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2/2/2007
04:32 PM
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Digg Dims List Of Leading Lights To Curtail Corruption

Founder Kevin Rose responds to thwart attempts to manipulate the social networking site.

In a blog post on Thursday, Digg.com founder Kevin Rose said that his popular community-driven news link site would no longer list "Top Diggers" who "are being blamed by some outlets as leading efforts to manipulate Digg."

This change comes even though Rose in the same post said, "We strongly believe attempts to game Digg are ineffective."

Other sites that rely on user input have issued similar denials. Google used to insist that search result manipulation wasn't a problem until it recently took steps to diminish the impact of so-called "Google bombs." It continues to claim that click fraud is overstated and under control.

At Wikipedia, a constant target for manipulation, correcting "corrections" has become more or less a continuous task. Microsoft was recently pilloried online for offering to pay a blogger and developer to revise certain Wikipedia articles seen as biased against the company. And no doubt another such scandal awaits discovery.

Whether or not Digg can be gamed, Web marketers appear quite keen to try. In a post on the Pronet Advertising blog, University of Chicago economics student Muhammad Saleem published an e-mail that he claims represents an offer to pay top Digg users for votes to promote the sender's Web site.

The wisdom of the crowd faces a potent challenge from the venality of the connected.

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