What’s that I smell in the air? Springtime in Silicon Valley? Nope, a user revolt on Digg. It’s days like this that bring back fond memories of days past. In case you hadn’t heard, last night Digg users had themselves a good old-fashioned revolt.
- A Digg user posted a HD-DVD hack on the site.
- Post is removed.
- Post is re-added and gets 15,000 votes.
- Post is removed.
- Rinse, repeat.
- 1:00pm Jay Adelson then posted an explanation on the Digg blog that really stoked the flames of the revolution.
- At 9pm Kevin Rose announces a truce and says:
But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you’ve made it clear. You’d rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.
It’s a Diggnation
While some might focus on the legal issues surrounding the story on Digg, I can’t help but think about how the company dealt with the situation in regards to their community. Looking back at a post I made about the Facebook revolt last year, I consider how quickly Digg management reacted and corrected their behavior versus the days of swelling anger that Facebook received. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, but I think that Digg management couldn’t haven’t handled this situation any better.
First, they attempted to comply with the law by taking the story down. This wasn’t a story that Digg users wanted to die, so it kept popping up again.
Second, once they realized that by attempting to kill the story, they were making it more popular, they relented. Taking a look at Digg’s homepage today, I’d say that if they wanted the story to go away, addressing the issue head on seems to have worked. Since the Kevin Rose post, the story has fallen in popularity.
Third, from a press perspective, I think Digg comes out looking pretty clean in the ordeal. Not only did they get lots of press, but they get to say “Look, we tried. Our users power the site and this is what they want.” Squeaky, squeaky clean.
I am curious to see if any legal action (beyond threatening letters) that Digg will receive as a result of all this attention paid to a unconfirmed crack. I haven’t even looked at the actual code or any verification that it actually works, so it’s hard to say if Digg is in any legal trouble here.
And now for a Kum Ba Yah moment – Digg management has learned that their community is like ocean waves, you can surf on top, but you can’t hold them back. If nothing else, Digg management (and the rest of us) got a valuable lesson in community management and the power that these communities hold.