Digg was down today and I was redirected to the Digg blog, where I came upon a telling post from April, “Digging Fraud”:
Recently it was brought to our attention that several users have created accounts to mass digg and promote stories. While these accounts appear to be valid, they have in certain instances been used for automated in-order (scripted) digging. This is a violation of our terms of service and the accounts have since been banned.
As you can imagine with over 250,000 registered users (and adding thousands more per week) we are constantly monitoring and looking for user SPAM/fraud. Internally, we have several methods for detecting fraud which results in DOZENS of banned accounts per day.
The banning of forevergeek.com: Aside from the dozens of user reports, several accounts were created to artificially inflate the digg count of their stories. When a single URL hits a threshold of reports, our standard procedure is to block that URL from submission (spam control). Again, mass fraud digging is in violation of our terms of service.
It is forthright of Digg to acknowledge the “mass fraud digging” risks the site faces. While their efforts to curb such malfeasance are genuine, as the site expands to cover the general news of business, politics, entertainment…such “mass fraud digging” attempts will undoubtedly intensify. The monied interests of business, lobbying interests of politics and celebrity interests of entertainment will most likely be on the lookout for opportunities at Digg to artificially promote stories which advance their agendas.
While Digg is expending its limited resources to combat digging fraud, however, the $123 billion dollar market cap Google continues to assert its advertisers are not at financial risk due to click fraud.
and MORE ON GOOGLE