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…It’s Website Wednesday: Digg?


You can call it a fight for their rights, but don’t call it a comeback. Following the removal of an HD-DVD code posting from Digg, users of the “user driven social content website” revolted, posting and digging only stories that contained the code or a code derivative. Abiding by the cease and desist, Digg fought the onslaught by removing all stories that contained the code, but the community would not be silenced. Wave after wave of stories and comments followed, until at last, Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, issued the following statement on his blog, titled

    “Digg This: 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0”:

    Today was an insane day. And as the founder of Digg, I just wanted to post my thoughts…

    In building and shaping the site I’ve always tried to stay as hands on as possible. We’ve always given site moderation (digging/burying) power to the community. Occasionally we step in to remove stories that violate our terms of use (eg. linking to pornography, illegal downloads, racial hate sites, etc.). So today was a difficult day for us. We had to decide whether to remove stories containing a single code based on a cease and desist declaration. We had to make a call, and in our desire to avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down, we decided to comply and remove the stories with the code.

    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.

    If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.

    Digg on,


Apparently, once you give your community control, a removal of that control results in revolt.

Digg Staff

In case you’re new to the Digg movement, the site features stories that are submitted by the community of users, dugg (good) or buried (bad), and then sorted by popularity. As the Digg movement has grown, users have become fanatical, following Kevin Rose like an idol, and creating all sorts of Digg accessories and tributes to feed their digging need.

What’s interesting is that the code in question, a string of numbers and letters that means nothing aside from this issue, is being claimed as intellectual property. Though it’s easy to see how a company can claim a name or an image, it’s much harder to see how a company can claim a random string of numbers and letters as their own.

What’s going to be fun to watch is the progress of both Digg and this issue in the coming weeks. Will it make its way to court, where the issue of intellectual property over numbers and letters will be decided once and for all? Will the proposed user protest shut the site down and stop its exponential growth? Will this whole thing (and the links that come from stories like this)Di make the site even more popular then it was before? Stay tuned to find out. Can you digg it?


[Digg Blog – Digg This: 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0]