Uh-oh, The Villagers Have Pitchforks & They Want Digg's Secret Editor List
I concede that nameless, icon-less, user-name-free persons (who are empowered to do more than dump the spam and protect kiddies from porn, but who can also edit submitted links/stories)
Anyone who has ever moderated a forum, or their own blog comments, knows there must be some human involvement here. And if folks don't know by now that humans are biased creatures, with their own points of view, if not out-right agendas, well, that person doesn't understand how communities work, and, fundamentally, how Digg works. I'm not just talking about Internet communities, but real communities of actual lifeforms.
However, it seems to me the real danger or upset here is not that Digg uses editors, nor even that users cannot see/communicate with them, but that Digg doesn't seem to even understand it's own purported purpose.
If Digg is to be a democracy, where The Public of users, or members of the Digg nation if you will, determine the success and failure of Digg's gross national product, why don't the citizens have any control in the elections or evaluations of the public officers who over-see such things? Shouldn't the citizens have the right to know, address, challenge, or at least report on those who are in charge of citizen security (protecting them from public enemies #1 & #2, porn and spam, respectively), and who, due to access, shape public policies (editing for outcomes to suit own beliefs)? Where's the public accountability in the democracy that is Digg?
Some of you will likely counter with facts declaring that Digg is not a nation, but a business; &/or pick at some flaw in my (very brief & greatly simplified) civics comparison. But spare us all; the former because Digg compares itself to a great democracy, the latter because I've not been hired as your Civics 101 instructor.
What matters here is that in Digg's growth the mission has been somewhat lost, and as such it stands on shaky gound. It's not that it cannot adjust; it certainly could...
But while they are busy defending their need for invisible editors, the public sees shadowy figures in the dark. That's a PR problem. Domestic and foreign. When your GNP is based on user created content, you'd better be taking the matter of public perception to heart; those villagers with pitchfolks matter.
Meanwhile, as Digg founders are busy rationalizing, others are ready to exploit. If secret editors were intended to keep the country safe, the borders are now in danger.
I found this story at Scott's blog, along with the above image, and that's what I'll leave you with today.
You may now sort our your feelings, & write a response.
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