A few months ago we covered some of the updates that Digg had made to help prevent duplicated submissions. Now, Digg has (hopefully) lived up to its promise of combating the dupe problem once and for all.
In their blog post today, Digg announced that they are going to use some of the technology that they developed in their improved search function to find stories that are either the exact same story fromt he same site with different URLs or similar stories from different sources that are basically saying the same thing.
A minor point in all of this is that they have moved the duplicate detection to the front of the submission process rather than being the last step. This is a nice feature for those who spend a good deal of time crafting the right headline, description, and selecting the right category only to find out later that the story or some form of it had already been submitted.
There is always debate about whether or not stories should be duped non-maliciously. Intentional dupes are a major concern, but what about those stories that “need” to be duplicated. There is a lot of gray area when it comes to this subject. It’s easy to say, “If a story has already been submitted, rather than submitting it from a different source, one should simply Digg the original submission.”
In a perfect Digg world, this would make sense. The problem happens when amazing content is submitted by a user who is not as social. Those who do not “play the game” of Digg right may stumble upon an incredible piece of content. If a stronger user finds that content elsewhere and tries to submit it, will it be “lost to Digg”? In other words, it doesn’t matter if a power user Diggs content that was submitted a few hours earlier and only has a single Digg. The strength of the content rarely over-powers the weakness of a submitter.
The Susan Broyle video, for example, hit hard on Digg before it hit just about anywhere else on the Internet. It had been submitted a few times before a power user got hold of it, but those submissions were done by weaker submitters. Had the power user not duped the submission, it would not have received the 6k+ Diggs that it ended up getting. Digg would have been the last site to break the story rather than one of the first.
Don’t get me wrong – I hate dupes. This is the right direction for Digg and the community. Still, it makes me wonder if some excellent content will be missed as a result.
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