You could compare this protest to publishing an editorial in a newspaper it reflected grassroots sentiment but was written by a small minority of high-profile individuals. Though the company didn't change its algorithm, this protest did result in the creation of town hall meetings where users could ask questions of Digg developers and air their grievances.
Each of these kinds of protests has its correlates in the real world: the symbolic prank, the grassroots protest, and the angry editorial. So forgive me if I laugh at people who say the Internet doesn't foster community. Not only is there a community there, but it's full of revolutionaries who fight for freedom of expression.
Annalee Newitz (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a surly media nerd who wants a revolution.