Digg.com suffers user revolt

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The popular social news site Digg.com was suffering from what appears to be a user revolt in response to the deletion of several articles revealing the encryption keys for HD-DVD, which would allow individuals to remove the encryption from HD-DVDs. Users are posting articles with links to the codes. At approximately 1:40 a.m [Eastern time] Digg.com was no longer online but returned online with a message from Kevin Rose, Digg's founder, who declared that he would not delete any more articles that contain the code.

"We'll be back shortly. Digg.com will be down for a brief period while we make some changes," said a statement previously posted on Digg.com's website. The notation (Out of service) appeared as the page's title.

According to co-founder Jay Adelson, the stories were deleted as a result of intellectual property infringement, although some users of the site speculate that the stories were deleted as a result of ties to the MPAA and its Diggnation podcast.

"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," said Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg in a statement on Digg's blogging site. The message also appears as a story submitted by Rose on Digg's main page. Rose included the encryption key in the title of the story, and joined countless other users by repeating the key in the comment section of the story.

A large number of Digg.com users were spamming the site with the 16 byte key to such an extent, apparently, that the site became almost unreadable. Users were not able to submit new material even though a "success" message was displayed after clicking submit.

As with Digg, during the past 48 hours, Wikipedia also has experienced some intensive user (and non-user) efforts to post the HD-DVD codes. Pending legal instructions to the contrary, Wikipedia volunteers ("administrators") have struggled with limited success to keep the codes off its site. Wikinews also experienced some trouble with users and non-users posting the code.

Sources

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