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.