The day that Digg died

I don’t have any other way to put it. This is the first major digital riot that I know of. Digg gave away power to their users and their users made over-use of it, because these same users don’t want to sacrifice a small part of their “freedom of speech” to save the owners’ hard work from the legal watchdogs that serve DMCA notices. It’s called respect, and while respect works both ways, the Digg admins have shown it to their users over and over again (most and foremost by giving them power in the first place). The users haven’t shown respect so far (in fact Digg is abused on a daily basis by hackers trying to game the site), and when the time came to show respect to the owners when they needed it, they didn’t show any. The users themselves are now closing down Digg by showing no mercy, so in actuality they do what a lawsuit would have accomplished. Either way, loses.

Digg will never recover from this, no matter if Kevin tries to sound cool now. This is the beginning of the end for the popular site, and the fact that they haven’t sold their company yet is unfortunate for them. It’s sad though because the only people who will pay for this are the Digg Inc. employees and the loyal readers. This shows how blind and constricted the majority of the people are. They have a problem with a law, and instead of fighting the law, they fight their local militia. They don’t see the bigger picture. Even if Digg had decided to never ban the HD-DVD key and go down like heroes, it would have bring nothing to the larger cause. The rioting should have been directed at MPAA and the US Congress (and the EU smart asses who followed their lead) for voting for and endorsing the DMCA. Where are these users rioting outside MPAA’s offices or texting their congressman? Nowhere to be found of course! They only know how to make one big empty noise, and nothing of substance.

Interestingly, this whole fiasco happened on May 1st, a date associated with riots and revolts.


Adam Scheinberg wrote on May 2nd, 2007 at 5:01 AM PST:

i cannot wait to see how this pans out.

I rarely go to digg anymore, and I think a lot of people are moving away in droves to sites like reddit, sites that are doomed to repeat the same mistake. This is a huge vote for admin controlled sites in the long run.

It will be interesting to see if the tech community responds by abandoning digg or by toughing it out.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on May 2nd, 2007 at 6:38 AM PST:

>Digg is its user base afterall.

Digg *is also* a company that has employees. Paris, when you talk, you seem to forget the other aspect of Digg. Digg *IS NOT* just users.

>Digg is an international website.

It is impossible to block users and stories by their US IP address. That complicates things a lot. It is a far easier to simply take down a stupid story which does not respect the copyright law in the first place.

Sorry pals, but the way most of you replied is all about you, you, you (the user). You don’t think further than that. About the danger Digg itself can be into for example.

It’s like your father doesn’t let you go out drive tonight because it’s snowing and wants to protect the family from a tragedy, and as a retaliation you take his gun and you kill him, your mother and your grandmother. And when people tell you that what you did was wrong and insensitive, you spout them some crap about your “freedom as individuals that were removed”.

Users must get a grip of themselves and be SENSITIVE and RESPECTFUL to other people’s WORK. And this includes both the Digg founders and the HD-DVD people who are protected by the copyright law (as I said, if you don’t like the law, go write a letter to your congressman).

And Moulineff, please don’t give me that about France and Digg being international, because France RULED AGAINST fair use in ripping DVDs very recently. Your country is as “bad” as USA is in that matter, so the ‘Digg being international’ argument won’t save you here.

KCorax wrote on May 2nd, 2007 at 9:15 AM PST:

I agree with Paris (bizzare huh ?).

Eugenia I feel you are becoming emotional because of your background as a tech journalist. Digg is not about creating content, it’s a (rather thin) piece of software and graphics. Hell they could even run Pligg and have simmilar functionality.

Digg is not Revision3 either and it’s relation to the creative ventures of it’s crew is very loose. The Digg project itself doesn’t make anything, they let other people write 3 lines of text and link to other sites.

I could feel sorry for the artists and investors that protect their content in HD DVDs though…

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on May 2nd, 2007 at 10:00 AM PST:

>it’s a (rather thin) piece of software

Sorry, but I do not agree. Writing Digg and constantly updating it and maintaining it (with the high traffic it has), it’s not an easy job. Digg has over 10 employees. Besides, no matter if people want to think Digg as “their own”, it is Kevin’s. And they have to respect that.

Paris Apostolopoulos wrote on May 2nd, 2007 at 10:22 AM PST:

I dont agree with your thoughts! Digg is its user base afterall. One of the reason we keep supporting it, versus Slashdot is because of this. So its the day Digg proved that is not Shlashdot!!! The guys controlling Digg..are mature enough to make up their minds. If Digg closes..another one will come up. The user’s as you call them …are quite tired of this political correctness that has to go through the Geek sites as well!

Moulinneuf wrote on May 2nd, 2007 at 10:54 AM PST:

Eugenia : Geography 101

This is CANADA

France is not my country … Neither are we little US , or a province/state of another country. I guess you need to be reminded who we really are.

Reality 101 :

“It is a far easier to simply take down a stupid story which does not respect the copyright law in the first place.”

No , we all add to suffer/see the result of that one. Are you trying to deny the event who happened ?

The family example you used , is wrong , its more like someone else father trying to impose is law on someone else child who’s child bought is own car and contribute daily to an enterprise/project who’s the father is not even a participant in but try to spread marketing/publicity for is own self gain.

You wrongly qualify people as *user* when the correct term is OWNER of copyright materials and of there own words. We exercise our right of doing what we want , with what we own and paid for.

“And Moulineff”

Its ** M o u l i n n e u f ** its my real life name so use copy paste if you can’t bother writing it properly.

France is not the only one who had DADVSI imposed on them , its an European Commission based law , who did not pass at EC as is , but passed in France under false pretense.I don’t worry about it being repelled in the future.

Beside not being a participant in the event , as I offered no submission on the subject. There is no Argument ! In CANADA , you know the country that exist because it as beaten the crap out of the US in combat to exist , we have fair uses laws , witch say I am allowed to do reverse engineering on the stuff I own for the purpose of using them in a way that was legally intended.

Without USERS , websites don’t exist and don’t grow.

One more realistic comment : Digg is not the **only** website in existence , not the only site built like it and not the only site where this code was being discussed and not only in english. So all that those treat/actions have done is the opposite of there intent. Put a lot of bad publicity on them and a hole lot of visibility on something they wanted to hide.

I cant agree with you on this , sorry.

** for your information Digg is an evolution :

Information about Digg evolution

Everyone is bashing Yahoo today for starting a digg-style site. I experienced the same digg-mob behavior when I re-started Netscape as a social new site.

Let me point out a couple of things:

1. Kevin Rose did not create the concept of voting.
2. Kevin Rose DID copy the idea for digg from our friend Josh at and has been very public about that. [ Note: I sad copy, not “stole.]”

3. No one “owns” the idea of social bookmarking or social news, and if someone does it’s Slashdot who really started the concept 10 years ago.
4. The “digg mob” is bunch of 12-year old kids–it’s best to ignore them.

The whole concept of our industry is to build off of what came before you.

* delicious built a better shared bookmarking system than
* Kevin Rose added a better design to
* My team at Netscape added editorial systems, payment, video uploads, tags, and sitemail to digg/delicious.
* The team at reddit added personalization to delicious/digg, and now digg is going to taking personalization and incorporate it into their product.



Back in the Netscape days I told Kevin and Jay to stop saying I “stole” their idea and they did. It’s just immature and stupid to believe that anyone EVOLVING a concept is stealing. Grow up people.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on May 2nd, 2007 at 10:58 AM PST:

Moulinneuf, get hold of yourself. You are shouting like a raving maniac.

No matter what you say, the POINT remains: Digg users must protect Digg instead of putting it in harm’s way as they did last night. Kevin did spend time creating Digg than any of the “users” and people must respect that.

And that’s the bottom line.

blag wrote on May 2nd, 2007 at 11:25 AM PST:

Eugenia, you’re right about the need to protest the *AA and the US Congress instead. The problem with people being mad at Digg specifically though, is that Digg had removed stories and banned users in a non-transparent way + people connected that with the funding from HD DVD Digg has. The story that they removed caused a huge snowball effect.

Before they did that, there was ONE thread about the HD DVD key. (and one in February when it was first discovered, IT wasn’t blown away– I wonder if that’s still there, too).

Moulinneuf wrote on May 2nd, 2007 at 11:30 AM PST:

Digg is an international website.

I am not covered by what you call US laws ( debate on there legality ) nor can I do any of the thing you spoke of , neither can you , but its another brightness of living in a rogue country.

There was no riot , there was an exercise in Free Speech from a minority of users.

Now all that Digg need to do is relocate to CANADA and there you have it problem solved. Because a real American democracy care about its citizen unlike a republic.

with 1 million registered users I cant reasonably think that all of them participated in this events.

KCorax wrote on May 3rd, 2007 at 1:21 AM PST:

Moulinneuf, throughout my collaborations and friendships with international contacts I’ve never once heard my name right. Get a grip, you don’t need to spell it.
I also suspect that Eugenia is dyslexic, therefore I doubt that she ever actually read it right. Eugenia am I wrong ?

In Canada too you don’t own a copy of the disc. You own the right to view this disc.

Kevin is indeed the founder and first investor of Digg. This makes him responsible for paying the BW, for the developer[s] etc. He took the risk and *absolutely* he takes the bragging rights. The users agree to a deal when they sign-up, they are no entitled to anything more than the right to post their stories and comments and from a business standpoint they should be glad or they should leave. Either way the site’s existance preceded that of the community.

Alternatives do exist but to this day there is only one Digg.

These things said I don’t think Digg is going to get sued anytime soon. If he hadn’t posted the decrpytion key himself he would have some defense a la Napster but now he’s got the crowd’s appreciation. I’m pulling the same card myself and frankly it’s working. Putting publicity behind a problem you can’t solve makes you untouchable.
Anyway now he’s got the ability to shut Digg down with honors and focus on things that make money like Rev3.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on May 3rd, 2007 at 1:25 AM PST:

>Eugenia am I wrong ?

I don’t know. I was never diagnosed with dyslexia. Besides, people write my name as “Eugina” all the time (which mysteriously rhymes with “vagina” btw) — I don’t get as worked up as the raving Moulinneuf does.

Moulinneuf wrote on May 3rd, 2007 at 1:40 AM PST:

Eugenia ,

No I am not raving , I am informing you of content , information and fact you decided to discard or where unaware of. There was no aggressive tone or treat in my text or attack on you , just stating facts. Sorry , my formating is as always really bad and I could have been politically more correct.

Your point is wrong , as its based on half information and half truth and I know a little bit of projection of your own feelings toward this situation ( we both know that you take a little too much , thing personally ).

– There is 1 million Digg users , the highest related story Digged was 50 000.

– People are not against Digg , its corporation behind it and Kevin ( even do I am sure that some Anti those participated in those actions ).

– International People ( even the majority of Etats-Unians ) are fed up to be subject to *ILLEGAL* and anti-constitutional ( even in the US ) US laws.

Respect is a two way thing.

The bottom line is if they cant be safe from *illegal* prosecution in the US , then moving to another country , with favorable and democratic law like CANADA is the only real solution.

Because once you bow down to anyone of those *illegal* US based corporate group , other’s will follow in drove. Putting it in harm way is being located or subject to possible *illegal* US laws in the US this days.

That , is the bottom line , this days.

Heck , create a new warning ( NFOSTRITU )

Not Free Or Safe To Read In The US.

KCorax wrote on May 3rd, 2007 at 11:01 AM PST:

> Heck , create a new warning ( NFOSTRITU )

I’m down with that.

Steve No_ wrote on May 4th, 2007 at 5:08 AM PST:

The not going out when legal trolls are out thing is completely insensible, and I expect Digg to survive it easily on every basis. They are not putting soldiers (national interests, water quality, etc.) in danger leaking that stuff, and claiming a conversation about rights and basic senses ‘forbidden’ with no recourse or bilateral declarations is puerile and evil. Let people make their calls and err more, and none, and less; though maybe _Happy Feet_ as a film rather than a trailer was for robots.

Steve No_ wrote on May 4th, 2007 at 5:22 AM PST:

Maybe you know something about how ineffectual Digg’s enormous Washington lobby is going to be this week, that they will claim sufficiency for that hex sequence?

Can they possibly have a ‘publisher’ who is more of a pushover than the NYT has had (all two) and relenquish the press to the sole domain of

Tagging has to have some inflection point to become relevant without reserve….

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on May 4th, 2007 at 5:25 AM PST:

Steve No_, I don’t understand a thing of what you are saying. Your sentences are reading like bubbling on random things. Learn to write in a way that makes sense, or please spare us the headache.

Memsom wrote on May 4th, 2007 at 3:40 AM PST:

> Steve No_, I don’t understand a thing of what you are saying

Though he is speaking in riddles, I can understand what he is saying:

He doesn’t agree with “trolls” dwelling on the “legal issues” relating to the HDDVD “revolt”.

He doesn’t believe the HDDVD thing will affect Digg at all.

He makes a comparison to Digg’s HDDVD “policy” and the Iraq/Afganistan war – probably a reference to Bush’s policies.

He believes that claiming that talking about the HDDVD thing is illegal is “puerile and evil”.

He then says that people should make their own minds up and makes a reference to a couple of movies. Never seen Happy Feet, so have no idea what he means here.

He ponders whether you, Eugenia, know more than you’re letting on concerning Washington coming down hard on Digg with regards to the HDDVD thing.

He then complains that the New York Times is in the pocket of the US Government.

He’s then making no sense.

To be honest, it looks like he used to translate his native language to English ;-)

KCorax wrote on May 4th, 2007 at 7:31 AM PST:

Babelfish doesn’t use the word ‘hex’ and lots of others and I don’t think it’s Worldlingo either. The syntax is not remniscent of far eastern languages either. I’m baffled, some middle eastern country or maybe India ?

Steve where art thou from ? Or even better Eugenia can u GeoLoc his IP ?

GilbertZ wrote on May 8th, 2007 at 9:19 AM PST:

I think when you’ve run a community and seen how users can be sometimes, it gives you a different perspective on these things… I understand the users’ point of view too. They want a geek company that won’t sell out one day. But Digg ain’t it.

In fact, who in their right mind would build something great and big and successful and not sell one day to whoever pays?

Will Craigslist be the same as it is now in 10 years? Maybe…but that’s about the only one I can think of that has a chance…

But I do think Digg will survive..

Comments are closed as this blog post is now archived.

Lines, paragraphs break automatically. HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

The URI to TrackBack this blog entry is this. And here is the RSS 2.0 for comments on this post.