Since its redesign at the end of August, social news service Digg has been beset with problems. Traffic plummeted by 26%, and Digg founder Kevin Rose announced that he would be leaving his baby behind. Worse, Digg's hardcore user base immediately revolted against the redesign, flooding the front page with links to competitor Reddit, and the Digg team has been gradually reintroducing features from its previous iteration to appease its increasingly frustrated user base.
A user spotted an sponsored link to an Alabama Press-Register article "Offshore world looks good after Gulf oil spill, scientists say (with video)" on the front page:
The article suggests that sea life in the Gulf coast may be returning to normal, although the assessment is far from scientific:
"Working from the grand caveat that most of the information we have is anecdotal and suggestive," said Monty Graham, a biologist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, "it does not appear that there are large pools of oil running around on the bottom [of the ocean], wreaking havoc."
If Digg is looking to save its reputation, hosting ads by BP America probably won't help. While Digg once prided itself on serving its community, a common complaint among members of the Digg community is that the company "sold out" to mainstream publishers in an effort to prop up falling revenues. Mashable's domination of the Digg front page within the first days of its relaunch indicated an unwanted trend for loyal users, making Reddit (which sassed parent company Conde Nast over pot legalization ads) seem a more appealing, independent alternative.