The Digg Rebellion: a breaking of the covenant
Posted on May 1, 2007
It all started today when DIGG censored a news story. A story about the AACS controversy. AACS issued some cease and desists to various organizations (I think including DIGG) who talked about cracking the AACS encryption on HDDVD and Blu-Ray DVDs.
So anyway - DIGG being a community based news site, the users rebelled and basically took over the site, posting similar news stories. Most with the evil evil key that is so coveted by the AACS. So DIGG is made so that getting content to the home page is very hard. In fact, it is made so that what has in fact happened - is very hard to do. However, the community rebelled and has pulled off a miraculous stunt by making almost every single homepage story to be the same as the censored story.
This is the problem with communities.
When you have a community you create a covenant with that community saying that you are leaving the community in control of the content, and that you trust the community to handle all of the content related tasks. This covenant is very important. So when the community does something that isn’t to insane, contrary to the goal of the site, illegal or even just plain crazy and then the community owners break the ultra important covenant they hold with the community - it is very easy, and probably very important to that community to rebel. The community must rebel to prove that they are still in control. To dispel the lack of power that they actually have.
So now DIGG has shown that the users don’t actually have any control. That they are really just tools to create movement on the site. This could ultimately damage DIGG and it reputation with its users. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
[tags]digg, communities, users, web 2.0, online[/tags]
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