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Gaming a Popularity-based News Site

Annalee Newitz: “I Bought Votes on Digg. Despite their doubts, Diggers kept digging my blog. There’s a perverse incentive here: Diggers who vote early on stories that become wildly popular become more “reputable” in the Digg system. If you’re trying to move up the Digg ranks, it’s in your best interest to vote on anything that looks like it’s gaining popularity. And my blog, with its flurry of paid votes, fit the pattern.

This reveals a flaw in the current system, not necessarily a flaw in the overall concept. But until we can combine reputation — in all its permutations — with popularity, sites like Digg and Newsvine will be missing the mark.

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