Yes, you read that right. The digg system is nearly broken. At the very least, it needs to add some categories. The structure as it stands is open to many fallacies such as multiple duplicate stories submitted. But one of the most problematic shortcomings of digg surfaced this past week. Digg was a major propogator in leading readers to believe that a story of true satire was in fact real.
As there was no tag or notification that the story was an Onion-like hypothetically satirical article, many were led to believe that the story was in fact real. Eventually, it was in fact proven false, but that does not take away from the damage to the editorial integrity that the fake story delivered. Digg has long been on shaky grounds already, as in theory there is no editorial board that shifts through and screens stories. While this is a moderately successful foray into a new journalistic frontier, it does afford for irrefutable flaws. As there is no real editorial process, there are no fact checkers. There are no real human gatekeepers that shift through the good stories and the crap. Check that, there are in fact gatekeepers, but they exist as committes of thousands who are easily led by the pied pier of digg. As a recent foray proved , well over half of digg users do not even bother to look at the provided link before digging an article.
Face it, the system is screwed up. It’s not broken, but needs fixing. As for the example provided in this article, simply adding a “satire” section would go a long way to halting similar problems in the future. If digg is to keep any sense of journalistic credibilitiy, it’s essential for everyday users (not those who periodicially check it throughout the day) to be able to clearly identify “true” articles that provide real facts. As for the second problem mentioned, it may take a huge overhaul of digg to really correct. And if digg is truly to keep it’s real “feel”, that may prove problematic.