Digg: Internal Accounts Were for Testing; New Features on the Way

DiggLogo.jpgDigg responded to allegations that it created fake accounts to game its own system with a post on the Digg Blog by community manager Jen Burton, which also announced upcoming new features including filtering by images and video, suggested users, a bury button, and a breaking news module. From Burton’s post:

I’m going to address a story submitted to Digg that called out activity of a number of our internal test accounts. As with many sites, we continuously run tests on the site to expose vulnerabilities in our own security. In this case, we did have a number of our internal test accounts Digging content from the Upcoming section of the site. We learned a great deal about some vulnerabilities in how users can inappropriately Digg stories into the home page. We have already made some changes over the past few weeks and are going to be making some other changes to the site this week to address a few of the issues we found. Similar to how good security companies try to break their own security, we have always tested and will always run tests to find spam vulnerabilities on Digg.

Most important, we should have been forthright with our community about our testing efforts, and we’ll certainly do so in the future. Rest assured that Digg does not in any way receive financial gain from this activity and the accounts were not used to submit any content.

In the meantime, our development staff has been working hard on more updates to the site based on the community’s feedback. In the next two weeks we’ll be launching:

1. Filter by images and video — you’ve been asking us to replace this feature, and we’re really happy to announce that it will be released.

2. Suggested users — on the right side of My News, you’ll now see a couple of profiles we think you might be interested in following.

3. Bury! We’re removing both “hide” and “report” from the story lists and permalink pages and replacing them with the bury button.

4. Breaking News module — in an effort to ensure that Digg’s Top News page includes timely news stories, we’ll be adding a module by the end of next week that will highlight breaking news stories as they happen, rather than waiting for the items to gain enough Diggs to be promoted.