Web Democracy

hddvd-bluray2.jpgIn case you haven’t been paying attention, the Web 2.0 revolution is well underway. Hyper-connected consumers now have the power to influence the way companies do business, apply significant pressure on political issues, and even challenge censorship and legal precident.

No one understands that more than Digg’s founder, Kevin Rose. Last week, the encryption used for HD DVD and Blu Ray (AACS,) was cracked and the processing key was leaked all over the internet. Lawyers were slow to respond, but eventually issued cease and desist notices. When Digg received their notice, the began pulling stories that mentioned the key. As soon as users noticed that their stories were being pulled, they began resubmitting them. Eventually, the first four pages on their site were almost entirely about the processing key.

So if you are Kevin Rose, a guy responsible for an influential and popular tool thats all about “user-powered content”, what do you do? What Mr. Rose decided to do was to be true to what his consumers wanted. He stopped fighting them and made the following blog post: http://blog.digg.com/?p=74

Digg This: 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0
by Kevin Rose at 9pm, May 1st, 2007 in Digg Website

Today was an insane day. And as the founder of Digg, I just wanted to post my thoughts…

In building and shaping the site I’ve always tried to stay as hands on as possible. We’ve always given site moderation (digging/burying) power to the community. Occasionally we step in to remove stories that violate our terms of use (eg. linking to pornography, illegal downloads, racial hate sites, etc.). So today was a difficult day for us. We had to decide whether to remove stories containing a single code based on a cease and desist declaration. 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.

If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.

At the end of the day, the average person reading Digg is not going to have the software or the expertise to make use of the cracked code.  On the other hand, they clearly have the power to affect outcomes in ways unimaginable just a few years ago.

Power to the people!

<via ThreeMinds>


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