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tux500 crew caught rigging Digg - with screenshots!

Date/Time Permalink: 05/10/07 12:29:20 pm
Category: General

May 9, 2007 helios posts to LXer, hatching plan to "Digg storm" Digg.com with the Indy Star article about tux500. (do I even have to ask how it got there?)

Digg rigging scheme hatched by tux500 crew

Note that helios expresses concern that Digg would not accept the article if "it was posted by one of us", so he has to ask for help from somebody with a clean nick/record to post the story so they can begin "Digg-storming" it.

May 9, day/that night Story got to front page of Digg. I didn't get the screen shot at the time, but it had votes in the triple digits.

Today, May 10, I managed to get a screen shot from Google cache, since the story has now been deleted off of Digg and several user accounts suspended. I had to find the story by searching for the title, so that's why the hightlights on keywords are there (Google cache does this).

Digg story posted

Note the first comment is "devn3t", one of the many screen aliases of devnet. Who, as you see from the post I link to, claims not to be involved with the project.

The article on Digg not only got to 3-digit votes, but had numerous comments (20? 30?) asstroturfing for it. If anybody has a link to a mirror/archive of the original story just before Digg killed it, it would be enlightening to us all if you posted a link to it in the comments. (I'm not a Digg member, myself, but I'm sure one of the Digg-savvy audience knows about this stuff).

There was also another copy of the story posted on Digg, but the first commenter that time posted a link to my site... which then alerted me to it and I saw it died after about 5 votes and three comments. It seems they had to ditch the "tainted" story with a link to my expose and re-dug it to another page.

One more time - with feeling:

Do these people look trustworthy enough to you to give them (I see now they ask for up to) $600,000 of your donated money?

Dear readers, I am sorry for any grief I have caused all of you with my sloppy blogging of this story. I regret the day I ever even heard of this. But please, PLEASE I AM BEGGING ALL OF YOU, do not let these people ruin Linux by association with this scheme. What I posted here is but a drop in the bucket. I've been digging this up for a month. All here:


If my data collection and presentation is sloppy, remember I am just one person keeping up with a whole gang.

Linux, GNU, Free and Open Source software in general deserves so much better than this. 15 years of Linux progress, and it is terrible to see these reckless idiots destroy it in all in a month in front of me.

UPDATE: Hey, found something else. This picture has the sticker on the car. But this page says the minimum is $25,000 to get a small sticker on the car and right now the meter on the same page claims they've collected $11,927.88! So either they're lying about the minimum price of a sticker on a car, or they're lying about how much money they've collected.

Oh my ears and whiskers, what else is there that I haven't found?

The full series on the tux500 scam:
Is the Tux500 racecar advertizing project a scam? Just asking the question...
Tux500 scam - news and links history Showing the circular links and promotion.
the tux500 scam of the Linux community A blogger cracks, more false promotion, an example of a racecar advertising scam perpetrated recently in NASCAR.
WHY the tux500 promotion is a pump-and-dump scam An in-depth analysis of driver stats, and some very serious cases of extortion, threats, slander, and intimidation on the part of the scammers.
The Final Analysis of the Tux500 Scam The source of the news story on indy500.com. A final summary.
Further Developments since I broke this story:
Dear Newsforge: I am not devnet. Newsforge links to devnet and says that's me. Best thing to happen to devnet and worst thing to happen to me. Other developments.
DC Parris of LXer to Linux community member: shut up! I wouldn't have half the problem with these thugs, if they didn't abuse EVERYBODY who crossed their path.
tux500 crew caught rigging Digg - with screenshots! Somehow, even documented proof of their own admission of blatant spamming fails to get them shut down. Wake up, Internet!
Are the tux500 people really all THAT bad? Or, why being on tux500's case 24/7 is one of the most important and necessary things I've ever done.

Give some consideration to chronological order. At the beginning, I was groping around, and chased a lot of dead ends before I honed in on the important facts.

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