Busted! Bringpopcorn.com Soliciting Top Diggers

Ten of the highest ranking users on Digg (including myself) just received a very generous offer from bringpopcorn.com. It seems that Alex Hunter, the operator of that site, desires Digg’s front page juice so feverishly that he’s willing to pay $500 to get it.

Hello,

I need a favor. I run a website bringpopcorn.com.

Would you get my website to the Digg first page, and if successful I’ll pay $500.

The site is of interest to most Digg users anyhow, it’s just people only listen to top Digg users.

If interested please email back.

Alex

I thought I would use this as a chance to remind content producers that this is a cardinal sin in the Digg world. If anyone receives a solicitation such as this they should forward it to [email protected].

I would also like to add that the idea that “people only listen to top Digg users” is a fallacy that goes against the ideals of Digg. Digg is not a popularity contest. This guy would have been much better off submitting the site himself, especially if the site is of interest to most Digg users anyhow. No one should ever hesitate to submit anything they think will be of interest to people on Digg.

UPDATE: Muhammad Saleem points out that this same user was recently banned on Netscape for using over 20 sock-puppet accounts to artificially inflate the ranking of his site.

Comments

  1. says

    I would also like to add that the idea that “people only listen to top Digg users” is a fallacy that goes against the ideals of Digg.
    >>It may go against the idea of Digg, but ironically, it’s the truth more than people would admit.

    Digg is not a popularity contest.
    >>Yes, it is.

    This guy would have been much better off submitting the site himself,
    >>THEN he’d be buried for submitting his own site.

    especially if the site is of interest to most Digg users anyhow.
    >>Then a few hundred people would vote, and the main digg groups would check, is this site in our list for today? no? Bury!

    No one should ever hesitate to submit anything they think will be of interest to people on Digg.
    >>Yes, unless they own the site of course in question.

  2. says

    Here’s a question for you: How many stories ever reached the front page of DIGG and stayed there without being buried (which were submitted by the owner, with a recognisable non anonymous/sockpuppet user name).

    (sound of crickets chirping)

  3. says

    This guy is unscrupulous. Even the home page is a blatant pay for click solicitation campaign.

    “Please socially bookmark this site at del.ici.ous! We are trying to reach the homepage. One bookmarker will win an ipod (from us) and a years supply of Popcorn (from SnappyPopcorn)!”

Trackbacks

  1. […] It’s obvious that Digg is removing the “Top Digger” list exclusively to try and thwart companies that aim to recruit Digg’s top users into some kind of Digg payola scheme, and I don’t blame them for trying to stem that tide. They shouldn’t, however, claim that they’re getting rid of it because it will no longer serve its purpose of helping users “discover new friends.” The purpose of the “Top Diggers” list is to recognize the Top Diggers – plain and simple. Users may have added the top Diggers as friends, but most likely as an attempt to get more recognition for their own submissions. […]

  2. […] Top Diggers no longer recognized Kevin Rose writes on the Digg blog: Some of our top users are being blamed by some outlets as leading efforts to manipulate Digg. These users have been listed on the “Top Diggers” area of the site that was created in the early days of Digg when there was a strong focus on encouraging people to submit content. The list served a great purpose of recognizing those who were working hard to make Digg a great site, as well as a way for new users to discover new content. Now, as the site has matured and we regularly get 5,000+ content submissions per day, we believe there are better ways to discover new friends based on your interests and what you’re digging. After considerable internal debate and discussion with many of those who make up the Top Digger list, we’ve decided to remove the list beginning tomorrow. It’s obvious that Digg is removing the “Top Digger” list exclusively to try and thwart companies that aim to recruit Digg’s top users into some kind of Digg payola scheme, and I don’t blame them for trying to stem that tide. They shouldn’t, however, claim that they’re getting rid of it because it will no longer serve its purpose of helping users “discover new friends.” The purpose of the “Top Diggers” list is to recognize the Top Diggers – plain and simple. Users may have added the top Diggers as friends, but most likely as an attempt to get more recognition for their own submissions. digg_url = “http://digg.com/tech_news/Top_Diggers_no_longer_recognized”; It’s an exercise in futility. A competent programmer could easily throw together a page scraper to determine the top submitters, so when the dust settles, Digg will still have problems with pay-for-play, but the most prolific users will no longer be recognized by Digg for their work that makes the site so successful. […]