"Way to go Digg!" shouts blogger Robyn Tippins from her perch at webpronews.com, and in so doing she's joining a chorus of commentators on the so-called Web riot over at digg.com. Digg had attempted to stop users from posting an encryption key on the site, but thousands of users did so anyway, forcing a quick retreat from the company's executives.
InformationWeek calls what happened at the site a Web rebellion, and says it means that "the crowd is law," an modern update to Professor Lawrence Lessig's theory that "code is law" and that the architecture of the Internet can be built in a way to exert control over how it is used.
Of course one way to bring a bit of order to sites like digg, could be to give its users a stake in its success -- and more than just the loyalty that simply fans of the site brings. Ken-Hardin, another IT Business Edge blogger, suggests paying Web 2.0 contributors, much like Google shares revenues with bloggers.
The Financial Times called digg one of the most prominent of hundreds of sites that rely on user-generated content, and said the rebellion shows the "power of Internet users."
It also reports that the company's management did not consult with its key investors before deciding to risk a lawsuit and reverse its position to allow users to post articles containing the encryption key. CEO Jay Adelson told FT he thinks his company will have a shot at making a legitimate defense if it is sued.
"Investors in Digg have really empowered management to make those sorts of decisions," he said. "We understand there is a risk of a suit that's out there but...there is a pretty strong argument that this information is in the public domain."