Social Media Revolt: Digg and Democracy

May 2, 2007 • 10:10 am | comments (2) by | Filed Under Social Search Engines & Optimization

Last night, Digg hit a democratic milestone. The social site found itself consistently challenged by what was publication of sensitive information, and the staff tried to remove the questionable content, albeit unsuccessfully. A WebmasterWorld covers the topic in greater detail, and Danny also covered the Digg revolt on Search Engine Land.

A little background first (in case you don't read Danny's post): a sensitive HD-DVD decryption key was posted on a blog run by Boing Boing author and professor Cory Doctorow. After receiving an DMCA takedown notice, Cory complied, but it was already at a point where people themselves were spreading the key. The story got popular on Digg, and it was soon taken down. Again, someone tried to fight against Digg, and that story, too, was removed by Digg staff.

This didn't satisfy the crowd. For several hours last night, the entire Digg front page was covered by stories trying to promote the HD-DVD key, and democratic vote had won. It was obvious at that point that Kevin Rose, Digg's founder, had to give in, and he did. This goes to show the power of social search: if people want it, they will find it. If people want others to find it, they will make it popular. That's how they felt on Webmaster World, at least:

It's a safe position to take - at this point. Cat's out of the bag, can't put it back. No legal threat any more.

What do you think about the impact this will have on the future of social media? What do you think about the revolt? As a user on WebmasterWorld puts it, "Is this web 2.0 democracy in shaping or union formation with in democracy? "

Discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.

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