Cyber-riot hits Digg

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Culver City (CA) - Several thousand years in the future historians and archeologists will wonder why a certain number in 2007 was so popular.  Lawyers and even the administrators of Digg.com, a popular news aggregator, tried to stop the spread of the AACS processing key, but in so doing made the 32-digit hexadecimal number the most popular number in modern history.

Upset Digg users, angry over mass deletions of stories and the banning of users started a cyber-riot late yesterday and plastered the entire front page of the site with stories of the processing key which starts with 09 F9.  We don’t have to print the key here because it is easily found all over the web.  In fact a Google search for “09 F9” brings up almost 2 million hits and that number is sure to rise even further.

Digg administrators tried in vain to control the riot, but like a warrior trying to cut off the head of the mythical Hydra only to have two grow back in its place; more stories were popping up as one was taken down.

Some Digg users even accused the website of bowing to movie industry pressure because some of Digg’s podcasts are sponsored by the HD DVD association.

The strain became too great for Digg and the website was temporarily shut down.  Later in the night the website was resurrected and co-founder Kevin Rose threw in the virtual towel by allowing posts about the number adding that Digg users would, “rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company.”

In a blog post, Rose said his administrators initially deleted the posts because he feared legal action.  “We had to make a call, and in our desire to avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down, we decided to comply and remove the stories with the code,” said Rose.

The cyber-riot didn’t just hit Digg, but has spread all over the web and into mediums you would have never thought of.  Various eBay auctions featuring websites, shirts and buttons with the processing key appeared.  It’s unknown whether the sellers actually had product or if they simply wanted the hexadecimal number to appear in another website.

Photography websites were flooded with hundreds of pictures and drawings of the processing key.  You can see these by simply searching for 09 F9 in Flickr and Photobucket.  One creative fellow even made a catchy song titled “Oh Nine, Eff Nine” with all the digits sung to a nice guitar background.

Interestingly enough, posts about the processing key are dying down on Digg which proves that trying to suppress something will just make things worse… and in this case much worse.

Some Digg users are happy that things are getting back to normal.  “OMG DUGG because of no ******** numbers,” one Digg member replied.