Social Networking Site to Replace Traditional Voting in 2008 Elections

Cybersparks, Nebraska, April 12, 2008 -- The popular community-driven news, technology and entertainment site Digg ( has been selected to serve as a novel replacement for traditional paper and electronic ballots in the upcoming November elections. voting interface voting interface screenshot

The unusual choice is viewed by many politicians, pundits and Secretaries of State as essential to reinvigorating what has long been characterized as the moribund state of popular democracy in America.

Following a major infrastructure overhaul, the social networking behemoth is slated to provide a complete menu of interactive tools for registered voters in America to use to vote for or against, comment on and flame their favorite candidates, from dog catcher to President.

"It's a natural progression for Digg, which since its conception has represented true participatory, direct democracy regarding the selection of popular news articles for its front page," Kevin Rose, Founder and Chief Architect of, said Tuesday. "We began with a more narrow focus, targeting gaming geeks and hacker nerds with stories about Linux and Apple and how to overclock a cheap AMD processor, for example. As our popularity grew, we gradually expanded to include more mainstream topics like celebrity wardrobe malfunctions, the latest pop video parody sensation on Youtube, and yes, current events, social debate, and politics. Serving as the primary tool by which American voters will select their democratic leaders is the next logical step for Digg."

In an unprecedented agreement to standardize the voting process reached between the State Secretaries of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the social networking interface will be used jointly through a distributed framework as the sole means of electing candidates across the country throughout the 2008 election season.

American voters, who will be individually issued by voting registration officers with anonymous-sounding screen names such as hotsoxx309, difficult-to-remember login passwords and quirky customizable icons, will have the option of voting for a particular candidate from home or work via the internet or by visiting any of thousands of regional voting centers.

To begin the process, candidates post their own names and party affiliations as individual "stories" on's proprietary elections subdomain,, together with a 200 character or less summary in their own words of their primary platform or most resonant political message. Registered American visitors to, known in layman's parlance as "voters", then vote both for their favorite and/or against their most despised candidates. Positive votes propel a candidate upward in the pack, while negative votes have the reverse effect.

"It's a new twist to the American democratic process, and one that jibes more closely with the way many voters actually feel," Mr. Rose said. "A lot of Americans can't really stomach either candidate, so they just stay home. With Digg, they have the option of staying neutral on one candidate -- who may, perhaps, share their party affiliation but toward whom they don't have any particular affinity -- and just casting a negative vote against the other candidate. The effect in terms of balloting results is about the same, but it probably feels better for a lot of people."

Voters will additionally be equipped with tools with which to post comments on individual candidates, both positive and negative, to vote on one another's comments, and to relentlessly flame fellow participants in the democratic process.

Just as is possible using the current interface, voters will also be able to change their votes by "un-Digging" a candidate at any time until the voting process is completed if, for example, new information about the candidate were to come to light via voter comments on

In the case of fringe hopefuls, voters will have the option of "burying" inappropriate candidates by defining them as "Duplicate candidate", "Spam", "Wrong party affiliation", "Inaccurate campaign rhetoric" or "Okay, this candidate is lame". When a sufficient number of voters have registered their disapproval, the candidate is automatically de-listed, withdrawn from the race and, in extreme cases, stripped of his or her American citizenship. (The candidate's platform, however, will remain available on for searching by disappointed sycophants, potential stalkers, executive headhunters, etc.)

The designated winner of the election is that candidate whose personal election "story" has floated to the top of the front page for his or her particular voting district at the conclusion of the voting period, which is planned to last "from 24 hours up to about a week, depending on the popularity of the district", according to Mr. Rose.

"It's the perfect solution on so many levels," Mr. Rose stated. "It allows us to get rid of the whole Electoral College to begin with, which most Americans have barely heard of and don't even understand anyway. It allows a small group of early clickers to get rid of obnoxious fringe candidates before they can clog the airwaves with their issue ads. And it provides citizens with the chance – for perhaps the first time in history – to engage in a prolonged and constructive dialogue with the candidates and each other via our commenting system."

Mr. Rose explained that the "hide comments from this user" feature of will allow voters to effectively block out any discussions they find annoying or disagreeable, thereby heightening the overall level of democratic debate.

"For example," Mr. Rose said, "We're adding a new feature that allows registered Democrats to automatically block all comments from registered Republicans, and vice versa. That tweak alone makes Digg the perfect fit for the world's most polarized democracy."

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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