I’m sure you are well aware of the disaster that is Digg at this moment. There was a story Monday that posted a code for the HD-DVD encryption. Digg was asked to take the down the stories and apparently they prevented any further stories from reaching the homepage and have begun banning users. The problem is, how do you ban thousands of people at once that conspire to work against you?
Have a look at this screenshot taken at the time of this writing:
As you can see the whole frontpage is nothing but HD-DVD stories now and really there isn’t anything Digg can do about it besides take the entire site down. Why? Because it seems nobody is Digging any other stories and in fact are burying any stories that don’t have anything to do with HD-DVD.
Digg put the power of its site in the hands of the users and by trying to take the power away it only infuriated them. What’s funny though is that Digg was in a way trying to help keep up the site that they love by following the orders of the AACS. In doing so many people feel as though their rights were violated so who is right and who is wrong?
Running a community is a fine balance between making the users feel empowered and doing what is right for the site. We come across such situations a lot over at 9rules and fortunately have done pretty well. For everyone that thought user-controlled content sites was the wave of the future you better think twice. It will be interesting to see how the site looks in a couple of hours and what the aftermath of all this will be. Almost funny that just last week I asked what happens when Digg plateaus and not too long ago what would you do if you were the CEO of Digg.
A great opportunity for Digg competitors to try and step up.
UPDATE: Cashmore has more (shit did that rhyme) on this.