An undercover investigation of the popular Web site Digg.com shows a group of conservative users secretly banded together to censor liberal Web content on the site. One of the most popular sites on the Internet, Digg.com works on a simple premise: people submit Web content -- like news stories, videos or images -- for consideration, and Digg subscribers vote them up or down. Stories that get the most votes get promoted to Digg's front page, where millions of visitors see them. With enough "down" votes, an item can get "buried," or removed from the site. This model makes the site susceptible to efforts by certain user groups to push their own articles and viewpoints to the front page and bury content they don't like. The year-long hidden investigation revealed a large, politically conservative group calling themselves the "Digg Patriots," that became so influential that they were able to bury over 90 percent of liberal users' content within 1-3 hours after it was submitted. The group censored thousands of stories, and pushed articles with conservative viewpoints to the front page. Digg Patriot leaders would issue "bury orders" to activate other participants to start voting down stories. Some Digg Patriots had multiple user accounts, in violation of Digg's terms of service. The censorship wasn't restricted to politically-themed articles. Other articles the group targeted dealt with education, renewable energy, homophobia, racism, science, economics, the media or anything "even slightly critical of the GOP/Tea Party/Fox News/corporations are targets."
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