Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Social networking ... or collective destruction

The blogsphere over the last 24 hours has lit up on the subject of Digg and various codes being copied around for unlocking protected DVDs. The real base of this is:
  • Is this the community making the decisions on what is right or wrong, and who are they to make these decisions?
  • How can the site feel confident they can moderate content and keep the trust of their user base?
  • Is the community being dragged along on something they dont fully understand the implications of?
  • If your community is producing content of a questionable nature, what can you do about it?
So are we really starting to see the start of the community working as a union for constructive or destructive behaviour on social networking sites? This is very relevant to me in my new role at Ymogen. If one day a user submits something that say infringes copyright, if/when we pull the article what are the consequences and who has the final say? By the look of the situation with Digg it appears that outcome has potentially damaging affect on the brand and the trust of its community. We will see if this dies down and if the bloody thirsty mob go back to being normal cizitens over the next few days. I feel this shows how people can react in a crowd and in many cases lose sight of what is reasonable. Who is in control, the site or its community? Lets face facts, Digg could well be successfully sued and put out of business, will everyone be much happier then?