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Posted
3 May 2007 @ 12am

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What to Do When Users Revolt?

Liz Gannes is asking if a user revolt similar to the one seen on Digg yesterday could (or will) happen on other sites. She is writing for NewTeeVee, so she is focusing on video sites, but I think her reasoning holds true for any site.

Of course, most video sites don’t have such a homogeneous and self-identified culture. And encryption keys are clearly little bits of information that seem impossible to contain once they hit the Internet. But the core tenets are there: users submit content, and use social tools to find and elevate the stuff they like. If YouTube users submitted copyrighted content en masse, would Google delete all their accounts?

As I have said before, social media and network users are a fickle bunch. Remember the facebook disaster last year? Both facebook and digg did the right thing and gave in to their users. Over time, though, those decisions might prove fatal from a business perspective. Any site that takes its users seriously is going to have to deal with this question sooner or later.

I would hope, though, that the users would see that potentially destroying a site, and, by extension, the community might not be such a good idea. The HD-DVD code was available already. There was nothing new here.

I also wonder what percentage of diggers was actively involved in this ‘revolt.’ Given how quickly things quieted down on Digg today, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was only a minority of users that was heavily involved in this.

Bonus: Dan Farber shot a quick interview with Kevin Rose today for those who just can’t get enough of the story — Kevin basically reiterates what he posted on his blog yesterday:

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