Mob strikes back at Digg censorship

May 2, 2007 Social bookmarking site Digg recently made the decision to remove a story containing the HD-DVD AACS Processing Key, which can be used to bypass the copy protection on any HD-DVD. The Digg community revolted, and very quickly the entire front page of the site was filled with stories related to the censorship, and of course, containing the AACS Processing Key.

There has been some spill over to other sites, with 8 of the 25 stories on Reddit's front page now related to the debacle, and Wikipedia locking their HD-DVD page before the inevitable happened.

Digg founder Kevin Rose had the following to say on the Digg blog, however at the time of writing, the Digg website was down.

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.

Whatever side of this one you happen to be on, it's undeniable that these are very interesting times - in one day we have witnessed the power of Web 2.0, the futility of attempting censorship on the web, and the inevitability of copy-protection being broken.

Thanks to Gizmodo for the heads up.

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