The other day, Digg made some changes to its voting system. Whereas, previously, votes were not weighted in any discernible manner, they are now weighted based upon the, supposed, level of collusion that you exhibit with other users. The idea is that if you commonly vote up the same article as another user, then your combined vote is only worth one “vote” unit.
The fundamental problem that I have with this implementation is that if you’re a normal, non-colluding, Digg user – your generic vote weight will go down as time goes on. The more you use Digg, the more chance that you have of haphazardly voting the same as another user. Eventually the system with find you to be in collusion “Three diggs together! Oh no!” and chop your vote to an invisible degree.
An excellent-quality article made it up onto Digg today (a seemingly rare occurrence). In the article, Pete argues that Digg follows a strict sense of Groupthink and conformity. I couldn’t possibly agree more. I especially like his proposed solution to the aforementioned problem (while taking a different aproach than that of vote weighting):
To tackle the problem of conformity, do not show profile or # of votes for up-and-coming dugg articles. Just show the article link, with no profiles or votes attached to it. As a compromise, only show the profiles and votes on the articles that make the digg front page, but make them un-diggable from the front page.
I think the decision made by the Digg team was incredibly mis-guided. But it’s immediate ramifications are tangible enough for them to make a quick decision concerning it. In my opinion, stopping colluding friends, or bot networks, is only part of the battle; stopping independent, rogue, users is something else entirely (and which I’ll be discussing more, in the future).