Digg home page hijacked by angry users

Digg users annoyed at the recent changes to the site have managed to flood the home page with links from rival Reddit.

The news sharing site announced significant alterations last week. They include the introduction of a My News section offering customized news, and a simplified way of submitting stories.

The contentious bit, though, is that publishers are no longer barred from submitting stories but actively encouraged to do so. And with the new ability to submit stories automatically rather than manually, it’s possible for publishers to simply bung anything and everything in.

But many users are up in arms about the changes, claiming they give too much power to publishers rather than users. And yesterday, they united to up-vote Reddit articles through an automatic feed created by one user, to the point where they swamped the http://digg.com/newsdigg.com/news. Some users also changed their profile images into anti-Digg messages.

The stream is tailing off now, although several front-page articles are still from Reddit.

Reddit, naturally, is delighted by the increase in traffic. “You guys didn’t just take a quick peek and leave; you stuck around for a bit and took the tour. And a bunch of you must have liked what you saw, because a ton of you went ahead and created accounts,” says lead developer Christopher Slowe on the company blog.

“Completely taking over Digg’s front page for an entire day generates about 250,000 visits, or a little under one-seventh of our traffic yesterday.”

It could be argued that Digg was asking for it. Announcing the changes, cofounder and temporary CEO Kevin Rose (until today – he’s been replaced by Matt Williams) said: “We’ve been working hard on this next evolution of Digg, what we’ve been calling ‘v4’, and everyone here is really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the changes we’ve made.”

He’s heard them now.