outside. Check out the sun. Close your web browsers. Stop thinking the internet is serious business.

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