Where to go for Social Media

Digg or Reddit? The question is hotly contested between users of the two social media sites. However, due to a recent update to the Digg website, the argument may finally have been settled.

You see, this article was meant to be an argument, a battle if you will, between two heavy-weights of their respective sites: Mac in the red trunks hailing from Reddit.com and Ryan in the blue, fighting for Digg Nation. After Digg version 4.0 was released, greeted by storms of user criticism, the need to argue has been lost. For Ryan has become (at least temporarily) a Redditor.


Reddit and Digg are social media sites. Generally, they work in much the same way. Users submit anything from funny pictures of cats and Internet memes, to news articles and political campaigning. The system of voting and article up or down is similar on either side. (Upvotes or downvotes on Reddit, and digg or bury on Digg.)

However, after the August launch of Digg 4.0, drastic changes have led to a mass exodus of Digg users to their rival Reddit. Changes, such as the removal of the “bury” button, were seen by many as limiting user power while allowing special interest groups an easier ability to get content to the front page. The need to “follow” certain broadcasters to see stories likewise goes against the grain of a democratic social media.

To place the democratic power of Digg in context, in 2007 the Digg team removed an article that linked decryption codes for HD DVDs after receiving a take down demand. Within hours, the user base had revolted, flooding the front page with links to the decryption code. Digg relented, choosing to allow their users to decide what was on the site.  

This time however, revolt was not in the form of a mass protest, but a diaspora of Digg Nation to the “other” social media site, Reddit. By the end of August, Reddit was seeing record numbers of new users per day, with numbers peaking on August 29 when over 8500 new accounts were added.

Still, ever after becoming a Redditor, Ryan has a couple questions and more nostalgia than people who begin sentences with “Back in my day...”

Ryan: While Reddit supplies me with similar content to an extent, it fails to provide on some levels. The lengthy political articles that once dominated the “Front Page” of Digg are not as easy to find on Reddit.

Mac: Sub-reddits are very easy to find. Instead of a homepage of every type of article, you can simply go to /r/politics at the top of the page and read about the Tea Party to your heart’s content. In fact, the variety of sub-reddits means there are literally forums to discuss anything you can think of – from help learning a language, good music, to places where people rate your naked body.  
Ryan: Also missing is the ferocious debate seen in the comments from all sides of the political spectrum. It takes a long time to scroll through all the puns in the Reddit comments before you actually reach a good comment.

Mac: I can get nostalgic too. Before the influx of non-original Redditors, there was much more open dialogue and less puns. Abuse of down-voting means good comments are covered up because they disagree with the mainstream. I agree with you here, but I’ve also seen some extremely esoteric and intense debates on Reddit. These sites are caves for nerds; a lot of them know things.

Although most of Ryan’s heart was put into feeling sorry for the loss of his beloved Digg, he did manage to make some valid points, although as it stands now, Digg has clearly slipped below Reddit. In the long term, the competition will help both sites. It’s in the best interests of both user bases for Digg to return to its former glory.

//Mac Fairbairn and Ryan Bernard
Mortal Internet Enemies

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com