There are rumors of Ron Paul supporters manipulating Digg. I’ve got the names and the evidence.
A funny thing happened last month. I wrote a blog post about the history of Digg.com as part of my study of the social bookmarking site. Normally when posting, my entries receive little to no response on Digg, which is fine since it’s hardly viral stuff. When I posted the “history” blog, however, I received a whopping 17 diggs, a number I had never reached with this blog before.
Realizing that something must be up, I did a little investigating. To my surprise, the majority of people that dugg my post were supporters of Republican Congressman from Texas Ron Paul, a Libertarian and presidential candidate.
When I say “Ron Paul supporters,” I mean that these people ONLY digg stories about Ron Paul, and many of them don’t read the actual content of submissions.
I don't know anything about Ron Samsone and his agenda but I do get tired of the constant Ron Paul mentions on digg so I found his article interesting. I can't say that I really agree with his statement that collusion violates the spirit of social networking sites, but one of his links (RyanUnderdown.com)does identify 10 sites that explicitly violate Digg's Terms or Service.
Samsone also offers some insight into the workings of the digg activity that is promoting Ron Paul's name to the front page time and time again:
A digg user “mstebbins” submits the entry Ron Paul Army Engage to Digg. The referenced article is this one from StudentsForPaul.org posted by Jeff Frazee. The problem: “mstebbins” and Frazee are part of the same circle of Ron Paul diggers, submitting Paul-related entries and actively promoting their candidate. On Digg, however, their profiles make no mention of their political agenda. In fact, the only thing listed in Jeff Frazee’s profile is his handle “jefffrazee.” If he wanted his diggs to be reputable concerning his active agenda, then he should list the political blog for which he posts in his profile. By the way, mstebbins is really Marianne Stebbins, Libertarian Party member "10 years ago or so" and author of the Paul blog On Scribbler's Mind. Perhaps she should have mentioned that on Digg.
Most of the Ron Paul supporters’ real identities can be found by searching Libertarian Meetup Groups and comparing Digg names. Many use a first initial and last name as a handle. None reference their own political blogs or agendas.
In a way I kind of sympathize with what they are doing, zealous support for their candidate, but the way they go about it is just so annoying. Even if I was inclined to support Dr. Paul because I agreed with his views I wouldn't beacuse I don't want to be associated with these goons.
Anyway here is the list, it will be interesting to see how many of these names now disappear from view.
What follows is a list of 30 Digg Users that are bonafide Ron Paul spammers. If your name is on this list, it is because you are networked in to all of the other Ron Paul spammers, do not link to the Ron Paul blog for which you write, and/or Digg Ron Paul-related stories almost exclusively:
9. Jeff Frazee
Ron Paul, Digg, Politics