Update: This article was submitted to Digg by someone I don’t know and was starting to gain a bit of traction (28 votes and 15 comments as of this writing). However, the story has been prematurely removed from the upcoming queue for the US Elections 2008 section. Digg has confirmed that the story was removed because it was buried. Why was it buried? I can think of two possible reasons: (1) the story was lame or (2) because Paul supporters didn’t like the content of the piece and buried it. Decide for yourself what happened.

Digg launched a section around a month ago on the 2008 US elections.  I've been a semi-active participant in the section, digging stories in the upcoming area and occasionally submitting stuff there. 

The strangest thing about the section is the prevalence of information about obscure Republican/Libertarian Presidential candidate Ron Paul

A quick review of the Upcoming section shows that around 20% of articles are about Ron Paul.  And just about every one of these Paul-oriented stories attracts at least ten diggs.  This is extremely unusual, as the vast majority of stories submitted to Digg only attract between one and five diggs.

The trends hold when you look at stories that have made it to the section homepage (the most popular stories).  In the history of the US Election 2008 section, only 21 stories have made the section homepage.  Of those stories, 4 (19%) have been about Ron Paul.  In fact, 4 of the last 10 stories to make the homepage of this section have been about Ron Paul.

It you look at it closely, it is clear that there is a group of Ron Paul supporters that is actively submitting stories to Digg and voting for every story about Ron Paul.  As an example, users like  MisesRothbard, EvilPropaganda, mstebbins, nokla and  specsaregood seem to have Digg accounts primarily to promote Ron Paul.  If you click through and look at their voting history, you'll see that those user names consistently vote for the same Paul-related stories.

It is clear to me that there is a semi-organized effort by Paul supporters to promote him on Digg.  It wouldn't be the first time.  According to the WSJ, Paul supporters were banned from the Pajama's Media Presidential straw poll after repeatedly trying to stuff the ballot. 

At this point I think the gaming of the Digg US Election channel is working because the section isn't being used that heavily yet.  The number of submissions is low and not that many people appear to be voting.  So the Paul supporters are able to exert a disproportionate amount of influence.  I think the content will get better as more people (and campaigns) participate.  So start digging….

P.S.  As a side note, check out this Paul article on Digg.  I'd say its pretty obvious from the comments that Paul true-believers are dominating the discussion.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.