Niall Kennedy has a great post today about spammers gaming Digg. He traces the origins of a Digg post that became a top 5 post in the tech section (the post was about weight loss tips)
Of particular interest is this section
I believe social media accounts are currently available for rent or for sale, rewarding active users with paid placements or account resells in much the same way as a World of Warcraft character might be resold on eBay. Social media sites and search engines need to stay on top of this new form of content creation, continually analyzing data and scrubbing out the dirt. Sites overrun with web spam quickly lose their utility and might be banned from search engines.
Kevin Rose started Digg because he thought Slashdot "takes power away from the people" due to Slashdot's editorial control. Digg is continually working to make sure the site is not gamed by spammers (annoying some heavy users) However, if social news ends up in a situation where you can purchase a userID in the same way you can with Warcraft, Digg will have a big problem on its hands.
Is the answer to this to introduce some form of moderation on submissions? Niall writes that the Digg post in question received over 900 diggs before it was buried. It seems likely that many of the 900 diggs were manufactured, either by a "digg-bot", voting up the post, or by a human "digg farm". Definitely something to watch.