Stuff to Think About: How I got banned from Digg

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

How I got banned from Digg

It all started last night. I'm reading my RSS feeds and I come across an article on Digg.
Spread this number. Now.
09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0. It's the HD-DVD processing key you can use to decrypt and play most HD-DVD movies in Linux. Movie studios are going ballistic over this leak, so Digg the story up and make it reach the front page.
Are you serious? That's awesome! Somebody found a key that allows Linux users watch HD-DVDs! Naturally, I wanted to find out more, so I clicked the link. Much to my dismay, that story had been deleted from Digg already. Why is this story gone? Who deleted it? How dare they?! They can't censor that kind of stuff can they? I go back to my Google Reader, copy and paste the entire thing into a new story, and resubmit it.

I went to sleep, and didn't think much about what I had done.

Until morning.

Upon reading my RSS feeds again, and come across MY story, on the front page of Digg!

I click the link and there's over 15,000 votes! I felt like a hero reading all the comments that people were writing. Comments like:
  • It's times like these when all I can say is: I love digg.
Other comments say that Digg itself was down for 10 minutes because of the rate this story was getting dugg. People were getting 404s when trying to reach Digg. Even Duggmirror went down.

So I'm reading the comments, and every once in a while I'd refresh the page a few times to see how high the digg count would climb. And then it happened. First, the comments all disappeared, and then the story itself disappeared. And then, my digg account disappeared. My account is no longer valid.

There you have it folks, if you submit a story that Digg needs to censor, your account too will be deleted.

But wait. There's more.

My friend Chris Haley was smart enough to save the entire page at almost the height of its fame. At 15,492 Diggs, HERE IS THE FULL ARTICLE IN ALL ITS GLORY. All the comments are there. You can even expand the hidden comments. Thanks Chris!

So who knows what's gonna happen next? Leave a comment. :-D Also, please support me by Digging this article!


Nougat said...

I dugg all those HD-DVD articles, and posted comments to many. Some of those comments included links to other Digg submissions on the same subject. I did not make any submissions of my own, neither did I post the "offending" encryption key. One post suggested that, as protest, everyone should bury everything. I suggested a couple of times that Digg was operating out of fear, and not out of legal requirement, based on the fact that Reddit still has the key up, and Wired published an article on Feb 13, 2007, with the key, and that is still up. I used no foul language at any time.

My account has been disabled for misuse. I have a short "Why?" letter in to

5/01/2007 12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

The digg oligarchy wants to wash its hands of this matter and try and pass it off as though it never happened. Submitters of the code have been banned. People questioning the bans have been, well, banned. This isn't the first time digg has attempted to snuff out people who become enlightened to their little scheme.

5/01/2007 01:13:00 PM  
Dillon said...

I've left a comment and dugg your post. I also posted '09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0', in the hopes that everyone else will. We shouldn't be censored, and Digg needs to learn that.

5/01/2007 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

Your story has already been blocked by digg it hasn't been deleted, but it won't show on any of the main pages. At this time its getting dugg by direct link i think.

5/01/2007 01:45:00 PM  
Jeremy said...

I dugg them, commented, and submitted one of my own after I thought yours had been taken down. I'm now banned as well.

Fuck them.

5/01/2007 01:58:00 PM  
PENIX said...

Kevin Rose is a sellout. Fuck digg.

5/01/2007 02:15:00 PM  
Jeremy said...


And now I've been IP banned.

I was about to post: If you're going to fuck up your site and its members over 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0, they I've had enough. The 2nd most dugg story ever was about this.Before your last purge, three stories on the homepage and several that were top in upcoming were related to this. Banning people isn't shutting them up, it's pissing them off.

5/01/2007 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

Digg post linked to this article has just been deleted... sad sad world

5/01/2007 02:20:00 PM  
CJ said...

I'm still able to access the Digg article.

5/01/2007 02:22:00 PM  
aaron said...

i was about to post a link to and got a big fat "This URL has been reported by users to be in violation of Digg's Terms of Service and cannot be submitted at this time." from digg. wtf. if they ip block me, they will be blocking the whole university of texas.

5/01/2007 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

Nope, sorry, it's not been deleted, it's been pulled from the ranks though.

5/01/2007 02:42:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

aaron, go for it. That would be hilarity.

5/01/2007 02:44:00 PM  
dan said...

I just got banned from digg too, for digging all those HD-DVD articles.

I thought I was using digg exactly as it's meant to be used. If they want to lose users, this is a good way to do it. They're off by bookmarks for good.

5/01/2007 03:12:00 PM  
CJ said...

Sorry to hear Dan.

Yeah, Digg is going downhill.

5/01/2007 03:14:00 PM  
Zook said...

I was one of the first people to actually digg the article and post a comment (Comment on the first one at least)

My comment... I remember it right off the top of my head:

""What kind of movies do pirates like?" "The one's rated RRrrrrrrrrrrr"

Also I think the key goes 09-F9-11-02-9D-74-E3-5B-D8-41-56-C5-63-56-88-C0"

And that was I think the 3rd comment down on the first story.

Then the second story came around and I said to myself "They censored the first one which is complete shit... Lets see how long this one takes..." About 4,000 Diggs in to the story I thought I would help by making something that would be fast and elegant to distribute at the same time, so I created a nice little Signature.

I then went to digg and posted the url to the deviant (If i remember right it was like

Anyway Before I left the University library I posted the url to that digg url in the "Spread this number, Again" article... And I checked up on it 5 minutes after that.. It had 10 Diggs... I was like "Yeah, this will most likely hit front page"... Well next morning i went to the library, tried to login and it said "Sorry Bad IP Address" ... Did a search on my digg name and it was banned. I was featured a few times on digg's homepage too for my submissions (10% of 200 Submissions.. Might not seem like a lot .. but it is to me.) So the deviantart is still up (With two new colors w00t.) and over 3,400 Views.

Screw Digg is all I can say. (That goes for you too MPAA / RIAA.

Link to the signature:

Link to the facebook group (You heard me right):

Peace out, And fight the man.


5/01/2007 03:55:00 PM  
DontFearTheMPAA said...

Well, I tried. I can't say that I was ever a digg member, but after seeing this I had to register as DontFearMPAA. I submitted an article titled is afraid and it managed to get about 30 diggs before it and my account were deleted. What bastards.

5/01/2007 03:56:00 PM  
Ali said...

I got banned to, though for reasons not as evil as yours, but got re-instated.

A nice email helps sometimes.

5/01/2007 04:11:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

If you ever forget the key..

5/01/2007 04:24:00 PM  
Robert Spahr said...

Send an eCard of that famous Hex Number. (3rd eCard on the page)

5/01/2007 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

I also had my account deleted (diggitizer) for posting this story:

Then someone resubmitted the cached version of the story, let's see how far that goes.

I say, digg,, furl, notebook, twitter, stumble, myspace, blog, tshirt, stencil, fly post and anything you want to keep this going.

The little 'twitter this' writing is GPL'd, feel free to reproduce, link, print, publish, create vector artworks, N! levels, line rider tributes or anything you like.

Read the poem of sorts into your webcam and upload it to youTube, then leave a link on and let me know

5/01/2007 04:49:00 PM  
Sam said...

I got deleted and blocked from Digg, because I posted a story about digg censors deleting your article!

This makes me so angry about digg!!

Here the story

5/01/2007 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

Hmm... Stealing others' works makes you think you are a hero?

5/01/2007 05:03:00 PM  
Damien said...

"Hmm... Stealing others' works makes you think you are a hero?"

It's idiots like you who automatically equate cracking encryption (on a product I may very well own for all you know) to stealing something that piss people off.

Just because they put a DRM wrapper around something to restrict fair use rights doesn't make me trashing the encryption theft, no matter how much you might argue otherwise.

5/01/2007 05:45:00 PM  
James said...

>> Hmm... Stealing others' works makes you think you are a hero?

A number is not stealing.

5/01/2007 05:47:00 PM  
Surya said...

i'd really like to digg this article, but wait, THEY BANNED MY ACCOUNT AND MY IP!

any of you guys get back your accounts... please tell me

5/01/2007 06:11:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

There is still stumbleupon, have faith.

5/01/2007 06:52:00 PM  
Christopher said...

Wow, this is fucked up. What else is digg trying to keep off its pages?

I joined digg over two years ago because it was a innovative site that allowed us users to decide what stories we heard about. I just lost a lot my respect for

And what may be getting lost on some people is all this bullshit is because of a fucking number!

Here's another number for you: 9,520.
Up from around 800 yesterday, that is the current number of exact google matches for 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0. This won't die. If this code is invalidated, another will come, you can count on it.

5/01/2007 07:19:00 PM  
Ebauche said...

You might get a DMCA notice from Google too :)

Apparently someone got one for publicly displaying the key in their public Google Notebook..

Watch out now.

5/01/2007 07:21:00 PM  
Mr.S said...

your an idiot they deleted your post because the servers couldnt handle it they didn't delete it because they wanted to sensor it they just did it beacause it was overloading the system ... your retarted honestly your post was causing digg to have404 errors and crashes and you think they deleted it for the sake of sensor ship ... your have to be a troll ...please tell me this is a troll.

5/01/2007 08:10:00 PM  
Chris said...

I found this page through StumbleUpon and I just went to the homepage and EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE relates to this number.

This is not going away.

Keep doing what you are doing.

@Mr.S >> Digg survives through traffic generated by interest in articles. The notion that they would ban an article purely because it is overloading their servers is shortsighted and clearly wrong. 404 means 'Page not found'. The reason the page isn't found is because they have removed it.

5/01/2007 08:45:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

@Mr s

Then why the hell where the commenters accounts deleted also? Idiot

5/01/2007 08:51:00 PM  
ArsGeek said...

Wow. It's very interesting to watch Digg melt under an assault of angry users.

I feel like we're watching a bit of sad history in the making. Did they bring this on themselves? Sure.

Was posting a hex number the wrong thing to do? How about if it was a key to unlock HD-DVDs? Interesting moral question.

In my mind, the only wrong done here was by Digg itself but then I tend to lean towards freedom of information and not DRM and Censorship.

5/01/2007 09:15:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

I found this page through stumbleupon. Gave it a thumbs up...hope i don't get banned

I've never been a Digg member, and now i don't think i ever will.

5/01/2007 09:18:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

someone said it, i'll say it again:


5/01/2007 09:43:00 PM  
Princess said...

What's funny is I'm not familiar with Digg. I'm not familiar with very much of Linux. But when I mentioned this to my fiance he flipped. He was excited, and wanted the link. It'd disappeared. Thank God for Firefox and StumbleUpon. So here I am, back again at the source. So I thought I'd praise the source.

Not out of real reverence, but more out of praise for praise sake. I've stumbled on this three times, and if it's an anarchist's dream to see such writings. Great job, and hopefully there's no future snuffage, though that's highly unprobable.

5/01/2007 09:46:00 PM  
totoro said...

thanks for preserving this!

5/01/2007 09:54:00 PM  
LGR said...

You lost your Digg account and started a revolt in the process. It will be interesting to see how this ends.

5/01/2007 10:11:00 PM  
Zyphix said...

lol, the first page and a half of digg is the code

5/01/2007 11:54:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

I really hope this motivates all the serious users to leave digg, so that they will lose their relevance and die. They should be an example to show that you can't control your users.

A couple weeks ago, one of my school's IP addresses got banned from digg because a couple of jerks decided to post spam links from it. One of my friends had the nerve to email digg asking (politely) why we had been IP banned, so they deleted his account.

5/02/2007 12:08:00 AM  
steven edward streight said...

DRM is evil.

RIAA is evil.

MPA is evil.

Universal Content Utopia is here, and we are the bold revolutionaries.

All government, religion, and corporate domination systems are doomed.

We are very lucky to be alive today and a part of the colossal overturning of the Powers That Pretend To Be.

5/02/2007 12:58:00 AM  
steven edward streight said...

Mr. S: you are the troll.

5/02/2007 01:01:00 AM  
steven edward streight said...

I have the encryption key for the internet, if anyone's interested. Maybe I'll just delete the entire net, world wide web, and blogo/Twittersphere.

It's a bright sun shiney day. At midnight.


5/02/2007 01:55:00 AM  
James said...

I think you hit it big! I found out about what you did from a link that was on the!

5/02/2007 03:20:00 AM  
el moco said...

I just woke up and found out i missed out on the biggest shitstorm this year.

congrats, you're an internet hero!!!!

5/02/2007 06:00:00 AM  
Anonymous said...


Today was an insane day. And as the founder of Digg, I just wanted to post my thoughts…

In building and shaping the site I’ve always tried to stay as hands on as possible. We’ve always given site moderation (digging/burying) power to the community. Occasionally we step in to remove stories that violate our terms of use (eg. linking to pornography, illegal downloads, racial hate sites, etc.). So today was a difficult day for us. We had to decide whether to remove stories containing a single code based on a cease and desist declaration. 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.

But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you’ve made it clear. You’d rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.

If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.

Digg on,



5/02/2007 06:01:00 AM  
Dan Abrey said...

Yes, well done for standing up for what you believe in. But remember that it's probably not any one person's fault at Digg and by making them out to be completely evil just for following a cease and desist notice you're coming off as a bit of a wannabe-anarchist teenager who's got one over on the teacher!

5/02/2007 06:16:00 AM  
allsux said...

Bah, Digg gave in to users and broke the law after first trying to abide by it. All very confusing, full story at:

5/02/2007 07:49:00 AM  
Anonymous said...

HD DVD is a sponsor of Diggnation, so this isn't surprising...but sad. They claimed that they weren't going to say the Zune was good if they didn't like it despite being sponsored by MS Zune, but now you have to wonder.

5/02/2007 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous said...

Awesome article. Funny how Digg is doing a 360 and allowing posts to stay up. Wonder if they will unban everyone that was banned? Keep us posted.

Check out this T-shirt image with the forbidden key. LOL!

5/02/2007 09:10:00 AM  
sdfasdf said...

back on digg in a different form =P ;-) DIGG SUCKS!!!!

5/02/2007 10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous said...

Such a load of crap.

All this encryption bull, and industry-manipulated DMCA misses people's inalienable right of property:

It's _my_ CD, _my_ video and I'll do what the heck I want with it.

You can frig around with all the licensing bafflegab you want, but I've paid for it, I will watch it on my TV, laptop, personal media device, phone, big-screen projector, or whatever device I please, any time I please.

You're not going to sell me the same thing 18 different ways, and you're sure as hell _not_ going to sell me an operating system that infringes my right of property and sneaks around behind my back with guilty-until-proven-innocent built-in malware that chokes my own computer if it can't call home.

The red herring of protecting copyright is horsecaca. People who steal, will steal, regardless of what barriers you put in their way.

They're screwing up the vast majority of people, who just want to enjoy what they've paid for, in the ways that they want.

Trying to make people run their own computers on crippleware Vista,
(quite a failure, when you look at adoption rates and upgrade plan stats)

falls in the same category as preventing people from photographing bridges,
and BS immigration policies which have nothing to do with protecting the nation.

Fricckin' totalitarian nonsense that diminishes freedom,
trashing privacy and opportunities of choice,
and serving multinational corporate interests,
using the guise of protection.

...not that I have an opinion on the matter . . .

: )

5/02/2007 11:29:00 AM  
CJ said...

lol @ anonymous just above this. :-) You said it man!

5/02/2007 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous said...

I agree, CJ !

Further to the second-last post about infringing on freedoms, and earlier posts about using email and online posting signatures for advocacy, here's a great one I've seen quite a few times

- -
National Institute of Standards and Technology bans Windows Vista

Federal Aviation Administration bans Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Internet Explorer 7

Vista requires users to agree to allow Microsoft "back door" access to their computers

5/02/2007 11:50:00 AM  
Dirk said...

i`ve tried to document the 'incident' at
There you`ll find the complete post up to digg #12250 as well as screenshots from reaching the 10k digg line.
Digg has blocked the url above and my digg username was disabled as well.

best wishes,

5/02/2007 02:07:00 PM  
allsux said...

don't forget to visit: and (for that matter just Google-search: banned + digg) - there are some great counter-digg sites out there!

5/02/2007 08:52:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

What is ging on with
More in German

5/03/2007 12:29:00 AM  
jm4847 said...

I'll help you spread it. I'll link to your blog from mine.
I'm so tired of all the copyright nazis bullying people. I agree with everything anonymous said.

5/03/2007 02:52:00 AM  
javi h said...

kill drm! fuck digg!
Spread it!
09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

5/03/2007 04:32:00 AM  
mike3point2 said...

Always thought digg just got in the way, or rather the people behind digg. this is my 1 and only ever post so i don't care at all if i get ban!
hey bozos your either an open idea platform or your not... it doesn't go both ways!... i will refrain from continuing my rant, diggs really not worth all that energy. went from got game to way lame in 3 how does that feel i wonder?? got to be a new record or something. anyways , i hear lots of splashing in the water as people are jumping ship! wonder if the last words posted at digg will be "Watch this!"
09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
If you can't be good, be good at it!

5/03/2007 08:27:00 AM  
Anonymous said...

"Funny how Digg is doing a 360 and allowing posts to stay up."

If you turn 360 degrees, then you are still facing the same direction.

5/03/2007 12:45:00 PM  

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