Sunday, February 25, 2007

Mob Rule

Anyone who wants to see what happens when majorities run amok need look no further than this Little Green Football post about the shenanigans at

The idea behind an ostensibly non-partisan site like is that people submit links to interesting things, and other people rate the links, so that interesting stuff gets more votes and rises to the top.

But at Digg, this utopian web fantasy has turned into a system of mob rule.

Case in point, our post today about the ACLU’s newest attempt to get Islamist spokesman Tariq Ramadan into the US: Digg - ACLU: US Can’t Bar Terrorism Supporters.

As soon as this post was “made popular” (received enough votes to get listed on the front page), leftist Digg readers swarmed all over it, clicking the “bury” button like busy little progressive beavers. They also voted against almost every supporting comment, so that they disappeared from the list.

They’re doing this with every LGF post that shows up at Digg now, and the swarm is almost instantaneous. If one of our posts gets to the front page, it’s buried within minutes.

It’s a leftist totalitarian dreamworld. They simply exclude any and all points of view that violate the groupthink—and call it “democracy.”

I hate to keep pointing this out, but this is typical liberal behavior. You can see the same sort of thing happen at any number of liberal websites, whether it be Pandagon or Liberal Avenger. Any conservative who posts gets immediately swarmed over with idiotic ad hominem attacks. It really doesn't matter how non-controversial the comment might be; as long as it goes against the liberal meme du jour, it will get flamed.

One can say that such treatment should be expected on a liberal website (you go to their house, they get to pummel you). But as Charles points out, the purpose of is to be a non-partisan source of interesting articles. It's clear, however, that there is a very vocal section of the left that doesn't want debate or to "look at different viewpoints"--arguments offered for the un-Fairness Doctrine. Rather, they want to squash any debate and drowned out voices they dislike.

I have to wonder if this is what Amanda meant when she talked about the rightwing smear campaign designed to separate bloggers from the Democratic leadership. The article she quoted left the impression that it was all an elaborate plot by Republicans to a wedge between Democratic leaders and the netroots by attacking bloggers–and their readers–as an extreme vitriolic embarrassment.

I would suggest that it is the behavior of the nutroots that is the embarrassment, as the events unfolding at suggest.