Archive for April, 2007
LiveLeak.com is a sometimes-controversial video-based site which receives over a half-million visitors a day and was, until just now, completely unindexed in Google – because they accidentally told Google not to index their site! The funniest part is that, as of 4 AM PST, their own front page still has a ‘try it for yourself’ link that encourages users to see that they aren’t indexed by Google.
In┬ a rather tragic personal video a depressed-sounding LiveLeak administrator describes how he has been trying to contact Google about this potential act of censorship. Meanwhile, this video has received comments ranging from ranging from “google has stepped out of bounds” to “google is with the government in censoring the internet and they must be stopped!!!” Meanwhile, of course, they were informed (by a friend of mine) of the problem and, as you can see below, have fixed it:
Even the┬ Wikipedia article on Google censorship┬ contains an (albeit now contested) sub-section pointing out this issue.┬ ┬ How can a site with a half a million visitors a day┬ and numerous web┬ professionals looking into the problem NOT figure this out sooner? Go(d)ogle only knows, but now that they have removed the bot they are sure to get a flood of links from Google. Maybe it was just reverse psychology to begin with :P
Well, suddenly it seems my site has become the top source for all the dirt on Digg.com (yes, I have to stop abusing that pun). So, I’m going to upgrade my site to handle the additional traffic┬ I’ve been getting which means switching┬ Web Hosting services. I should be up and running soon – but you, dear reader, might find that my posts are fewer and farther between as I get set up on a new server with more space and speed and all of that good stuff. I did my research on this one so I figure I’ll pass along my findings and recommend it to you all too if you’re looking to upgrade your hosting. Just to balance the karmic scales though, you can go check out these web hosting reviews and decide for yourself if you want some other options.
Update: I have to run for a bit, but thought I’d add this real quick: a screenshot from Google Analytics from today so far – soon I expect Digg.com will be my highest source of traffic for the day, even though my URL is supposedly not reachable from their site. Too funny! And to top their corruption off, they’ve effectively buried my Digg post so you can’t even find it if you search for the exact headline.
Note: as of 9:30 PST the Digg´┐Ż traffic´┐Ż is up to over %30
This is too funny … a very intelligent-sounding report just came out with 5 reasons Digg can’t be corrupted by cash. Of course, a Wired contributor already proved that this was in fact not the case. Still, given the relationship of Wired and Reddit one does lead one to wonder. So,┬ instead of judging, I┬ sat down with the list, and took it apart, piece by piece:
1) Super-History Tracking. Their claim: because they can track individual computer histories they can see if you visited a site with a pay-per-Digg program. So what? You could look up those programs on a school or library computer! And if they start blocking accounts from publicly shared computers? (a) They might hit the wrong person – an innocent follow-up user┬ and (b) their own users will revolt and ditch them.
2) Timing is Everything. Their claim: if something is voted up slower rather than right away, it is suspicious. Fine. I’ll go to any of a dozen university buildings I can access, or local libraries, and hop between dozens of available computers in under an hour, building up Diggs with pre-made accounts. Before you know it, I’ll be on page one from piggy-back Diggers.
3) Spam Reporting Lowers Reputations. Their claim: your user account will be flagged if you exhibit unusual Digg behavior. I could almost laugh out loud at this one. So what? Just make up a new account. Takes 30 seconds and a junk e-mail address.
4) Where You Vote Matters. Their claim: because pay-per-Digg users jump directly to sites they will get flagged. That’s an easy technicality to overcome, or at least it will be once Digg.com searches actually work. Pay-per-Digg services will simply┬ advise ’employees’ to go to Digg and search for certain keywords, find the story, and Digg it. Duh.
5) Big Targets are Easy. Their claim: (a) lawsuits from pissed off Digg┬ and (b) users getting pissed about abuse will bring these pay-per-Digg sites down. Well, (a) I haven’t heard of any lawsuits yet and (b) who isn’t pissed about abuse? Digg openly accepts and endorses plagiarized content. If anyone is going to get sued, it is Digg.com.
Well, I think my fascinating encounters with Digg are at an end. I have to say it was worth the ride, and thanks to those of you who participated in various subversions, submitted comments or threw a laugh or two my way. I’ve enjoyed tracking back some links and seeing what you wrote about all of this on your *own* blog, but don’t forget – you can leave some comments here to if you’d like (I recently added that feature, which some of you have already taken advantage of. Kudos!).
So how the hell did you get here from Digg.com?
WANT TO┬ UNDERMINE DIGG.COM? THEN SUBMIT THIS:
HEADLINE:┬ Digg.com No Longer Allows Links to This URL
BODY TEXT: So how the hell did you get here from Digg.com?
The period after ‘.com’ will allow it to slip through their system!
If you find someone else has submitted this story? No worries, find another sub-page on this site and add a ‘.’ after the ‘.com’ portion of the URL and viola! It will slip right through their system before you know it ;)
You know, every time I think this story is over, it gets (amazingly) better. So, I posted a fake April Fools joke image of a ranting┬ e-mail from ‘Digg Director of Operations Steve Baker’ addressed to me in which he swears and curses profusely (there is no such person, but there is a DoO Scott Baker).┬ A Digg.com user stole the image from my site and, without citing my site as its source, reposted it and submitted it to Digg.com. Pure and unquestionable plagiarism – against Digg.com policy. Now that plagiarized post is *at the top* of Scott Baker’s Digg list. If there was any question in your minds, dear readers, that Digg endorses plagiarism, it should now be vanquished. If you think this is an April Fool’s joke, you can visit his Digg list to verify my claims.
Breaking news:┬ my ‘letter from Digg’ has been copied and put onto not one but two other servers (just that I know of) without permission and are both in the process of being Dugg! Irony? Plagiarism? Whatever. I <3 the interweb.
In other news,┬ Digg finally blocked my IP address – no more commenting for me under pseudonyms: I’ve been ousted from the system for good. Since this whole thing started I’ve been looking into Digg’s past and (excuse the pun) but: I’ve dug up a lot of sh*t on that site.
Probably a lot of you know that you can buy Diggs to drive up your story’s popularity. Some new stats on Wikipedia suggest further corruption. And, of course, Slashdot has already long since written about cases similar to my own. You can check out this blog for an in-depth discussion of some of the many loopholes in the Digg system.┬ Finally, Problogger has some links to various discussions related to Digg issues. And my most recent find: a site dedicated to listing sites of people who were banned from Digg.
Please feel free to link to this article and/or share your comments and personal experiences related to how much Digg sux :)
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In the definitively hottest twist yet in the story of my site’s stolen content,┬ check out an┬ amazingly inflammatory letter from a Digg administrator that reads like he is coming down off a 3-day crack binge.┬ This letter of response to my inquiries concerning plagiarized┬ content on Digg.com was nothing short of astonishing, using phrases like “we’re sure as shit not going to apologize” and “go fuck yourself” shortly after┬ the administrator┬ admits that Digg.com is at fault.┬ ┬ For the full story see the three preceding posts.┬ I can only imagine this guy meant to save this to his “draft” bin and sent this by accident!┬ It’s almost hard to believe this all started with a simple humorous post about a bizarre new Google Maps function. Digg definitely sucks a lot more than Google sucks.┬ Please take the time to read the disclaimer regarding the information presented on this site! Oh, and happy Apr1l F00l’s day – this post is completely bogus, though all other posts related to Digg┬ on my site are fully factual (basically I was frustrated at not receiving a response/explanation for being first banned and then having my IP address blocked from Digg.com – so I made up the response I figured best match what they thought when they read my letter). If you don’t believe my other posts and think ‘he can’t have been banned for this’ or ‘they wouldn’t just ignore him’ then read some of the other stories from reputable sources like Wikipedia, Wired, Problogger and Slashdot posted above.