Tuesday, October 30, 2007
"Buried" Stories Bring to Mind
A Whiff of Modern-Day Book Burnings
The Diggs news site/social community started with an incredibly fresh idea: make the world of news a world of democracy. People vote on the news and the cream rises to the top. Democracy meets the Fourth Estate and the people are the winners.
But the "bury" feature of Diggs, for some, brings another image to mind: that of a high-tech book burning. When a cadre of a few dedicated diggers can determine what the majority see. By burying a story, a select few deny stories to the hurried, regular readers of Diggs. Something has to be in place to control blatant spam, the attempt to shill goods and services masquerading as news stories. But using the "bury" feature to register differences of political opinion smacks of censorship.
Some who have studied Diggs' Bury Brigade think a small group can kill a story. Just like a few burning books can determine what the majority in a community can read.
The only difference is that if you are diligent, you can search Diggs for buried stories--and thus, get a chance to read what a tiny percentage of Diggs' users have kept from the popular story stream.
At the moment, the most popular buried stories have to be any under the "Ron Paul" tag. Most of Diggs' users visiting any previous stories on our site come from searches with "buried" and "Ron Paul" as search terms.
Diggs changed when the site offered political news stories for persusal. It opened up a whole new audience. It also opened up a whole new political tool. Diggs is an evolving organism. The "bury" feature will surely also evolve over time.
One day, the "buried story" will go the way of the "book burning".
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