We recently noted the false rumor that Sun CEO Scott McNealy was retiring and the company would get bought out by Google, which then got spread around like a game of telephone, and amplified when it hit the front page of Digg. Now, SiliconValleySleuth is alleging that something much more sinister than a children's game is going on, that the author of the rumor is using Digg to manipulate the share price of Sun Microsystems. Four times, the original author has penned a speculative piece on Sun and Google merging, and each time the story was pushed to the top of Digg, always by the same users. While it's surprising that the rumor keeps getting pushed around, this doesn't seem to rise to the level of stock manipulation. There's no evidence that the stock's recent rise is due to Digg, whle trading volume has remained steady, the stock has been volatile for some time. It's latest run actually started before the original rumor was published. As for the same users pushing the story, it could just be that they read the author's blog. Still, this does raise some interesting issues. Digg seems vulnerable to being gamed, which when combined with the enormous traffic from getting to the front page, makes an inviting site for tricksters. It seems like only a matter of time before the Digg mob does cause real harm.
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