Chaos, that’s the only word that can describe what’s going on over at Digg right now. Apparently, someone put up a story that contained the HD-DVD AACS Processing Key and not only was the story deleted, but the user was banned.
This has caused the biggest uproar that I’ve ever seen on a site such as Digg. It seems that many users are digging anything that contains the magic number in it, and burying everything else that comes along. This way every story for pages and pages contains the hack.
The big thing to note is that it’s not a riot about the hack, it’s a riot about censorship. The site was built on the idea that the users picked the stories, and as long as there’s no foul play to hit the front page, they’re left alone. But when Digg decides to start censoring what stories it will allow, then they are destroying everything that they stand for.
I’m sure that many users out there are wondering just how far the censoring will go. Could we see the beginning of a Digg that hand-picks the front page stories, taking away the power from the users entirely? I certainly hope not.
My question is whether or not Digg will recover from this. I can guarantee that they have lost a large number of users over this incident. It is possible that this was caused by one guy who thought he was doing his job, but even if that is the case, I’m not sure that a personal apology from Kevin Rose himself will ever make Digg the same again.
Update: Users have confirmed that they are unable to submit new stories to Digg. They appear to go through saying the usual “Success! Your story has been submitted.” However, the stories don’t show up. This doesn’t look good.
Second update: Other users are confirming that they can in fact submit stories. Could this just be a sign of the almighty Digg crumbling?