Digg Hacked or Clever Advertisement?

It appeared today as if Digg had been hacked. If you visit Digg.com and view the page source, you will see the following in the code.

digg hacked 460x502 Digg Hacked or Clever Advertisement? picture

However, if you notice the url near the bottom, http://hellisnigh.com points to a page which is advertising Dante’s Inferno, an EA game to be released shortly.

dantes 460x379 Digg Hacked or Clever Advertisement? picture

Which makes you wonder if this might not be a hack after all, but rather a pretty clever marketing campaign made to look like a hack.


We just got an update from Digg and it is an advertising campaign and quite a clever one if I must say so myself.

“Since Digg’s early days, ASCII art has been ingrained in our site’s culture,” said Chas Edwards, Digg Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer. “We’re thrilled with the opportunity presented by our partnership with Electronic Arts and the Dante’s Inferno team — incorporating ASCII art into advertising on Digg, while providing the 40 million users in the Digg Community first access to the promotion code.”


27 Responses to “Digg Hacked or Clever Advertisement?”

  1. Kishore Mylavarapu on February 3rd, 2010 1:03 pm

    I think it may be an ad.But not a hack.Anyway can you please provide the page where you get this error on digg??

  2. SK on February 3rd, 2010 2:50 pm

    Do you check th Digg source code every day? ;)

  3. StacyK on February 3rd, 2010 9:51 pm

    Do you check the Digg source code every day? ;)

  4. Kevin on February 3rd, 2010 2:55 pm

    Umm just go to D I G G . C O M and view source

  5. wanna on February 3rd, 2010 2:56 pm

    Go to Digg.com and hit Ctrl+U or go to View > Source

  6. Blake R on February 3rd, 2010 2:59 pm

    It’s not a page. Go to view and click on Page Source when you’re on the Digg homepage. It will bring up the source code for the website and right in the beginning is the ad.

  7. Blake on February 3rd, 2010 10:04 pm

    Its not a page, its the source code for the website. In your browser go to View then click on "Source Code" while you're on the Digg homepage. It will open a new window with the code in it.

    Also, does anyone know if this is the first password for the site? Or are there others somewhere?

  8. kaye on February 3rd, 2010 3:31 pm

    If you don’t know how to see it, you obviously can’t read anyway. Very clever idea, I much prefer this to image or flash advertising. Saves bandwidth.

  9. Shug on February 3rd, 2010 3:37 pm

    Just view the source on the front page of digg.com
    It is still up.

  10. zoomsixx on February 3rd, 2010 3:41 pm

    Thank’s for checking the Digg source code and updating us. I don’t know what I would have done without seeing another ad for Dante’s Inferno.

  11. shao197 on February 3rd, 2010 3:47 pm

    Great idea and nicely done, even if most users won’t notice it (who watches the page source for real?).
    @Kishore Mylavarapu – this isn’t an error, just display the page source on the homepage of digg.com to see the ASCII art

  12. Michichael on February 3rd, 2010 4:02 pm

    Not a hack, an advertising thing. All of the passwords have been found, and are available in multiple spots on the web.

  13. denholm on February 3rd, 2010 4:05 pm

    i think you just did some free advertising for digg.
    unless…you were paid

  14. psolms on February 3rd, 2010 4:07 pm

    the promotion is across several gaming and other (wwe.com?) websites.

    it leads to a site called hellisnigh.com (which, thanks to the digg effect, is now almost completely down)

    on hellisnigh.com, you have to enter 6 passwords, gathered from other sites. the passwords are:

    Password1: excommunicate (from digg.com)
    Password2: scythe (dailymotion.com/us)
    Password3: grafter (from gamespot.com)
    Password4: styx (from ign.com)
    Password5: unbaptized (from gamesradar.com)
    Password6: alighieri (from wwe.com)

    note that other gaming sites (kotaku, 1up, ugo) also had the various passwords.

    not sure what it leads to yet, but we shall see

  15. bull on February 3rd, 2010 4:52 pm

    this is the worse viral tentative ever.
    Please, regroup your creative team, stop being lazy try again and remember… consumers are NOT stupid.

  16. Andrew@BloggingGuide on February 4th, 2010 12:02 am

    I say this is really clever!!!

  17. Haris on February 4th, 2010 12:56 am

    Haha! Great One!

  18. Beth on February 4th, 2010 6:49 am

    @Bull….uhhh…lazy? Really? Its fairly creative, and to run around changing source codes on all the different websites to provide you with 6 different passwords to a website sure isn’t something we’ve seen before. Quite a clever idea really. I mean, obscure sure, who does check the source code on a regular basis? Butstill, kudos for imagination :)

  19. bull on February 4th, 2010 8:34 am

    Fairly creative? Wow, you MUST be one of the team members!! hahahah

    Ok, lesson number one, if you HAVE to go around telling people where to find your “great creative idea” then you clearly can say this amazing viral idea is not so effective is it?
    Clever, sure… done before? YES. The target (people here saying they like it) is the right one. Execution? Cheap, lazy and ineffective. But I guess for a lousy game (which is what makes me feel after seen this piece) its not bad…

    If it was my team, I would tell them to go work harder and evolve this.

    Finally, creative doodes, take the criticism and grow or be a bunch of babies and defend this crap for ever.

  20. Matthew Shelley on February 4th, 2010 12:06 pm

    I think that is pretty interesting… The concept is simple and granted the majority of users will never see it but who cares… The users that dont know how to view the source, well who cares… Sparked a cool little discussion… Very creative and cheap… Its a comment block… seriously…

  21. Carl on February 4th, 2010 7:33 pm

    It’s true, just checked the source code, and indeed, this is the first thing you see…great find.

  22. Anything Graphic on February 4th, 2010 10:09 pm

    Who thinks of this stuff. That is amazing! lol. Very cool.

  23. Daniel on February 5th, 2010 10:37 pm

    Viral ideas don't expand just because you blast something to a million people. The majority of people do not spread the word, the select few do. This will work because the people who do happen upon the code are going to, with great enthusiasm, tell people what they found. This will make the message much stronger than your standard advert. Don't be so quick to dismiss the creative team as cheap or lazy.

  24. Gourav sharma on February 9th, 2010 4:22 am

    I wonder what made you to view the source :D

  25. Adubbz on February 11th, 2010 6:52 am

    Lol good point

  26. Live TV Feeds on November 13th, 2010 2:36 am

    How I miss the days of Digg being cool and putting out clever ads. ;(

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