While the press has jumped all over the story of Digg users rebelling against Digg management concerning the AACS HD-DVD encryption key takedown notices, one of the more interesting points in all of this was ignored by the press, but picked up by more perceptive folks like Ed Felten and Michael Arrington: that the Digg community is clearly in control over what happens on the site. In the past few months, some in the press and folks such as Nick Carr have been hyping up the idea that sites like Digg somehow exploit their users by getting them to take part in the community without getting paid. This seemed silly, because if the users weren't getting value out of the community, there was nothing holding them there. However, what yesterday's revolt showed was quite the opposite. What the Digg community showed yesterday was that it is absolutely in control over the site. This can be risky, as in any case where a worked up crowd can quickly go vigilante and become judge, jury and executioner in the blink of an eye. However, it should (hopefully) end any talk claiming that Digg or these other sites are using its community. It's becoming clear that it may be the other way around.
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