Let me paint the picture for you. You spent the last 8 hours perfecting a killer linkbait. You’re proud of your work. You think it’s going to do well on Digg, it collects some votes…
…a few hours later, you receive an email from someone claiming that he’ll get your account deleted and your article removed from Digg if you don’t pay him $1000.
Well, not having $1000 to spend, and not believing for a second that this is for real, you ignore it…
…and then bang, your story’s gone, your account has been deleted.
Welcome to the brave new world of Digg blackmail. Where sophisticated online users earn a living by abusing the Digg abuse reporting system. It’ a reality. I’d heard about it, but I’ve now seen it happen…and you should prepare for it to happen to you too.
So, you want to try your hand at Digg blackmail?
Here’s how you do it.
Step one, monitor the lower portion of the right hand column of this URL:
Step two, for each story, visit the link, and then find a contact e-mail.
Step three, construct and send the message from an account that won’t give away your identity: “Hi. I notice that you have an article that’s doing well at Digg. I have the ability to get your article removed from Digg and would like you to pay me X dollars to help your article make the front page, rather than get it removed. Please let me know if you’re interested.”
Step four, if the person responds within [define your limit, e.g. 1 hour], then good. If not, then A) Put your bury brigade network into action and B) Contact Digg at the following email address: [email protected] with a message like the following: “Hi. The people behind this article are using email spam to get dugg. I received a copy of this spam, which you can see below:”
Why it works
Digg blackmail works because Digg’s abuse team has it’s finger on the trigger. It’s sort of like the modern prison system, or Guantanamo Bay… penalize as many candidate abusers as possible, and even if you’re accuracy rate is below 10%, you’re still improving the quality of the product (in one case Digg, in the other case society).
Whether you agree with Digg’s abuse policies or not does not matter. What matters is that people are now making money through Digg blackmail. It’s a very interesting phenomenon, and I’ll be interested to see what Digg does about it.