Monday, 7 May 2007

Digging up a revolt

The after-effects of the user revolt on Digg last week continue to rumble on. Digg has become one of the market leaders in the field of user-generated content sites, where links to news stories and blog postings are based on members' votes, pushing some stories up the rankings or consigning others to obscurity.

Digg mainly focuses on technology-related stories, but it has become apparent that as the site has developed, there is a core of users who follow the same principles to control the type of stories that do well here - for example, any overt attempts to use the site for search engine optimisation purposes are blocked and, although this is understandable, sometimes other stories are suppressed by the 'diggers'.

Last week's attempt by the owners of Digg to remove all stories that referred to a 32-digit code used to encrypt high-definition DVDs against piracy - due to the potential threat of legal action by the DVD industry - provoked a backlash from Digg's users who flooded the site with stories related to, and including, the code. Digg's owners backed down against the unleashed power of the site they've generated and now wait to see what happens.

Will the entertainment industry now pursue legal action against Digg, which could shut the site down, or will the user control of this site now become stronger if this episode goes unopposed?

You can read a more detailed summary of this incident here.


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