Update: DN (Jody and Maxwell) have replied to my email and have said that they are well aware of this issue and are working on ways to improve the situation.
Over the past few months it seems apparent to me that ZURB is using a voting ring to artificially get stories on the top section of DN. I've reported this to DN already, although I have yet to receive a reply. I've attached the email below.
I’ve been a reader of DN for a long time and have check upon it every day for the past few years.
I’ve started to suspect that the ZURB foundation, is running a large voting ring with many people, many of which also use the website legitimately.
Take for instance this story, which while somewhat interesting, is no way interesting enough to get 14 upvotes in two hours, especially without comment.
Or this story which had 15 upvotes in 15 minutes when I saw it when it was new. I unfortunately don’t have a screenshot of that. Although this story might have continued growing organically after the fact, the voting ring is still an unfair advantage.
A while ago I felt suspicious that Designer News was apparently excited enough to give 32 votes to Foundation’s birthday and not give a single comment. It’s the same story (no pun intended) with Foundation’s countdown to a release
Last, one of ZURB’s events suspiciously got 9 upvotes, and made it to around the top, even though the article itself doesn’t give any details on what the event actually is. I also doubt many people follow Zurb that closely. The only comment on that story could be considered a form of spam.
The person who wrote that spammy comment, Rafi, started the ZURB Foundation AMA on DN with the job title “Foundation Advocate”. He/she also has upvoted pretty much every recent ZURB related story in the past year, including the ones I mentioned above,with only two stories on that list that are non ZURB related.
I do think ZURB and Foundation do great work, but if they wish to promote their content on Designer News they have to do it fairly.
In addition I saw this today:
If you check out the guy's profile, he has been submitting nothing but ZURB related articles.
Edit: As of this writing there appear to be two artificiality highly voted ZURB articles on DN.