The Universe Today website has been banned from the social bookmarking site Digg.com. This might come as a surprise to many as the Universe Today is a great source of space, astronomy, science and educational news. Why would such a great resource be banned from a site that is based on community participation?
UT has been captained for many years by its founder and publisher Fraser Cain – I remember first signing up to the UT newsletter in 2001 – and the whole aim of the site is to reach out to Internet users, distributing the best space-based news a website can bring. Surely this is the type of site Digg would want to be promoting? Apparently not.
“Thanks for taking the time to contact us at Digg.com regarding your website.
As you know, Digg is a community-driven website – our community has consistently reported the domain to which you refer.
Because unblocking your domain would not be in line with the best interests of the larger Digg community, we will not reverse this decision.
— Digg Support”
Email response to Fraser after enquiring about the situation.
The banning happened some time ago and it appears to be symptomatic of a wider Web 2.0 issue. Digg.com, widely considered to be a leader in social bookmarking, has been hit by spammers and web marketing tricks (most other bookmarking sites have to fight a similar battle), hence the recent spate in bans on “power users” and websites. Naturally, a few innocent people and sites get caught in the middle. But when a site with a profile as high as the Universe Today is taken offline, you can’t help but think something is going terribly wrong.
It would take a Digg administrator 5-minutes to inspect the Universe Today and the list of page submissions to Digg.com for them to realise this is a bona fide, established website visited by millions annually.
Whilst in the grand scheme of things, getting banned from Digg doesn’t mean squat, after all the Universe Today team (including myself) will continue to deliver the highest quality material we can muster. It’s just a shame our writing won’t be accessing the audience of the web’s largest communities in the future. However, it’s a bigger shame the admin peeps at Digg can’t see what is going wrong with their democratic website.
After all, what’s the point in having a democracy when the choice of vote is removed?