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Monday, Apr. 30, 2007 at 11:44 am

Can You Stop People From Cheating Digg?

By Bryan Eisenberg
April 30th, 2007

Bennet Haselton, a frequent Slashdot contributor, shares his ideas behind preventing the gaming of Digg and services like it.

Have you ever seen people put a link in their profile to their HotOrNot picture, saying “Go here and vote me a 10!!”? Similar to the people who send links to their friends and say, “I just posted this, please Digg this for me!” The difference is that on HotOrNot, it doesn’t work. On HotOrNot, you can cast votes for a picture in one of two ways. The first way is to go directly to the URL for someone’s picture; the second way is to load the front page, where a random picture from the database is selected at random, and vote for whatever picture comes up. The catch is that the votes that you cast by going directly to someone’s picture, are simply ignored in calculating the average score for that photo. The only votes that are counted are the votes cast for random pictures displayed on the front page. So if you want to manipulate the voting for your own photo, you’d have to load the front page hundreds of thousands of times waiting for your own picture to come up repeatedly, which is hard to do without being detected.

It’s an interesting read. I wonder, do you think this is foolproof? Would it work? I’ve never met an algorithm that couldn’t be gamed at some point or another.

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Comments (4)

  1. Very interesting. Many people are hooked on getting “dugg”. No doubt it has the opportunity to bring you crazy amounts of traffic, but I think if an article is good enough, natural traffic will occur and you’ll feel much better about it.

  2. I’d feel much better if I got crazy traffic and a crazy income!

    My main disinterest in Digg is the demographic of users. In their latest fiasco they’ve just proven their inability to respect intellectual property, so for an info-based product it’s not somewhere I want my site “dugg” into an early grave.

    In time they’ll grow up but for now I’ll avoid them for the same reasons I avoid pimply and aggressive teenagers in real life!

  3. [...] we find ways to reduce the effects of the mob? If we had a nickel for every time someone told us how they are going to leverage the wisdom of [...]

  4. unless digg has a manual review on each post so it is not realistic

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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