Friday, January 20, 2006

Experiment: Can mTurk Defeat the Digg System?

First off here is what Digg is according to Digg.com "...With digg, users submit stories for review, but rather than allow an editor to decide which stories go on the homepage, the users do."

So here is my experiment, I will post a HIT on mTurk for 400 users to do one time. In which they will digg my story on digg.com of this blog post, then email me a screenshot of this story dugg. To show that they dugg it.

In theory this will defeat the digg system of users promoting stories to the front page rather then moderators, without the use of bots or scripts. Simply for 4 bucks.

To Diggers: Please don't kill me, this is an experiment. If it works and catches on and I create some sort of monster....Sorry. But that won't happen. This is simply the testing of an idea, if successful then hopefully digg will be modified to make sure the system can't be abused in such a way. Also please note, I have no ads on this blog, I have little to gain but knowledge. Besides soon after hitting the homepage, moderators will remove the story if this experiment is sucessful.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you did this? :(

- cog

9:52 PM  
Anonymous cog said...

Q: do you believe that this is not a digg tos violation if not mturk?

(not trying to kill you… just asking). PS, thanks for running this blog.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Eric Cranston said...

Actually no I don't think it is...might be. Never been able to read through these things well.

Paying people to digg things I don't think has been tried before, thus not in digg tos. And it is work, the work of digging something, thus should be clear with mturk. I'm just so curious as to if this system would work. So when the idea came to me, I had to try it.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous cog said...

IANAL.. Creating duplicate accounts to inflate diggs is restricted.. perhaps it will be amended to say 'or any other mechanism'. Also User Conduct #8: [don't] (ii) interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper working of the Site or any activities conducted on the Site; or (iii) bypass any measures we may use to prevent or restrict access to the Site; .. paying for diggs may be that?

Also it would be interesting if diggs come in from non-mturk users. Say you get all 200 diggs, eventually other blogs pick it up, it snowballs, etc. You'll have to report on how many unpaid diggs come in (if any).

Sincerely,
A Cog

10:46 PM  
Anonymous cog said...

And sorry, a technical question. How can there be 15 diggs if there remain 200 HITs (i assume those are the initial hits)? I know the HIT counter lags, is that it?

Keepin' it locked right here,
Cog

10:48 PM  
Anonymous cog said...

How about:
* Experiment: Can mTurk get a candidate elected to office?
* Experiment: Can mTurk get my GoogleRank up?
* Experiment: Can mTurk get me a job?
* Experiment: Can mTurk get my stock price to leap temporarily above $1.50?

AWS license says: 7) You may not compile or use the Amazon Properties or any other information obtained through Amazon Web Services for the purpose of direct marketing, spamming, contacting sellers or customers, or any other use which is specifically prohibited by this Agreement. Does this constitute advertising for this blog? Dunno. Certainly many of the above uses would be so.

Let's look at the mturk tos - don't see anything interesting there.

12:27 AM  
Blogger Joseph Watkins said...

I'm interested in how you verify this - a turker sends you an email with a screenprint, but how do you tie that back to mturk ? Do you have an email address for whoever submits a HIT? (I hope not!)
cheers, I dugg it anyway - doesn't seem too successful yet.

3:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The count stands at 33 as of 01-21-06.

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