Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sense of humor failure at Digg

This afternoon I decided to play a little joke on Digg and Reddit by submitting a story about recursion that pointed from the Reddit story to the Digg story and back. Since Digg URLs are totally predictable it was possible to set this up by writing the Reddit story first (and they don't verify that URLs work) and then posting the correct Digg story with the Reddit link (which I couldn't predict).

It's a classic programmer joke (it's even in the Digg Programming section).

And for that my Digg account was cancelled without warning.

You can start the recursion at Digg here.

But Digg folks, get a life, ok? It was a joke, a classic programming joke. And this from a guy who's a 'dark tipper' (scary music).

A well informed reader writes to me:
Your amusing recursion hack has just had a practical consequence:
you inadvertantly caused the smoking gun proving Digg censors
stories on the front page. Your link actually made the digg
front page, according to the rss feed used by sites like popurls:

http://popurls.com/

but it's been censored from the actual front page.

This also shows an unexpected consequence of feeds: you can't
get away with censoring your site, unless you have some kind of
delay in the feed.
So I looked into this and sure enough the story is buried. If you try searching on Digg for 'reddit recursion' you get no results, but if you look at the main RSS feed my story is there as #2 on the front page. Yet on the actual page the story is not there.

In the RSS feed it appears between "Bug or Conspiracy? Digg users go CRAZY modding down comments!" and "Metallica finally joins iTMS". I'll email anyone a copy of the RSS feed showing my story.

And finally the number of stories promoted to the front page for user jgrahamc (my now dead account) just dumped from 1 to 2... I guess my silly recursion story should be on the front page but it isn't. This appears to be because members of the Digg community buried the story because they didn't like it, but Digg has no mechanism for showing when a story is buried.

Labels:

26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My attempt at humor went off like a lead balloon, nobody seemed to digg it:

http://thememefountain.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-to-properly-wipe-your-ass.html

the digg link:
http://digg.com/health/How_to_Properly_Wipe_Your_Ass

These folks definitely need a sense of humor. I thought your idea was clever, BTW.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they canceled your account for that? thanks anyway. made me laugh.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous T said...

Maybe they were afraid you'd drive too much traffic to Reddit, causing people to realize how Reddit is far superior to Digg.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...

I think it was funny.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Sosuke said...

I can't imagine why it was banned, no one was harmed, I got a chuckle out of it. Just really goes to show why I have ditched the Digg site as my main news source and since replaced that bookmark with Reddit!

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the death toll for Digg.

Bye bye VC money!

*flush sound effect*

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Naser said...

lemme try submitting your vow unto digg.. Hope my account won't get cancelled..

Digg it here: http://digg.com/tech_news/Sense_of_humor_failure_at_Digg

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Except this is a loop, and not recursion.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous:
Tail-call recursion = loop

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Digg is useful for tech, but I find Reddit more interesting and fun. Some Digg users take themselves way too seriously. And I often don't bother submitting things to Digg because their prima donna users are more than eager to bury anything that doesn't fit the norm.

Nonetheless, them cancelling your account is just pathetic.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They were also totally unresponsible when I've asked why my passwords can't contain special symbols (the last time I've tried to sign up they limited the password to alphanumerical characters, which makes me think that they store it in cleartext in the database!)

5:04 PM  
Blogger Bryce Leo said...

How dare you properly demonstrate a programming idea through creative use of tools available! I must say this is actually a very neat little prank. I can't belive that they didn't like it.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People still use digg? Sorry to hear that.

Reddit is all you need anyway.

5:25 AM  
Anonymous behemothaur said...

Maybe buried by users? There are a lot of uppity people on Digg who bury anything that's clever and/or funny. This is because they either a) don't get it, b) it's not about Apple or Ruby c) they are jealous they didn't post it first or d) they reckon it's a dupe.

The current Digg & Reddit war seems a bit silly to me, my reader has both feeds next to each other.

5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But Digg folks, get a life, ok? It was a joke, a classic programming joke. "

You should get a life too and not complain about this.

I don't see how the Digg folks should get a life when you are spending hours being all upset about all this.

Thank you very much.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that, more and more, Digg is becoming increasingly close-minded and hostile. It's strange, usually you see this type of behavior further down the line, just look at Microsoft.

I guess Digg's weirdness is following the same growth curve as IT itself does.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So...

You started out planning to fuck with Digg and you then complain when the joke gets burried...

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I asked digg why the ban happened. This is what I've got from them so far:

The user submitted the same exact story twice in less then 2 minutes
time. Digg users emailed us complaining that the user is spamming digg
with the same story and off-topic content. It is in violation of our
User Conduct

"5.to create or submit unwanted email ("Spam") to any other Digg users
or any URL;"
"7.to submit stories or comments linking to affiliate programs,
multi-level marketing schemes, sites/blogs repurposing existing stories
(source hops), or off-topic content;"

4:31 PM  
Blogger mpathy said...

hopefully digg will restore! we're with you on this one!

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally behind you on this one, man. I've been a Digg reader for a long time now, but the people who actually use the site get more militant and retarded by the day. Anyone who shows a flaw or suggests something is wrong/could be improved is eaten alive by the users.

It's sad, really. A great idea ruined by the end users.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The digg team is moderately retarded. I've had my own problems with them.

Btw, for those bitching that JGC for complaining about getting buried, he's not. He's posting on HIS BLOG that he got banned from digg for a prank. If you don't want to hear someone's rants or descriptions of their experiences, why would you visit their blog?

Idiots. Or maybe it's digg employees who are bitching now about people discussing this.

4:50 AM  
Blogger Mario De Roma said...

I never really digged digg, seemed to me like delicious and slashdot had a one night affair and digg was the bastard son they bore.

Now reddit seems to have a slightly more "I won't make you waste more time than needed on this" approach.

I'm giving it a try beacause of you.

So maybe they were right in banning you, you betrayer of the cult of the slashlicious bastard.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to know if it's true what the digg support people said in their reply above (story posted twice in a short time).

3:07 PM  
Blogger John Graham-Cumming said...

I'm pretty sure that the email fragment posted here is true but just in case I've asked the original poster to send me the full email thread.

I think it's true because it fits the facts of what I did (which would only be known to digg or someone who has access to my now killed account and story submission history.)

John.

5:40 PM  
Blogger John Graham-Cumming said...

Here's the full exchange between a Digg user and their support. The really annoying bit... their claim that if I asked they would have reinstated me. I sent two emails; no response.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Digg Support
Date: Jul 27, 2006 10:07 AM
Subject: Re: please delete my account
To: REDACTED

The user submitted the same exact story twice in less then 2 minutes
time. Digg users emailed us complaining that the user is spamming digg
with the same story and off-topic content. It is in violation of our
User Conduct

"5.to create or submit unwanted email ("Spam") to any other Digg users
or any URL;"
"7.to submit stories or comments linking to affiliate programs,
multi-level marketing schemes, sites/blogs repurposing existing stories
(source hops), or off-topic content;"

For more info http://digg.com/tos

Please email us back if you desire your account to be deactivated.

Thank you,

-The Digg Support Team.

REDACTED wrote:
> I'm still interested in knowing which part of the TOS was violated.
> If it's true, then I might keep my account.
>
> On 7/26/06, REDACTED wrote:
>> Which rule in the TOS was violated? I just read through the whole
>> thing and can't see what his post could be classified as that violated
>> the TOS.
>>
>> On 7/26/06, digg support wrote:
>> > No problem, but we're sorry to hear that. That user violated our
>> Terms
>> > of Service (digg.com/tos). Had they emailed us and agreed to not do
>> > that again, we would have unbanned their account. Digg is all about
>> > second chances! :) If you still want your account deleted, just reply
>> > back with your user name and we'll take care of it for you.
>> >
>> > --digg support
>> >
>> > REDACTED wrote:
>> > > I can't find how to delete my digg account. I no longer want to be
>> > > associated with digg, and definitely don't want you to be able to
>> > > count me in your subscriber base. Your idiotic banning of the
>> poster
>> > > of the "definition of recursion" post has convinced me that
>> digg's not
>> > > worth it.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So they cancelled the account for violation of their TOS. You could argue with them about this forever, they could claim it is an automatic response of something. However, it seems odd that they would manually censor something after it had recieved so many diggs. Their community is very sensetive and would not have upmodded something they consider spam

5:21 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home