By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2010, 3:31pm PT  

As usual, when Rightwingers can't win outright, they cheat. Such is the case on the very popular social aggregator website DIGG, as documented today at Alternet.

We've suspected for quite some time that links to The BRAD BLOG's articles as posted on DIGG have been quickly "buried" by Rightwingers hoping to keep our stories from reaching the front page --- or even the "upcoming" page, where others might see the story rising in DIGG "votes," so that it might then be propelled to the front page, where millions more would then see the link to the article.

The AlterNet piece details a "massive" Rightwing cabal which has been doing exactly that, and we weren't particularly surprised when we found The BRAD BLOG named in the piece as one of several non-wingnut websites that have been targeted for "burial" by a Rightwing group of Internet hacks calling themselves "Digg Patriots"...

A group of influential conservative members of the behemoth social media site Digg.com have just been caught red-handed in a widespread campaign of censorship, having multiple accounts, upvote padding, and deliberately trying to ban progressives. An undercover investigation has exposed this effort, which has been in action for more than one year.

"The more liberal stories that were buried the better chance conservative stories have to get to the front page. I'll continue to bury their submissions until they change their ways and become conservatives."
-phoenixtx (aka vrayz)

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One bury brigade in particular is a conservative group that has become so organized and influential that they are able to bury over 90% of the articles by certain users and websites submitted within 1-3 hours, regardless of subject material. Literally thousands of stories have already been artificially removed from Digg due to this group. When a story is buried, it is removed from the upcoming section (where it is usually at for ~24 hours) and cannot reach the front page, so by doing this, this one group is removing the ability of the community as a whole to judge the merits or interest of these stories on their own (in essence: censoring content). This group is known as the Digg "Patriots".
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This group is the heart of a complicated web on various networks, including Twitter, Propeller, StumbleUpon, YouTube, and Facebook, all dedicated to ramming an extreme right wing viewpoint down the throats of those communities and censoring opposing viewpoints.
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The DP group searches Digg for any articles from websites they want to drown out, sites such as Salon, News Junkie Post, Talking Points Memo, FreakOutNation, Five Thirty Eight, ThePublicRecord, Rawstory, The Nation, Media Matters for America, PoliticusUSA, Alternet, Fire Dog Lake, Political Carnival, TruthOut, DailyKos, The Joshua Blog, The Brad Blog, Huffington Post, Science Blogs, Smirking Chimp, Down With Tyranny, Crooks and Liars, MarioPiperni, Buzzflash, Bob Cesca's REALLY AWESOME Blog, and The New York Times.

Though REDDIT isn't mentioned in the article, we'd suspect the same concerted effort to "downvote" non-wingnut articles on that similar site is going on as well. Where The BRAD BLOG's stories were once voted up to the front page of both DIGG and REDDIT with some regularity --- where our stories would then be picked up by many other websites in the bargain --- it's been a long time since that has happened. Now we have an explanation as to why that may be. How pathetic.

See Oleoleolson's full article at AlterNet. He deserves much credit for his well-documented and detailed work on this piece.

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UPDATE 8/7/10: I was interviewed about this story on Friday by WBAI Evening News in New York. Audio of that interview, along with a few additional thoughts on all of this, is now posted here...