The whole SOPA/PIPA debate has been making its rounds on the internet for a while now. But still a lot of people aren’t exactly sure what it is, or they don’t know how far it reaches.
To bring awareness to this the popular community reddit is planning to go “dark” from 8am-8pm EST on January 18, 2012. According to their offical blog they will display a message about how SOPA/PIPA would shut down reddit, and similar user content driven sites. They also plan on giving links on where you can learn more and giving readers some ways they can get involved.
They also plan to stream the video where many internet entrepreneurs and other experts including one of their founders Alexis “kn0thing” Ohanian will be testifying to Congress.
This blackout and other potential ones are really the best way show the public what SOPA/PIPA has the ability to do. The national media hasn’t really done a very good job at covering it. While these blackouts might annoy some users, it’s for the better good.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who introduced the bill, has basically said he refuses to listen to any opposition. He is quoted as saying “It’s a vocal minority. Because they’re strident doesn’t mean they’re either legitimate or large in number. One, they need to read the language. Show me the language. There’s nothing they can point to that does what they say it does do. I think their fears are unfounded.”
This blackout is a starting point for Internet users to show they aren’t a minority and that collectively we know what this bill is going to do. Let’s see if other internet giants like Google, Facebook or MySpace *giggle* get on board as well.
boing boing: http://boingboing.net/2012/01/08/lamar-smith-cant-hear-you.html
Image Credit: http://browse.deviantart.com/digitalart/#/d4lncoz
3 thoughts on “Reddit To Turn The Lights Out For SOPA Awareness”
I like the fact Reddit will be posting information, but don’t feel the blackout will do much. Granted it will get some press, but that’s all. Most Redditors already know all about SOPA. I mean, how could they not? Blacking out the site is like closing down a bar in the 1920’s in protest to prohibition. It’s just kinda silly.
Instead, I’d like to propose we push for a campaign to educate people to “Vote with your clicks”. Boycott sites and services completely from companies that support SOPA and even help to advertise and draw traffic and business to sites for companies against SOPA. We may not have huge bank rolls to buy our own lobbyists, but we could potentially, in true meme fashion, take all the clicks from over here and move them over there.
I agree that it does seem kind of futile for reddit, being that most redditors are against it already, but I kind of see it as a stepping stone for other sites to see and possibly do their own. They key to this is that they’re not just blacking out, they’re using the opportunity to try educate people further about the proposed legislation.
Agreed. Education is the key. I’m still cynical about the entire situation though. If NDAA can get signed into law, trying to stop SOPA or PIPA doesn’t stand a chance. We are better off trying to hit these companies where it hurts and do our best to boycott their product and services and don’t even give them the satisfaction of a pageview for ad revenue.
Hopefully, as you said, these “black out” activities will help to educate people and we can move to the next level of boycotting and changing people’s internet usage and buying patterns enough these companies either go belly up or are forced to change.
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