Stop SOPA! Prevent PIPA! The Internet community has spoken – we do not want the government to destroy our beautiful, free Internet.
Yet, just as vigilant Netizens have been rallying the troops, the mainstream media has – GASP! – once again failed to offer any significant coverage of these seriously flawed bills. The folks at Media Matters confirmed this, showing how the big TV news players have almost entirely ignored the issue.
No matter. It’s the Internet we are trying to save, and it will take Internet people to save it.
Take, as an example, Rep. Paul Ryan’s decision to suddenly drop support for SOPA after being inundated with pressure from constituents. The majority of this criticism came from social powerhouse Reddit, whose members coordinated the attack on the former SOPA supporter.
Rob Zerban, Paul Ryan’s 2012 Democratic challenger, extols Ryan’s flip-flop as a prime example of social networking power, saying “This is an extraordinary victory. Reddit was able to force the House Budget chair to reverse course — shock waves will be felt throughout the establishment in Washington today — other lawmakers will take notice.”
Ryan’s about face parallels last month’s change-of-position by GoDaddy, whose support of SOPA prompted a mass-migration as clients shifted their business elsewhere. GoDaddy did eventually drop SOPA backing, but not before doing irreparable damage to their brand.
Even the Internet’s biggest players – Google, Facebook, Twitter and others – are throwing their hat into the ring. The online giants have stated that they will take drastic measures, blocking access to their highly popular sites as a means of protesting the proposed censorship legislation.
With so much at stake, we must fight tooth and nail just to keep from sliding down the slippery slope being laid out under our feet. The future of a free human species could very well depend on what transpires in the next few weeks, so let us carpe this diem while we still can.