Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I was permanently banned from Digg

On Monday, October 29, I was permanently banned from Digg for posting a link that hit the front page. Since then, word has spread that I was banned, and felt the need to clear the air about a couple of issues that have been raised.

First and foremost, this is not the first time I had been banned from Digg. That much needs to be made very clear. I had been banned from the site 3 times previously; all for different reasons.

The first time, I was scrounging around on the web looking for something to submit, and found a great photo of a tattoo. Without thinking to check the rest of the page; or simply just submitting a direct link to the photo; I posted it on Digg. Well, as it had turned out, there was some nudity towards the bottom of the page. I apologized for the incident – it was a mistake after all – and was reinstated.

The second time was a “bot ban”. I, along with several other Diggers, was banned over what they have termed “mass blind digging”. Apparently it was an “algorithm” thing, where users who were digging too frequently were banned. I, along with the others, was reinstated.

Finally, the third time was for another submission. I had posted a set of links I found on del.icio.us. Turns out that some of the links went to some very NSFW sites. Whoever discovered that was clearly unhappy and decided to ban me. Again, I acknowledged the mistake, and everything was sorted out.

Now, before I continue, I’d just like to point out that I’m not having a whine about being banned. I screwed up, and made a mistake. It happens, I am human. & I am fully aware that in this day and age there are plenty of other online playgrounds I can go and crash into. Which I intend to do, of course.

My key issue with the permanent ban is that, for me, the math just doesn’t add up. I wasn’t in the Top 100 Diggers list (though I was close). I had submitted 1800+ stories to Digg in over a year, and had a nice little 5% front page rating.

Digg’s anti-abuse system is obviously and clearly set up to deal with people who are spamming, trolling, or going out of their way to abuse the system.

So, I’ve made a total of 4 infractions against the TOS. That’s 4 incidences out of 1800+ posts.

Is 4 out of 1800 abusing the system?

I do not believe so.

According to Digg, my account has been permanently removed; and my IP has been blocked from registering. In my view, the consequence does not really fit the situation considering that I have well over 1796+ incidences of conforming with and observing the terms of service.

The key issue is not that this has happened to me. The key issue is that it can happen to anyone.

Anyone can make mistakes.

If you’re a power digger and submit a lot of stuff; I recommend AGAINST posting anything – and I mean ANYTHING – that could be construed as NSFW. Even if it hits the front page at Reddit or other sites; the powers-that-be over at Digg have itchy trigger fingers when it comes to this.

I just don’t want to see anyone fall into this same kind of trap I fell into.

& yes, it was my own mistake. I acknowledge that. I take responsibility for it. And I have apologized for it as well.

Will I ever be reinstated or allowed to register at Digg again? Your guess is as good as mine; but at present, it seems highly unlikely.

So let’s take a look at the post that got me permanently banned…

On Sunday, October 28, I noticed this post over at Reddit. I found it very humorous. It had hit their front page without incident, so after some thought I figured it would be safe to submit it to Digg. Evidently, I was wrong.

The post gathered attention quickly in the upcoming stories section, and I believe it hit the front page on Monday. It quickly gathered 1000+ diggs.

During Monday, when I logged into Digg, my account was all weird. Everything had disappeared: my posts, comments, diggs, fans, friends, and images. I e-mailed Digg to find out what the deal was, and that was when I found out I was banned. And that it was a permanent ban.

Later, a good friend of mine who also posts to Digg posted this story about what had happened to me. While it was dugg and commented on by numerous people, it was removed from the upcoming stories list.

My point behind making this post tonight was to primarily let people who were on my friends list know what was going down. But more importantly, I just don’t want other people falling into the same issue I did. We’re all human and we make mistakes. It happens.

I have no idea whether there will be any positive outcome from this incident; though I will be fighting it because I think their consequences were too harsh considering some of the explicit material that has been posted at Digg in the past (goatse links in comments, anyone?).

Consider also that there were some diggers in the past who accepted payments for submissions and diggs – some of those who were caught are still digging away. I’m not saying their infractions are worse than mine; but it does seem to be some kind of double standard working here. Or perhaps, a lack of consistency.

Finally, I want to thank those of you who supported and dugg my stuff over the last year or so. I don’t know whether I will end up back at Digg or not; but I appreciated being part of the community and found it a hell of a lot of fun. You know who you are, so thanks. Catch me online on IM. You know where to find me.

& if anyone’s interested where I am headed for the time being, I’m going to be posting stuff over at Mixx.com. Check it out if you get a chance; it’s a new site and just starting out, but seems to be a lot of fun.

Cheers to you all. Much love and respect; keep on digging away.

Greg Davies aka cGt2099