Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Why Digg's non-hierarchical editorial control does not work and how to exploit it

You may think that Digg is user controlled but that is not the case. Digg is poorly designed and highly exploitable. I am going to show you how I took control of Digg today and how easy it was. If you are a Digg admin I hope you fix this ASAP.

I have successfully promoted many stories onto the front page. I have been doing this for the past few months. The steps are easy and anybody can do it. First off I register many accounts. Today alone I have registered the following accounts.
They are seperated by login/password pairs. If you attempt to login using one of these accounts you will get an error message because they have since been banned.

With each account I started to kill stories from the front page and in the digg queue by mass reporting them. A story will be removed with about 7 reports. This is easily accomplished using a bookmarklet. And then I proceeded to digg random stories with low digg counts. Again to simplify the process I used a bookmarket.

The following is a snapshot of the stories that were mass dugg by me:

Pages 1, 2, 3

This is a snapshot of the front page. Notice how the stories that I've mass dugg dominates the front page:
When Worlds Collide, Nice webdesign showcase Digg sauce, Review of the Web's First News Channel, auto-lock your computer on start-up, REVIEW: ATI's Newest Midrange Card (Radeon X1600 XT), Technology Enabled Leather Jacket, Using Math to Beat the Market, Want to go to the movies? Expect 20 minutes of advertising first., Huge collection of old propaganda.

This is a snap shot of the diggall page sorted by most diggs. Notice the next stories to be promoted are those that I have dugged.

This is obviously a serious design flaw in Digg and should be fixed immediately. I've come to the realize that this is the method that Albertpacino uses to get his stories onto the front page. In conclusion, Albertpacino is a tool should be banned.