If you’re tuned in to all things Digg, you likely know that another round of power users have seen their accounts shut down because they were allegedly using scripts to auto-digg friends’ submissions.
Every time the spotlight becomes focused on the man behind the current — i.e. power users — there is a new flurry of proclamations of how Digg really isn’t a democracy at all because, well, not all votes are created equal. The social networking site Mashable has a post up rehashing this debate; “In the years following its creation, Digg became less a democracy and more a republic, with a select few users responsible for the majority of front page stories,” wrote David Chen.
This is evidenced by the fact that the average new user could submit interesting links all day and never come up with more than a handful of diggs on each — well below the 100 to 250 diggs needed to cross the front page threshold. But if you were to apply this concept to real-world democratic systems, you’d see that there is nothing undemocratic about this notion.
Since when did the ability to level a single vote ever wield real power? Think of any political or policy initiative, any political campaign, any petition or attempt to bring about real change. Would we ever be as naive to think that without constant lobbying, networking and collaboration, that anything meaningful in a democratic system would ever get done?
So why do we cry foul when a single voice drops a link into an ocean of other links and it doesn’t get much traction? If that voice believes that his link truly is unique and full of all things wonderful, then shouldn’t he have to lobby and push it and advertise it, just as any lobbyist, political or special interest group would?