The most emails I ever received about an article was Social Science And Social News Sites because of a very small part of the article where we mentioned that we swapped out the Digg submission button with Slashdot.

My take was that our kind of serious science content is just not right for Digg, since the last hundred or so articles were buried by readers and thus not a good fit for their audience. Not so, said the people who wrote. They contended Digg has an internal bury list and that it was probably marketing related rather than being done by users. But there's no proof of that and it's easy to spot for savvy internet people like the Digg user base so I remain skeptical - but a little less skeptical because of recent developments.

There's no question the most frequent science site on the front page of Digg is an aggregator that reprints press releases but we do some of that in addition to our original features and blogs also and don't begrudge them their superior marketing skill. Everyone, and I mean everyone, gets the bulk of their science releases from AAAS/Eurekalert so when I got a follow-up today from a reader stating that Digg had now labelled AAAS as spam it got my attention.

So I checked by going to the AAAS site and picking a release and submitting it to Digg. And there it was:

Surely this is an oversight or an automatic mechanism gone berserk that will be fixed shortly. The science news site most often on the front page of Digg has science content identical to the AAAS feed so it's obvious they aren't compiling content from each company and university, they're buying the feed from AAAS. Digg can ban whomever they want, of course - they don't tell us who can write articles here so we can't tell them how to run their site - but banning the number one source of science news releases will just add fuel to claims that some sites are gaming the system to have unfettered access to the Digg front pages; especially since rebranded AAAS news releases are still allowed.

Digg is important to smaller science communities and it should be a benefit for those little guys to be the first on there with a news article the community likes - users should also have the freedom to post the source article rather than have to use a site that just aggregates the AAAS feed anyway. If Digg blocks out everyone except the companies that have top people in place at Digg it will ruin the democratic ideal they claimed in their founding.

Of course, if they block out NASA and NIH next, you'll know I am wrong in thinking this is an error.