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May Day 2007: Digg Users Revolt, Kevin Rose Spins

May Day is a traditional day of the people, a holiday celebrating movements that work for the betterment of the "lower classes". It was a strange coincidence that May Day 2007 coincided with the largest ever online anti-censorship protest against a news site with user-driven content. Digg.com, the target of the protest, is a website that promotes itself as a democratic news aggregator but has repeatedly been accused of censorship.

The protest was in response to a Digg user's account being deleted for posting the numbers 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 (which constitute a key that facilitates the decryption of HD DVD content). Digg users reacted by spontaneously began posting their own submissions containing the number. Many of the submissions playfully included the numbers in innocuous things such as quizzes, color charts, and such. Digg became overrun with submissions of the number and for hours every story on Digg's front page linked to content containing or relating to the number. At one point Digg shut story submissions, likely to give themselves time to strategize. As of this writing Digg founder Kevin Rose has submitted a blog post using the classic public relations technique of not apologizing, but dramatically announcing a reversal of course in a pretense of rebellion in support of the community. Presumably, those who have had their user accounts deleted are now out of luck. Whether or not Digg will be able to get received more sponsorship from HD DVD vendors remains to be seen.