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Digg != Ubuntu?

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***UPDATE*** Well, we have our answer to the question at the end of this article: this story lasted all of about 12 hours on before being unceremoniously buried…


Is “Ubuntu” a dirty word on popular site After a pair of my articles were submitted, I checked the stories at the Digg site and noticed a user had voted to bury both of them. The comments indicated the inclusion of the term “Ubuntu” was deemed spam by this user, and served as the reason for the bury vote.

I left a comment in response but received no reply, so visited the user’s profile. Here’s what I found:

Ubuntu Bashing?

As you can see, this user seems to consider any mention of Ubuntu as spam.

I’d noticed similar behavior in the comments of other posts about Ubuntu, so that got me thinking: is there an anti-Ubuntu bias in Digg? I decided to find out.

Here’s how I went about it: I searched for “Ubuntu”, made a note of the total number of pages of search results, then searched for the same term, only I clicked “include buried stories” and again noted the number of pages of search results returned. Then, for comparison, I used the same methodology on the following search terms:

  • Vista
  • Linux
  • Mac
  • OS-X
  • Fedora
  • Debian
  • Slackware
  • Microsoft
  • SUSE

These searches took place March 29th, 2008 between 13:54 – 14:09 PST and the search context was “Title and Description” and “All Stories”.

Here’s a chart showing the results – percentages represent percentage of pages of stories buried versus all pages of stories, buried or otherwise:

Ubuntu Stories Buried…

As you can see, a higher percentage of Ubuntu stories gets buried than Microsoft, OS-X, Vista or any of the nine other search terms used.

Ubuntu stories buried 14.47% of the time…

14.47% of stories containing “Ubuntu” are buried. This compares to 7.99% of “Vista” stories buried.

Vista slice - 7.99% of Vista stories are buried.

Note that both “Mac” and “Debian” aren’t really useful for comparison purposes: “Mac” picks up articles containing “Big Mac” or other terms unrelated to the Apple Mac, while many stories containing “Debian” also include “Ubuntu”.

Here are the results showing the raw data:

Digg Buried Story Analysis by Search Term

Search Term Pages of Reults (Don’t Show Buried) Pages of Results (Show Buried) # of Pages of Results Burried % of Stories Buried

Ubuntu 650 760 110 14.47%
Mac* 3431 3935 504 12.81%
OS-X 856 968 112 11.57%
Microsoft 5535 6028 493 8.18%
Linux 2580 2807 227 8.09%
Vista 2004 2178 174 7.99%
Debian** 120 129 9 6.98%
Fedora 118 126 8 6.35%
SUSE 109 115 6 5.22%
Slackware 25 26 1 3.85%

Date of Survey: March 29, 2008; 13:54 – 14:09 PST
Criteria: Search “Title and Description”; “All Stories”

*”Mac” is not a reliable search term, as it includes a significant number of results unrelated to the Apple Mac (ie “Big Mac”).
**”Debian” is not a reliable search term, as it includes a significant number of results which include “Ubuntu”.

Comparison of “Ubuntu” search results with and without buried stories shown:

“Ubuntu” search, excluding buried stories.“Ubuntu” search, including buried stories…

We’ll see how long this story lasts on Digg!


Written by westcoastsuccess

March 29, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Ubuntu/Linux

Tagged with , , , ,

4 Responses

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  1. […] Digg != Ubuntu? Is “Ubuntu” a dirty word on popular site After a pair of my articles were submitted, I checked […] […]

  2. […] “ubuntu” and found such articles much more likely to be buried (see our article here: Digg != Ubuntu?) Today we’re going to take a look at who the typical user is – who are these […]

  3. The real reason Digg buries Ubuntu articles as spam is because Digg is a Microsoft shill site.


    January 16, 2009 at 11:45 am

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