Want to Digg to know exactly who you are inviting into your network? Want Digg to know about your own little network of friends and match up exactly who is voting on your stories? If for some reason you answered “yes” to either of these questions – then start using Digg’s New Friend Invite Feature:
digg.com / invitefrom / [yourusername] <– put your username there
So what happens when you get people to sign up and become your friend?
After your friends sign-up, Digg will display your name on the homepage as a recognition that you’ve added someone to the community. Your profile stats page will also display how many friend referrals you have completed.
What else can now happen?
- Digg can easily track all of the people you are inviting. Digg can see that they are only voting on your stories (yeah – you know who you are).
- Digg can then completely discount those Diggs – perhaps even making them count as buries instead if people only vote for your stories (even if it’s natural).
- Have a higher profile account? Digg can bury your stories/ban your account/etc.
How long before people start abusing it? Immediately. Last night I got about 25 different emails from people I don’t even know asking me to join their network. No thanks.
While I was writing this I came across this post by Russ Virante where he wrote a quick line of code which automatically adds him as a friend to anyone who visits this page and is logged into Digg:
<iframe src="http://digg.com/invitefrom/russvirante" height="1" width="1"></iframe>
As he says – if you do visit that page, don’t forget to delete him from your friends section. It will be interesting to see if Digg deletes him as a user as well even though he is just doing it to expose the flaw. How soon until LittleGreenFootballs has this code on all their pages? ;)
This feature also now opens up the floodgates for the bot makers getting sued by MySpace to start creating new DiggerAdders.
So, if you want to stay under the radar a bit on Digg – stay away from this new feature. I just don’t get it. Unless there has been such a mass exodus as a result of the Top User removal and related changes (which I don’t think there has been) this is not something that Digg needs right now especially when they are so concerned with potential spammers.
If you are interested in a good overview of how it works – take a look at Muhammad’s rundown here.