Tag Archives: influence

Klout Now Measures Social Influence On Google+

Google just released a limited API for Google+ last week, so Klout has been working fast. It’s unclear what exactly Klout will be evaluating in Google+ behavior and use, but Klout’s founder Joe Fernandez tells me that he believes that certain Google+ power users will see their scores go up. But as with Klout’s other integrations, if you link your Klout account with Google+, your score won’t go down.

I wonder what criteria they’re using to evaluate the mostly privately-shared social network?

Massive Censorship Of Digg Uncovered

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.

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”.

As much as I love the distributed network of news sources and aggregators I rely on, like Digg, I’ve always been wary of their hidden algorithms and the possibility of ‘gaming’ the results. My first reaction was, “well, this throws any semblance of impartiality out the window” – but really, is this all that different from how pundits and lobbyists have gamed the major news sources for the last 50 years?

In either case, it’s clear that shifting the curation and editorial power directly into the hands of the users necessarily complicates my relationship with that news even further. As millions migrate to these new, largely unpoliced news sites, these coalitions, conspiracies, and collaborators will become even more pervasive and influential.