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Thursday, September 2, 2010

How To Deal With Sexist Pigs on Digg

Posted By on Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge DearAnnaWeb_2_.jpg

Dear Anna,

How can a female Digger hold her own in the penis party that is the comments section on any given article on Digg?

- InDiggnant

I've got something you can hold alright, sweetheart, and it rhymes with Shipotle durrito! Just kidding. I can hold my own burrito, thank you very much. Yes, Digg is full of geektards and douche canoes, and the sexism of its commenters has been thoroughly documented. One such delightful example: "Why did the woman cross the road, no wait, why isn't she in the kitchen?!" Ahahahahahahahahaha, amiright, bro? But that doesn't mean us ladies can't or shouldn't give our two cents to every man's dollar on Digg articles.

As someone who uses Digg on a regular basis, I've run into my share of offensive asshattery. Here's both some practical and impractical advice, depending on your thirst for justice. Since Digg is supposedly democratic, you can thumb-down offensive comments, and if that happens enough, the comment will get buried. However, just as we elected Bush for at least one term as President, sometimes such democracies aren't on the side of the greater good, and your clever, fact-checked, bullet-pointed remarks on feminism will be tossed into the maw of the Internet void by Diggers who want you to make them a sandwich. That's why when it comes to asshole comments, I usually blow them off. I am woman, hear me ignore!

The worst thing about Pigg users is they have all the time in the fucking world to fight with you on the Internet. It's impossible to have a thoughtful argument with someone who plays World of Warcraft for eight hours a day. Such trolls don't deserve your time. Pity or block them if you must. But while public shaming has its merits, it will also likely incite more hatefulness. Also, Digg isn't exactly a space for starting a dialogue on the hypocrisy of religious fundamentalism (or equivalent Serious Issue), it's for sharing articles on Steven Seagal's new energy drink, open source software that you can jerk off to, and the revelatory details of Tiger Woods' divorce, etc.

Since it's all a popularity contest anyway on Digg, you should harness that power by friending other like-minded Digg users, thus creating a coven, and eventually a mob that will digg up your stories and vote down those of your enemies. Networking has many benefits, one of which is vengeance. If you find that route too time-consuming, then I don't want you in my coven. Of course, we'll see how all this plays out on the new Digg, which is now live, and promises to be less of a popularity contest and more of a social experience akin to Facebook and Twitter. The site's old guard is complaining bitterly about the changes, which, considering the "old guard" on Digg is largely comprised of obnoxious teenage dudes, might indicate things will change for the better.

Social-media mistress Anna Pulley likes to give advice about how to play well with others on the internets. If you have a question about etiquette involving technology, shoot her a question at AskAnnaSF@gmail.com (it's not case-sensitive).

Follow us on Twitter: @annapulley or @SFWeekly

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Anna Pulley

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