A little-known but dangerous epidemic is spreading across members of social media websites like Digg, Reddit, Propeller, Newsvine, and Mixx. Like a secret scourge, SM-FPA (social media front page addiction) isn’t making national headines yet, but the effects have been felt in thousands of households across the world.
“Ever since my wife’s submission hit the front page of Reddit last month, we only see her on the way to the bathroom,” said Jake Dixon. His wife Amber, better known as “diggwho”, made the front page of Reddit with a story titled Bush makes more people mad by saying something stupid. Since then, Amber has been submitting 15-25 stories per day and has a submission hit the front page 3-5 times per week. She declined to be interviewed.
Research scientists at the Social Media Institute of Technology (SMIT) in Kolkata, India, say that Mr. Dixon and his family are not alone. They have documented 342 confirmed cases of SM-FPA in 2007 and estimate the actual number in the thousands.
Chief socialmediatologist Tapan Patel says dozens of treatment techniques have failed. “Because each social media site has different ways for submissions to become hot or popular, it has been extremely difficult to isolate a cure. We’ve used drugs, had accounts banned, and even tried a new technique called Taser Therapy where we have members of law enforcement perform electro-shock treatments.
“It’s almost like a virus that mutates. Just when people think they’ve figured out how to make the front page, the social media website algorithms change, prompting an increase in SM activity.”
For Kim Kiyotu, her family’s problems are doubled. “My husband has been a front page addict on Digg for over a year now. It was manageable, but when he discovered Mixx last month, he was soon fired from his job for excessive absences.”
After being kicked out of his house two weeks ago, June Kiyotu, “asianassassin69″ on Digg and Mixx, spends most of his waking hours at the public libraries in his area that offer free internet access. “I know it’s a problem, but you can’t understand how FPing (front paging) a story makes me feel. Nobody can.”
Rick Shaw, Director of PopUrHere, a half-way house for recovering FP addicts, says the solution is in recognizing the problem. “We reach out to everyone we find who shows signs of SM-FPA. If they are submitting dozens of stories at different hours of the day and night, we know we’ve found someone who needs our help.”
He continued, noting that the problem is not just with the addicts themselves. “It doesn’t help that some of the most active Diggers, Propellers, Redditers and Mixxers have fans that vote for all of their stories. If you are one of those who damages these poor souls by hitting their submissions, stop. Stop right now. The damage you’re doing is heinous and obscene.”
SM-FPA and other Socially Transmitted Diseases have caught the attention of Washington. “We’re actively pursuing the problem of STDs,” said Janine Rodgriguez-Callahan, the spokesperson for the recently-formed Department of Homepage Security. “Plagues such as stumblitis, tweeteria, and youtuberculosis must be stopped. We are weighing all of our options. The US will start with sanctions, but if the President feels it isn’t enough, airstikes on the headquarters of each social media war criminal are not out of the question.”
There is opposition. Some groups have been vocal in their support of peoples’ right to participate in social media at whatever level they choose. The National Society of Frontpage Warriors (NSFW) has issued a response to the recent backlash against SM-FPAs.
We at NSFW feel strongly that every individual on the planet has the unalienable right to Digg or Stumble as much as they want. We need the leaders of the world to understand that there is good that comes out of making the front page. To this end, we support Ron Paul as the next President of the United States.
The organization is making waves through their lobbyists because of a constant flow of financial support given to the group by corporations that include Apple, Firefox, the Wall Street Journal, Pirate Bay, and several search engine optimization firms. None of the companies’ could be reached for comment.
If you or anyone you know suffers from SM-FPA, call the STD hotline at 888-DIGGTHIS.
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This article was originally published at Social News Watch, but now it is here. I asked permissions. Really. Check out more jacked stories at this blog of jacked stories. (btw, that was a joke — the other blog is mine too)