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Oh My Digg! The mob is running the asylum
So it seems yesterday that Digg lost control over its user community over a story about HD-DVD keys. Since a take-down demand was received, Digg removed the story. Which they should have done. And when this was done, the Digg loyals (not the entire community as Mashable reports) went loony. They started posting hundreds of stories about this key in every way, shape possible. Pete also has a good pbp of the events with screen caps.
Why is removing this story so bad? First, all it was is a link to the story itself. Second, I am guessing that the decryption codes are probably against the terms of the agreement when it comes to the HD dvds. Third, the codes are available everywhere now.
So what does this show? This shows exactly the core users on Digg that I have spoken about so many times. A group of young males who have plenty of time on their hands to do something like this. It is disturbing because I found Digg to be quite useful lately. I hope that the site can get back to some sort of order today. It is critical that this issue is dealt with quickly and correctly. I also bet that if Digg lost everyone who participated in the codes issue, I bet they would still survive and might even be stronger in the long-term.
Of course, Kevin Rose then went too far I believe. He basically "abandoned ship" by saying, "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." Did he check with his VC firms before saying this?
Remember what Michael Arrington said back in March, "no, we don’t care that much about digg traffic actually. it’s far less than 10% of our total traffic, and when we aren’t on digg the comments are much more intelligent. digg is good for a quick traffic spike, but it isn’t a useful way to build an audience. I like digg as a business, but don’t really care about the links. most of our revenue comes from our sponsors, who pay a flat fee per month regardless of traffic. they want quality readers, not quantity. And digg basically sends a never ending stream of angry 16 year olds. not something the sponsors are that interested in."