Confessions Of A Banned Digger

I have been banned from Digg.   I have been given a Digg death sentence with no reprieve. I have been banned after 30k diggs, 40+ front page submissions and 500 comments.

I first heard about Digg in September of 2007.  I had just started my blog The Cuban Revolution. I heard that Digg could drive traffic to my site so I signed up.  My motives were selfish.  I had no desire to share news. I wanted traffic. Self-promotion at its worst.  I had no concept of Digg friends, fans, algorithms, gaming, power digging, etc.   My first submissions were done with the innocence and ignorance of a two year old.  I dutifully added the Digg button to my blog and started submitting.    After a few months I was getting anywhere from 20-40 diggs for my submissions.  To para-quote Gordon Gekko:

“At time time I thought those were all the Diggs in the world…..”

This went on for months.  I then hooked up with fellow digger and now good friend LewP.   Lew took me under his wing.  He explained how Digg worked.  That is when I began to add friends.  I  also gained the understanding that submitting your own stuff was bad and having only your mutual friends digg your stuff was  not that helpful.   Several diggers  and I started an email group.  In this group we submitted and shouted each others submissions.   Front page postings from my blog skyrocketed.   Fifty percent of my blog submissions were making the front page. This meant tens of thousands of hits to my blog.  I was gaming the system for all it was worth.  This went on for a while.  Then the roof fell in.    Digg changed the way its algorithm worked.  Diversity of diggs became much more important in determining whether a submission made it to the front page.  Since smaller blogs tend to have a fixed following, it became twice has hard for me to get the diversity I needed for one of my posting to make front page.  I tried every possible variation to game my blog postings. None met with any real success.  I was emailing for shouts, instant messaging for shouts,  begging for shouts, singing for shouts,  offering free Dallas Mavericks tickets for shouts(not really).  In the end nothing worked.  My blog submissions would get 250-300 diggs without making front page.   Fortunately my early front page submissions had worked well for me in developing retained readership.

The most significant development for me in my short “Digg life” was when my post Why Athletes Go Broke went front page.  It was subsequently picked up by the Wall Street Journal.  This landed me two ESPN and a Fox News interview.   It also resulted in offers to write for publications.  None of it would have happened if it had not gone front page.

Once it hit home that I would no longer be able to use Digg to self-promote my blog I started doing it solely for fun and using it the way it was intended.  This is when I really got addicted and eventually fell to the dark side resulting in my ex-communication from the “Temple Of Digg”.   I was not looking for news to submit like many of the top diggers such as MrBabyman do.  When in the normal course of my news reading  I saw a story that interested me and looked like it might have a national appeal I would submit it.  While most of these submissions revolved around my brother Mark Cuban’s bid to purchase the Cubs and some off of his weblog  Blog Maverick I would also submit other stories of general interest.   I always got a kick when in the comments I would see complaints that my promotion of Mark’s material was tantamount to self promotion.  According to Alexa Blog Maverick is one of the most read non-commercial blogs on the web.  Mark does not need my help.

In doing the above, I built my “Digg credibility” which allowed me to add many of the top Diggers such as MrBabyMan and  MakiMaki. The rub was that in order to keep these top diggers interested in your submissions you have to Digg all of theirs.   This is only fair but becomes problematic within the Digg system if you do not have the time to sit in front of your computer digging all day.  I decided that I needed help to keep up.   While I heard rumors that there were diggers using scripts to speed up the digging process I had never given it much thought.  I knew that scripts were a violation of the Digg Terms Of Service (TOS).  There are many reasons they are not allowed.  The ethics based reason is that they defeat the intended purpose of Digg in being a news distribution conduit.  Scripts turn Digg into a “who is digging the most” contest.

I first experimented with Promote-My-Site. This is a web based system that allows you to do a timed auto-digg and auto- delete as well as a few other handy functions. The upside of this service is that it does not bypass any steps you would go through in the actual Digg process.   It therefore in theory should not raise any red flags that a script is being used.  The is extremely beneficial when you can not keep up with your incoming shouts.   You can set it a a 15 second delay, turn it on at night and let it digg and delete away. The downsides are that you have to pay for it and as of this writing it does not have a process to digg friends submissions pages.   It is therefore not digging the submissions of friends who do not shout such as MrBabyMan and MakiMaki.  I would still have to do those manually.   This however is a much less onerous process when incoming shouts are already dugg.   I used this service without incident for a while.  Then Darth Vadar(not his real digg name) appeared within Digg and introduced me to the dark side.   He gave me scripts that allows a person to bypass the normal two step process to Digg a story. It allowed me to skip a step  and digg a story directly from the submission page by creating a digg button on that page.  I began digging friends non-shouted submissions with reckless abandon.   I knew it was a TOS violation.  I didn’t care.   I was blinded by the sheer volume.  I was going to hit 500k diggs by the end of the year and change my Digg name to “The Cubanator!”  Hopefully there was also a free car or a set of steak knives for such an accomplishment.  It was working great.  My numbers and Digg ranking were rising rapidly.  In true contravention of what Digg is supposed to be about I do not think I read one story I dugg after I started using the script.  I was willing to sacrifice knowledge for speed. My “Digg bliss” was short-lived.  One day my account was gone. Shortly after it dissapeared I received the following email from Digg Support:

Hi from Digg.com,

We’re writing to let you know that your Digg.com account “bcuban” has
been banned for using unauthorized scripts to Digg stories from portions
of the site where no Digg buttons are provided. Specifically, our logs
show high Digging rates and activity from
digg.com/users/bcuban/friends/shoutsin and
digg.com/users/bcuban/friends/submissions.


Using scripts is in violation of the Digg Terms of Use (digg.com/tos).
For your reference, we’ve bolded the section of our Terms of Use you’ve
violated below………

We will remove the ban from your account under the following conditions:
you re-read and re-affirm the Digg Terms of Use (response via email) and
agree to stop using scripts of any kind on the Digg.com website
immediately.

- Digg Support Team

I thought about pulling a “Michael Vick” with complete denial in the face of overwhelming evidence.   I decided to go with what in my mind was the less egregious route of feigning ignorance of the Digg TOS and promising never to do it again. I of course knew all along that I was violating  TOS and I knew they knew I knew.   I was simply in self-denial that I had become what I despised, a “Digg Whore” I sent them the following email in response:

To:
“support@digg.com” <support@digg.com>
Cc:
“brian.cuban@dallasmavs.com” <brian.cuban@dallasmavs.com>
I was unaware such activity was prohibited. I have read and re-affirm the Digg TOS-i agree to not uses scripts or other prohibited means in using your service
Within 24 hours Digg re-activated my account and sent me the following email:
From:

Hi Brian,

Your bcuban account has been unbanned. Please note, however, that your
account will remain under review, and any violation of Digg’s Terms of
Service may result in a permanent ban of your account.

After receiving this email I dutifully removed the Darth Vadar scripts BUT I continued to digg and delete my shouts using the Promote-Site-Site script.   My internal reasoning was that since they automated the manual digging process it would not trigger any red-flags.  You would think I would have proceeded with caution after the warning knowing that my account would be scrutinized.  The smart and safe thing wold have been to stay under the radar.  I chose the knucklehead route.   I decided that with my limited time to digg, if I did not keep up I would lose many of my top Digging friends regardless. It was a gamble worth taking.  I should have listened to my little voice.  A week later I received the following email:

Hi Brian,

We’ve permanently banned your account “bcuban” from Digg for continued Terms of Use violations. As you are aware, your account was initially banned on August 29, 2008 for violating the Digg TOU using a third party script to enable Digging from sections of the site where we do not provide Digg buttons (specifically from digg.com/users/bcuban/friends/submissions). On that same day you re-affirmed that Digg TOU and stated that you “agree to not uses scripts or othere prohibited means in using your service”. However, our logs show an extremely high number of Diggs from your account which prompted us to further research your account activity. In that research, we learned you were Digging content from another script that enables Digging from the shouts they’ve received. As has been explained to you, using scripts to Digg content on Digg.com is a violation of our TOU.

Section 5.8 USER CONDUCT of the Digg TOU states:

with the exception of accessing RSS feeds, you will not use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Site for any purpose without our express written permission. Additionally, you agree that you will not: (i) take any action that imposes, or may impose in our sole discretion an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on our infrastructure; (ii) interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper working of the Site or any activities conducted on the Site; or

(iii) bypass any measures we may use to prevent or restrict access to the Site;

Due to the nature of this violation, as well as the recent statement from you that you would not use scripts to Digg stories, we have elected to permanently ban your account. This decision is final and irreversible.

A few days later I tried to sneak back with a wig and fake mustache but as it was from the same I.P. address they quickly caught me and shut me down.

There you have it.  My Digg experience birth to death.   I am not upset with Digg.  I made the choice to violate their TOS for my benefit and got caught.  There is a degree of relief.   I had become a slave to the Digg machine.  I was  sitting on my big fat butt gaining weight with every Digg. My goldfish died. My dog and cat ran off together.   The up side is that I can actually say that Digg affected my life in a positive way.  I am now a  published author.   I made friends that I will continue to keep in touch with.  I will continue to read stories on Digg because:

“any news worth reading will find its way to you”

©2008 Brian Cuban

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90 Comments For This Post

  1. Barry (1 comments.) Says:

    Wow man that sucks, your right you should have listened to that little voice. I’d really like to say thanks for the post though, I have recently started using digg, to promote my own site of course and will be certain not to make those mistakes.I get 10+ diggs and I think it’s great lol. Someday… Someday…

  2. Roni Says:

    Great lesson as you went full-circle. It’s the right time of year to get this burden off your shoulders. As you said, many positives came out of your experience and in the bigger picture that’s more important than popular ratio.

  3. Bob (3 comments.) Says:

    It’s funny reading your blog and how you gamed the system every step of the way. Using outside means to promote your blog such as IM for Diggs and shouts is a violation of there TOS. So everyone has to game the system. Shouts are a stupid way to build a community anyway. Forcing people to go outside the system does not build a democracy as that was Digg’s goal. Digg’s management needs to stop getting drunk, stop letting the top 100 game the system with immunity and it’s probably not a good idea to boot Mark Cuban’s brother. There is a reason Google doesn’t want to buy them for “Concerns of Management”.

    Bobs last blog post..Meditate on Light

  4. Jason (1 comments.) Says:

    I was wondering where you went. Keep in touch man, I will happily submit this site. The writing is always good and usually peaks my interest.

    Jasons last blog post..Caption This

  5. jcorn (1 comments.) Says:

    Hope you stay in touch. I enjoyed your shouts and posts.

  6. Richard (1 comments.) Says:

    Just visit Digg via a proxy to get around the IP ban. Or just wait a couple weeks and your IP address will change.

    =P

    Richards last blog post..Preventing Name Registration for Multiple IPs on DNS Server

  7. Stejules Says:

    sorry to see you go. wish the scripts I gave you would’ve worked better. see yuo around the web.

  8. Bigdavediode Says:

    Hi Brian,

    You broke the rules and got banned (which for Digg is quite amazing, as they usually only ban people who are their best posters.) I was banned for no reason twice after commenting on the spam that Libertarians/Ron Paulites were slapping their system with. The first time, I let it go. The second time, I left.

    I encourage others to leave as well.

    Digg isn’t really any good. It’s got a poor interface, it’s comment system is a joke, and many other sites are better and much more entertaining (such as Fark, which is now my favorite). It’s a good site to visit, then leave.

    –Big Dave.

  9. JOHN MAYFIELD Says:

    I KNOW YOUVE HEARD THIS BEFORE, ITS NOT AT ALL ORIGINAL AND IM SORRY FOR THAT, BUT WHEN I READ THIS ARTICLE I COME AWAY SO COMPLETELY AND SADLY OVERWHELMED BY THE UNRELENTING TRIVIALITY OF IT ALL. YOUR FAMILY HAS LITERALLY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, AND ITS A BIG BIG BIG WORLD OUT THERE, AND YOU SPEND THIS MUCH TIME AND THIS MUCH EFFORT DOING WHAT??….TRYING TO BE THE MASTER OF digg? A MISERABLE LITTLE POINTLESS BLOG? PLEASE…IN MY OWN LITTLE WORLD, I WRITE A FEW STORIES FOR THISISBY.US AND MAYBE 50 PEOPLE WILL READ THEM, MOST OF MY FRIENDS AND I ARE BUSY JUST TRYING TO PAY OUR BILLS, AND I DREAM OF A BETTER AND A BIGGER LIFE…BUT YOU, LIKE ANY LOTTERY WINNER, YOU HAVE THE AMAZING OPPORTUNITY TO DO MORE. YOU COULD DO ANYTHING. YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE. WHERES THE PASSION IN YOUR LIFE? WHERES THE BRILLIANT EFFORT? THE JOYOUS SEARCH? IF YOU DONT KNOW WHAT GREAT THINGS TO DO, THATS FINE, THATS OK, JUST ASK AND SEARCH YOULL FIGURE IT OUT. IF YOU WANT TO BE A ‘PUBLISHED WRITER’, THEN WRITE SOMETHING SO GREAT THAT PEOPLE WILL ACTUALLY WANT TO READ IT.. SELF PROMOTION IS PERFECTLY FINE, BUT START BY HAVING AN INTERESTING SELF. YOURE PICTURES FROM FLICKR ARE OF YOU JUST STANDING THERE ON SOME DREARY STAGE GRINNING WITH SOME POOR BLANK WOMAN IN A SAD FANCY DRESS…SURELY YOU MUST KNOW NOT ONE HUMAN BEING ON EARTH WILL BE INTERESTED IN THESE? IM REALLY NOT CRITICIZING YOU BRO, SERIOUSLY IM NOT, IM TRYING TO SHOW YOU A WONDERFUL DOOR THAT YOU COULD OPEN AND WALK THROUGH IF YOU WOULD…. TAKE THE GIFT. LIVE THE LIFE THAT I AND MOST OTHERS CANT. BE BRILLIANT OR DIE OR BETTER YET, LIVE TRYING. DO SOMETHING GOOD… MAKE SOMETHING GREAT AND REAL… BE BIG… PLEASE……JOHN MAYFIELD

  10. Benny Greenberg (1 comments.) Says:

    Man – I am going to miss you!
    But I will be here to read this all the time.

  11. Brian Cuban (138 comments.) Says:

    John Mayfield: I hope you use better grammar on THISISBY.US

  12. Tomboys (1 comments.) Says:

    Bummer. Sorry to see you go. I wish I knew about some of these scripts thogh. My hand wrist and arm are killing me. :) Well I’m sure we’ll be friends on stumble, reddit, gtalk etc etc etc.

  13. EmitStop (1 comments.) Says:

    Shit, that really sucks. I honestly had no idea such scripts were illegal on digg. Well I enjoyed your shouts and submissions while they were there.

  14. Dock (1 comments.) Says:

    Digg has its flaws, namely due to that rotten Kevin Rose. Not only does he still owe me $20, he even had to go and steal my “Shout” theme. Anyway, we don’t take kindly to SEO or submissions for purely traffic, but always have welcome arms at ShoutWire.

    Docks last blog post..THE TRUTH? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!

  15. Ashmadai (2 comments.) Says:

    Shame on you, Brian, you were a b-a-a-a-a-d boy! LoL

    I’m sorry to hear about you getting banned, when I was on Digg you were one of my mutuals or a friend and I enjoyed the items you submitted to Digg. When I go to Digg to see what’s new, I’ll miss seeing your postings.

    You may be interested in this article I wrote on my blog, it’s called “Something is Rotten in the State of Digg” and is located at http://ashmadai.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/something-rotten-in-the-state-of-digg/. The article tells the tale of a Digger who stuck to the Digg Rules, but got banned for using a bot or other aid. The sad fact is that Digg was wrong, this person made 4,000 diggs in one day, as well as over 20,000 Diggs in 5 to 7 days, with out the aid of any bot or script. The secret was in using the upcoming pages and simply clicking away on the digg buttons page by page. The rules never said you can’t do this, but never-the-less he was banned for this.

    The reason for my posting the link to the article at my blog is to show that Digg does ban people who don’t use bots or programs to game digg. Digg seems to only go by numbers and if a person’s numbers are above the level that Digg feels is organic… then it doesn’t matter whether you digg organically or use a bot, you will still be banned.

    Whenever I go to Digg and see how many items that the top users have submitted, dugg, and commented on… it is clear to me that they use some form of bot or script to consistently get these high numbers, but the key must be in their only doing so much per day and keeping below “The Digg Radar”. Goodness knows that the people at Digg could not possibly be treating it’s members differently. LoL

    Ashmadais last blog post..Google Chrome Takes On A New Dimension

  16. Heh Says:

    You do realize you got those interviews not because of your own merit but because of your brother … right? Sad …

  17. Davison Says:

    It’s funny, how after years of reading ‘net posts that I just instantly ignore and scroll past posts in ALL CAPS. They’re like the over-cologned tard at the bar that thinks they’re funny the louder they talk.

    And whoopedy-shit, you can’t pretend that you’re important because of an ever escalating number of page views. Spend some time helping out in your community instead of wasting your life trying to be internet-popular.
    Or better yet, try and do something that generates news instead of just passing other info around like you invented it.

  18. Maria Dorfner (4 comments.) Says:

    You’re already brilliant AND passionate, and don’t need to prove that to Mayfield or anyone else. It’s clear that he is envious that you had more than 50 people interested in reading your material. I also think Digg should give a person 3 warnings before pulling the plug. These things become addicting and stopping them cold turkey is tough. I empathize with you. As always, I enjoy reading your submissions. You do something “good and real” with each story you share. Don’t allow anything to discourage you. I’m sorry about the goldfish, but I love the relentlessness of the Cubanator! :)

  19. EatingPie (3 comments.) Says:

    Wow. You know, Digg is almost all submissions attacking Palin and McCain (earlier today 9 of 10 upcoming were all anti-Palin). It’s plain and simple Campaign hell.

    That makes your deletion so much worse, Brian. BrianCuban.com had become so popular you were almost guaranteed to hit front page. Now you’re banned and one of the things that made digg so awesome — discovery of new sites you wouldn’t necessarily find — is gone. So it’s back to reading about how some woman from Alaska and her kids are the spawn of the devil…

    A sad, sad day for Digg.

    -Pie

  20. Benzodiazepine Says:

    Well — Good story though.
    I’m not so addicted to the site, but i can see that
    once you were really had a good time with it.

    Are you looking for any other social site?

  21. GreenLantern (1 comments.) Says:

    Reddit.com Come on in, the waters great.

    GreenLanterns last blog post..Enter Sandman – Lolcat edition

  22. Ted Says:

    I feel you, I am also IP banned. But you know what, it’s better this way.

  23. regalgsx Says:

    You killed that Goldfish you bastage.

  24. Nick Says:

    Wow it’s great that you wrote that, but I consider you a terrible terrible person. I really really mean that. I don’t condemn you and I think God will forgive you, but not only is your family wealthy, but you spent time hurting the people who come from no where. That is so bad you probably will never understand it in your whole lifetime.

    -N

  25. tav Says:

    dude, you are a lawyer i wouldn’t hire…

  26. Richard Says:

    JOHN MAYFIELD:

    Your caps lock was on. =P

  27. cambrown99 Says:

    I used to be a top 50 digger, and got there without gaming the system–just submitted lots of stories of interest, and making front page with many of them. I was addicted as well.

    Then, about a year and a half ago, it all stopped at once. No matter what I submitted, I couldn’t get more than a dozen diggs on the best stories. Nothing would hit the front page.

    Bottom line is gaming the digg system is the only thing that works. It’s very hypocritical for digg to ban when that’s the only way to succeed because they set the rules to work that way.

    It’s sad, but most democracies end up that way…

  28. Mel Says:

    Tempest in a teacup is all I can say about digg. I am waiting for the day that it will become irrelevant. Who cares what mrbabyman or any other jobless, aimless low-life thinks or does with all the time in the world. If you think you need their help to make your site popular, it means your site does not worth a dime. And seeing it from my own point of view, this is the first time I am finding your blog, even though you are closely related to a web celebrity like your brother Mark Cuban. Even though his existence does not mean anything to me, I heard about him a lot, and knew a little. Yet I did not read or hear about your blog. Which tells me, what you write on your blog is unimportant to me. If your blog contained something relevant to my interests, I would have found you much earlier and most probably without the help of digg.

    If all you want is eyeballs, you are destined to fail in the long run. You can game any system for a while but people wake up to the smell of coffee after a while and desert you anyways. Success is finding the right group of people and hold on to them by keeping them interested. Otherwise digg’s and whatever other systems will come and go. If you are not able to hold on to your end of the media-whoring, might as well start looking for a new profession.

    Sorry about the blunt point but I have very low tolerance towards the people who think the wisdom of crowds will work in their favor if they play to it right instead of doing what they are supposed to do right. What you did is not very different from false advertising at the heart of the matter.

  29. chappyreport (1 comments.) Says:

    I have been banned from digg about ten times, so I thought I could relate to this site. I think a different kind of digger. I know digg limits.
    Thinks that will get kicked off
    1. “Scrips” putting ads in comments no no
    2. “porn” some times you can get away with porn. You may have a picture that turns on even grandma and grandpa.
    3. piss off a major corporation. but you have to hit home.
    don’t worry if you get kick off you can come back stronger. change your name, IP, get a new site or url.
    I had to change to a woman try it I bet you get more diggs if you have tits.

    chappyreports last blog post..How to give a rectocvaginal examination

  30. SEO & Web 2.0 (1 comments.) Says:

    After all this you are not upset with Digg, why?

    SEO & Web 2.0s last blog post..Google Chrome New Browser and My View on Chrome

  31. Sergiu Birzu (1 comments.) Says:

    Pf… well at least you were given a second chance… hope you learned something from all of this !

  32. Tod Says:

    Like dude you are probably not such a bad guy. Rock on wit yo bad self yo!!

  33. Red Says:

    Yeah dude you are prolly real good. I support you liksh 100%

  34. Josh (1 comments.) Says:

    digg is dead

  35. hacktheplanet Says:

    “HACK the Planet”
    Hack them if they cant take a joke damn!.

  36. Rebeccalee Coventry (3 comments.) Says:

    Sorry you got banned but it helped get you out there and you probably got lots more fans because of it.

  37. Independent Says:

    You’re lucky, I’m starting to wish I was banned right now. Digg is so full of annoying left-wing nutjobs, that the news on there is pretty much unreadable right now. Also, shouting should be done away with. Right now, Digg is a popularity contest, not a news site.

  38. Nick (1 comments.) Says:

    Wow, never realized just how many digg scripts/attempted hacks there really are, that’s pretty amazing! Anyway, shame you lost your account. People are always going to be digging their friends submissions, digg really can’t do sh!t about that.

    Nicks last blog post..Massive Wallpaper Roundup!

  39. UniqueJewelry (1 comments.) Says:

    I didn’t get to know you well on digg, but your story came at the right time…I was just signing up at promote my site, lol. you may be banned by digg but i’m sure we will here more from you..let us know where and we will follow…jenn

  40. JR Says:

    i like that digg quoted “agree to not uses scripts” in their response.

  41. Miss Cellania (2 comments.) Says:

    And here I thought you really liked my stories! Oh well, thanks for this post. I didn’t even know such scripts existed.

    Miss Cellanias last blog post..Hamster Twist

  42. jamEs (1 comments.) Says:

    That is the problem that has become so inherent with Digg. It requires so much work to get anything out of it anymore. The only people who get ahead are those who work at it full-time. It has nothing to do with the quality of an article, it’s simply who has the most sway or who games the system the best. There is so much good content that gets missed by the frontpage that it’s laughable. Now that they’ve changed their algorithm the site has totally lost what made it good, which was what is happening on the web right now. Now current events pop up on the frontpage a day after every TV, radio and internet news portal has already beaten the story to death.

    jamEss last blog post..Poptiq for iPhone and iPod Touch

  43. Phil Pants (1 comments.) Says:

    I just started using digg, and I honestly hate it.

    Phil Pantss last blog post..Pranks, tricks, and practical jokes!

  44. Um Says:

    Digg is serious business.

  45. Ganpachi Says:

    I am totally gunna digg this post!

  46. Owen Byrne (1 comments.) Says:

    On my last visit to the digg offices, everyone was eating pizza. I asked someone “what’s with the pizza?” and was told that it was from a user who had been unbanned. So if all else fails try bribery. ;-)

    Owen Byrnes last blog post..Random Juxtaposition

  47. Greg Barbera (1 comments.) Says:

    dugg the latest post.

    Greg Barberas last blog post..Feeling Like One Of Those Army Commercials Today

  48. Matt (1 comments.) Says:

    Glad you got caught, it’s people like you who have destroyed what Digg should be.

  49. Tyler Says:

    I got banned from digg after a race with some friends to see who could get the most negative diggs. I both won and got my IP address banned (without a first warning, haha).

    You can just use a proxy if you really want to

  50. Luke Says:

    Cheaters get no sympathy from me.

  51. Jd8coke (2 comments.) Says:

    Dugg, for irony. Check my site out gents.

  52. Some Guy Says:

    Just a FYI: You can change your IP address -very- easily by simply changing your MAC Address. I do it all the time, my router has a handy little thing called “MAC Address Clone.” :-)

  53. Mike Hunt Says:

    Brian, I’m sure some of your story was made in jest. I doubt that you spent much of your life growing fat digging. But John Mayfield may be right about one thing. Unless you refuse to receive help from your brother, other than by the fame/notoriety you gain by dropping his name wherever you can, you do have a lot more opportunity to do something meaningful or worthwhile with your life. It’s a shame to squander that to try and be the “King of Digg.”

    On another note, it’s a small mind that diminishes what a person says simply because their “grammar isn’t good.”

  54. Brian Cuban (138 comments.) Says:

    @Mike Hunt: I thought about it……. nah, I will continue to drop my last name(oops I am sorry, its not really mine to use) whenever I can. it gets me girls, into parties, front row tickets to sporting events and I get to hob nob with all the Hollywood elite that would not look at me twice if my last name was “Schlepsky”. If you have a famous brother I highly recommend you do the same! Have to go. Brad and Angelina are to “do lunch”. Lastly(is that a word? I know my” grammar “sucks) I wrote an original article that almost 100k thousand people have read since yesterday including you! If you are interested that is almost 20x the population of Wasilla, Alaska. Does anyone really think the motivation arose out of any emotion from getting banned from Digg? Angelina and Brad say hello.. :o)

  55. MrViklund Says:

    Well you got what you deserved. Really.
    You behaved like an idiot and gamed the system and by that not letting other people have a fair chance. I had you on my friends list and you was totally spammed with Shutouts. Every day i had 10-12 emails from Digg with some new crappy shutout Brian Cuban.

  56. The Comfy Chair (1 comments.) Says:

    Interesting story. I have read some of your stuff; well written and sometimes funny. But I have to ask: what did you ctually learn from this whole experience? You’re a writer? So tell us how it affected you – did you personally change? Did it affect your life? Your views? Your perspective? How did you feel? How do feel now? Is this all about you or does this say something more about our lives and times? Give me a reason to care.

    It’s like you’ve scratched the surface of something interesting – something real… but you only enter the shallows and never really dive in.

  57. anonymous Says:

    I have created a program that perfectly mimics human action in loading all of the user’s friend’s diggs, and then clicking on “digg it” on each of those pages. It implements random delays (within a user-defined window).

    Email me for more information or to discuss business opportunities.

    magus.from.chrono.trigger@gmail.com

  58. Brian Cuban (138 comments.) Says:

    An intelligent question:

    My experience on Digg taught me that no matter what medium and with what “bent” news is distributed, the end user will shape it within their life experiences to a meaning that works for them and that more often than not has no resemblance to the original content.

    Digg has reinforced that the concept of “news” is a completely subjective term

    I learned that regardless of what Digg started as people are always going to want to use it in the form that is most entertaining to them. I know there are people who view it as perpetuating some higher level of social good and news distribution and on some level it has evolved to that but in the end it was meant to be entertainment. That is the way it should be.

    I learned that Digg is truly a community and with the exception of things like I did which need the experts who know when violations are committed, has no trouble policing itself. People like Maki and BabyMan are up front all the time because they spend a ton of time and work scouring for content people like. If you(in the plural) want to be FP like them do likewise. I suspect the people who bitch about them love conspiracy theories in general. Everything else is just user created drama which is entertainment in itself and I am sure Digg loves it. Is that not what a “community” is about? Different people coming together making friends, making enemies, bitching, having fun. Sounds normal to me….

  59. MisterE Says:

    Someone just posted a picture of MrBabyMan's digg activity. Seems to reflect the article perfectly.

    http://digg.com/comedy/MrBabyMan_Reads_So_Fast

  60. Brian Cuban (138 comments.) Says:

    59. MisterE

    Is there such thing as a “story submission bot”? Maybe he has invented something the rest of us do not have.

  61. smith wesson (1 comments.) Says:

    People still use Digg?

  62. pickupjojo (1 comments.) Says:

    Oh… There’s something like that in France with Scoopeo (the greatest French digg-like). Bloggers use it to promote their posts, as a lot of people on Digg. But some Scoopeo’s users are against the fact that bloggers ask their friends to digg their ‘scoops’ to be published on the homepage.

    Today, Scoopeo looks like a big spam report website. Each time a blogger use it to promote one of his posts, people report it to the website’s team, even if there’s no vote!

    If I’m explaining the French current situation it’s because I think you’re really lucky nevertheless: you blog in English, Digg users can read and understand you and also… digg your posts! That’s not the same for me: I can’t promote my blog without the risk of beeing judged as a spammer.

    Respect the Digg’s TOU and enjoy your luck Brian!

    pickupjojos last blog post..Un iPhone gratuit pour les designers

  63. LewP (15 comments.) Says:

    Where in the hell have I been?
    My best friend on Digg banished forever? That’s like saying Batman and Robin are divorced and void of one another. I am just now seeing this? I am totally shocked Brian. I know you told me you were banned a few days ago, but all this happened? Geeeze. Hell, it even made Deadspin! Brian, the only thing I can say is at least Digg introduced a very good friend to me. Hang in there man,….there’s always Reddit.

    LewPs last blog post..Shoe Circus Commercial Bill Gates & Jerry Seinfeld Ad Shoes

  64. Dean Says:

    Dude, you are a small part of the reason that Digg is worthless, its been hijacked and its never coming back thanks to tools like you. When I first saw Digg I thought it was a neat and simple little service, maybe not something that had much commercial potential but “handy” for news fans. I now never use Digg or look at its highly rated stories anymore because its like a dog covered in fleas, it started out fine but all the worlds gamers, grifters, tools and wingnuts have basically attached themselves to it like barnacles. If a story is about a republican it gets slammed by wingnut liberals, if its about israel it vanishes to be replaced by a highly dugg hamas story etc. etc. Every axe grinder and their brother from the fringes has to dry-hump this naive little service till it bleeds. YouTube is the same way and the saddest part, THE SADDEST PART OF ALL is that the pathetic tools who haunt Digg and other “social” sites actually think what happens there matters. Lastly, for all you Digg-aholics out there, take off your plastic spock ears, sell your VHS collection of the x-files and move out of your mom’s basement.

  65. Matt Richards (1 comments.) Says:

    I’m sorry to hear about the ban. You can get a new IP address. I’d give it a bit of time though so they don’t end up banning your entire block of IP addresses.

    Anyhow, there are some other services out there worth looking at because DIGG has become highly flawed. I would look at other ways to promote your blog as well, if your main goal is to get more traffic. A variety of tactics are probably more useful than depending on DIGG too much.

  66. Will Pill Always Changing Clothing (1 comments.) Says:

    Very good story, that was a frontpage news worthy digg. Never thought about using scripts and didn’t know such existed, but not it makes some sense!

    Will Pill Always Changing Clothings last blog post..Sprinker

  67. Basye Says:

    Sorry to hear about your troubles, Brian. We all make mistakes but don’t let them get you down. I always liked your articles and found them entertaining, and will definitely keep up with what you write on the blog. Good luck!

  68. Bombchell - in Atlanta (1 comments.) Says:

    u asked for it i guess. well i guess u could always move to something else similar to digg. gosh it seems people are so crazy about diggs, pr etc. I guess its our version of facebook & myspace or something [shrugs]. tsk tsk whatever happened to living in the real world.

    Bombchell – in Atlantas last blog post..There seems to be Traffic!

  69. jak (1 comments.) Says:

    very cool article. i love digg, but its is easy to get lost in the system, or lost trying to beat the system. its almost more of a game in many ways. thats part of the fun

    jaks last blog post..Mad Men Stuck in Olden Days

  70. SeaMowse Says:

    Awww, I’m so sorry to learn of this. :( You were a great friend, and maybe we can meet up on Pownce, Twitter, Plurk, Mixx, etc.

  71. haliphax Says:

    you joined an aggregating service for shameless self-promotion.
    you used automated means to circumvent their interface that got in the way of your shameless self-promotion.
    you lied to them, and told them you had no idea it was against their TOS, and that you wouldn’t do it again… because the truth was inconvenient to your shameless self-promotion.
    you were banned for it.

    lesson learned? i doubt it. you turned it into more shameless self-promotion.

  72. Brian Cuban (138 comments.) Says:

    haliphax Says:
    September 8th, 2008 at 2:00 pm e

    “you joined an aggregating service for shameless self-promotion”

    Brian says: You do not shamelessly self promote? Then you have never gone on a job interview, had a job, earned a dollar, had a girlfriend or been married(or gone on a date for that matter), done a business deal etc etc etc. Sounds like your life sucks.

  73. Freda Nethel Says:

    One word: JonDo

    (Google it)

  74. ThisStupidFormJustDeletedMyContent Says:

    Hi,
    I’m a professional microtargeter, which means I write similar scripts for a living.

    I learned how to do what I do by playing internet games, who have been similarly tracking scripts for years.

    It is not difficult to defeat the digg process, but most of these digg bots are programmed for a sole purpose. The programmers don’t consider that digg is likely employing information sorting techniques and technology usually attributed more to the credit industry to sniff out their scripts.

    A decent scripter could easily employ a few proxies to hide their identity, OCR (optical cognitive reader) to defeat CAPTCHA’s, some well thought out and researched sleep() commands to give a reasonable amount of time on digg logs to account for reading of an article and/or navigation of the site, and a few clever scripting techniques to create a personal army of digg users.

    All a programmer needs to do is construct a webscraping style script that will navigate from the homepage of digg–through all digg processes and routines–with a reasonable amount of time to show digg that someone is actually interacting with the website. Then all they have to do is create an algorithm designed to copy other users. Consider an algorithm that could take another digg user (or two) and merge or copy all of their actions. Of course the script would have to be online 24/7 and the proxies would probably need to match form data and activity times to reflect users in locations outside of the USA–which isn’t hard to do with a few linked lists, functions, if-then-else, and a couple of arrays.

    Viola: a personal, “diverse” digg army at the command of a sole programmer. Sniff out that, Digg.

  75. Mark Murrell (2 comments.) Says:

    The best part of your post was the last paragraph, HILARIOUS!

  76. Optimizare site (1 comments.) Says:

    I was one of your mutual friends on digg. Now everything is changing, more and more big websites on the fp, less room for the small ones. I’m gradually giving digg up.

    maxyRO

  77. Cocreator (1 comments.) Says:

    Forget Digg. Come join Mixx. A much much better crowd. Though we don’t like those who game the system, I think some here do. Maybe not.

  78. Snake on a Rake Says:

    Most of the top diggers accept bribes anyway. If you want to front page just pay them. Quick and painless:

    http://www.shoemoney.com/2008/07/11/seos-still-dominating-digg/

  79. JoeD Says:

    The problem with your script is that digg is so gamed right now that chances are you’ll point to another unnatural user.

    In the end, none of this is a big deal.

    I do feel for the owners because they did actually try to create something really good and it once was. They are taking a lot of heat often from the people that made it suck and claimed to have made it great. Why so much anger? Do the people expect Digg to just sit there and let people spam Digg into oblivion? Their job is very hard.

    I used to read high quality stories every day. Now the front page stories suck.

    Hopefully all this banning will improve digg. But it seems like a serious uphill battle.

  80. till Says:

    Use tor and re-register. :D

  81. design (1 comments.) Says:

    So we’re praising ruke breakers now??

    I did enjoy reading this however so gets my Digg…

  82. Sven Mueritz (1 comments.) Says:

    Respect the TOS.

    Sven Mueritzs last blog post..Schloß Bothmer

  83. Loky (2 comments.) Says:

    So we all got banned?! ROFL
    I see LewP’s comment too… i guess all my ex-friendlist added comments here.

    What shall we do now?

    Lokys last blog post..Honor and Hunters Changes – New Build – Blue Posts

  84. MNVAMSI (1 comments.) Says:

    This is one of the greatest digg story i have ever listened.

  85. Scorpiono (1 comments.) Says:

    Great story you have there Brian, I featured you on my blog as well.
    Not sure what to say, we all risk, at least you are man enough to admit you took the risk and did it with intention.

    Best of luck,

  86. Aer conditionat (1 comments.) Says:

    Today I got banned too. :( And I don`t know why.

  87. sbs sonuçlar? (1 comments.) Says:

    I really like this post. Thanks for this article, Anyone got any more info about it? I am now your blog' s rss follower. you are now in my bookmarks.

  88. jason (1 comments.) Says:

    I got over digg pretty quickly myself. I never really cared much for it

  89. Kevin (1 comments.) Says:

    this sucks man. you should have listened to that little voice. you can try using a proxy to join again or change your internet connection if you really want to reap the benefits of using Digg.

  90. cookie recipes (1 comments.) Says:

    My ex- and I used the Front Leaning Rest on our 2 daughters (now almost 18 and almost 20) when they were young. Lord knows the older of the two needed something to focus on instead of her scheming to get out of being punished. I won't say it was a miracle, fix-all for bad behavior but it was better than spanking IMO.

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Poweruser Brian Cuban banned from Digg » Scorpiono.com Says:

    [...] Read his story here, it’s quite interesting: http://www.briancuban.com/confessions-of-a-banned-digger/ [...]

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