While I’m certainly entertained by this whole Web 2.0 thing, I’m finding myself growing more and more skeptical of it. Although most people like to single out Wikipedia as the main problem on the web, if not the world, today, I’d like to point my finger towards what I consider to be a more problematic website. And the worst part is that we here at Sexy Secularist are complete sell-outs to it.

The site, is Digg, which allows users to submit webpages or stories they find interesting. If enough other people find the site interesting, it gets pushed through to the front page, where more and more users “Digg It” and make it more and more popular until another webpage’s popularity takes over.

Like that horrible car wreck on the freeway, you can’t help but look at what pages are coming up, especially during those long stretches of the day where you don’t want to work, so you visit the same few sites over and over on the internet, hoping that one of them will have updated, giving you something to read. Digg changes rapidly enough to fill that void and occupy approximately 90% of my day, while I look at random shit.

Here are some recent examples of Digg’s offerings:

A LOL Cat mocking something to do with the recent Scientology hacker thing (note to self: this would be something a bit more meaningful to write about, if only I had any idea what was going on with it).

Also, an unfortunately couple.

But, in the past week, bar none, the worst example of digging has been this screen cleaning webpage, which earned over 14500 diggs. For a flash animation.

This is all mostly harmless, but stories with political agendas are posted with nothing even approaching factual accuracy and it’s very easy to trust them, even for a hardened skeptic. This is especially true when the articles gel with your deeply held beliefs.

Another story begins with a quote implying that Richard Dawkins supports vegetarianism (he supports not making animals suffer, which is not the same thing) and only goes downhill from there, stating that vegans live 15 years longer, on average, than us lowly meat-eaters and that fruits and vegetables “help us detox naturally”.

This recent availability of information is certainly a good thing, though we’re going to need to learn to better sort through the information and increase the sensitivity on our bullshit detectors before they become reasonably useful. As far as on-line sources go, this humble blogger places the reliability of Digg several notches below Wikipedia. But please, dear reader, take that with a grain of salt. After all, this opinion does come from the internet.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 25th, 2008 at 11:13 pm and is filed u