Masses And The Machine

There’s some buzz going around that Digg isn’t such a great model of Internet deomcracy. There are some posts flying around about how Digg is somewhat corrupted. The story itself has actually been dugg on digg over 500 times (as of this posting).
This raises an oddly implicit assumption that we seem to be making about social sites like Digg, Flickr and the like: the entities that house and maintain this information are fair, impartial and mildly benevolent. Just as we hold other publications to a higher set of standards, we’ve come to expect a certain level of good judgment and prudence by these services.
One could argue that the burden is even higher for such services. Since the content is not a product of any single person’s mind but rather that of the community, it’s integrity is instantly elevated to near sacred status. Oddly, where humans are expected to fact check and police information that is authored, in the realm of socially-created content, we want humans to stay out of the picture. Only the masses and the machine are trustworthy.

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