The Life of a Conservative Blogger on Digg
It is not easy. I start off with a lot of strikes against me. Digg is a mostly liberal crowd. For some unknown reason Digg doesn’t really like bloggers. Finally, Digg doesn’t like having the same topic show up, so even if something is very popular after awhile people start burying it just because they get sick of it. Ron Paul is where this applies for me as we talk about libertarian ideas quite a bit. He used to hit the front page on a daily basis, now months go by without a single article with his name hitting the front page.
Like I said, Digg is a mostly liberal site. There is a conservative movement starting, but it is vastly outnumbered at this point. That’s fine, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and I wouldn’t expect them to Digg my articles. The problem is that people bury articles not because they are badly written or false, but simply because they talk about the opposing party. This is where things change from editing to censorship.
I’ll give an example. A few months ago there was an article that went popular on Digg called “The FDR Failed Myth” or something like that. The article basically said that FDR and the New Deal did a good job, we should do his policies again, and anybody who said otherwise was just a crazy conservative. Well, I find that to be a little inaccurate as unemployment was about 17% in 1940, 7 years after FDR took office. If unemployment is at 17% 3 years from now, I guarantee Obama does not get re-elected to a second term. Let alone a 3rd and 4th term as FDR was.
If I remember correctly that article went popular with around 160 or so Diggs near the end of its first day, which I think is about average. So I decided to write a response to it saying the New Deal Failed. After the first article went popular, it eventually got flagged as inaccurate and was buried. My article got over 210 Diggs in the first 24 hours, yet it didn’t make the front page.
The reason? Too many buries. Nobody wants to hear someone say FDR’s economic policies failed. You can’t say that Obama’s socialist policies aren’t going to succeed, even though all the evidence is to the contrary. Listen to what FDR’s Treasury Secretary, Henry Morganthau, had to say:
We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and now if I am wrong somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosper. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. I say after eight years of this administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started. And enormous debt to boot.
Sometimes the truth is hard to hear. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be heard. If it isn’t false or written poorly, there is no reason to bury something. As I said before, that isn’t editing, it is censorship.
Digg Hates Bloggers
This one I don’t really understand. Some of the best content on the web comes from bloggers in my opinion, yet many things get buried simply because it is on a blog. If you are on the front page too often, you get banned like Copyblogger or John Chow.
They both produce some very good content, I don’t see why Digg wouldn’t want to include it. Mostly the Digg crowd just doesn’t like to see the same people on the front page all the time. Which leads to the last point.
Digg Doesn’t Like Seeing the Same Things
Ron Paul was on the front page of Digg many many times early last year. His message of small government resonated with a large part of the Digg audience. Then after awhile he stopped making it to the front. Why? Did all of those people suddenly stop using Digg?
No, those articles still get a decent amount of Diggs. However, the “bury brigade” decided they were sick of Ron Paul. So now they bury anything that has his name in it. If it starts to creep up the upcoming pages, they quickly bury it so that it won’t make it to the front page. Again, this is a bizarre form of censorship. Read the article and then decide if it should be dugg, buried, or just left alone. Granted this goes for both sides of the coin. Many people would digg anything with his name which is equally bad and probably what started the burying in the first place.
Read the article before you digg or bury something. Don’t simply digg something because it has Ron Paul’s name in it. Don’t bury things for the same reason. You shouldn’t bury articles simply because they have a different viewpoint than your own, bury it if it is false or poorly done. Otherwise just leave it alone. Don’t bury or digg something based on which site it is from. Many bloggers create great content, much of which is better than what you will find on MSNBC.
If the front page becomes simply the headlines at CNN and MSNBC, people will stop coming to Digg and they will just go to CNN. The point of Digg is to find the best content from all around the web. If certain sites and certain topics get censored, Digg is no longer getting the best content. It is just some good content from a few places. That is much less useful and much less fun.