Now, I’m not even totally sure how Digg’s algorithms work and how much power moderators have on Digg but Digg at heart remains a democratic way to get news – you’ll see the articles that other people are reading and voting for. I’m not going to comment on how democratic Digg.
However, the democratic nature of Digg and the fact it has such a big readership makes it popular ground for people to inflict their political biases on others. Digg readers tend to be pro-Apple, anti-Microsoft and pro-Google. Pro-Apple articles get dugg to death and make the homepage easily even if they aren’t factual. Anti-Apple comments are dugg down and buried, even if they are factual. The Apple fanboys therefore bias Digg towards their own political bias.
Casual readers reading Digg will probably quickly become Apple fanboys simply because so much good stuff is written about them. The website no longer becomes a place where people with different views and opinions are shared; it becomes a place for zealotry to breed.
The benefit of a website with an editorial is that the news and stories are more likely to be factual and the coverage more fair. You can trust what you see on the BBC or CNN to be unbiased.
There are non-democratic websites with political motivations too – BoingBoing is pro-freedom and anti-DRM, Slashdot is pro-OSS. Digg doesn’t have an open political bias but it’s editors (the people) are far from unbiased and may often digg articles which say what they want rather than what is really happening.
Looking at Digg objectively one asks whether Digg is really democratizing news or whether it’s just another publication, like the New York Times, which uses web surfers around the world to generate the content for them.