Saturday, January 21, 2012

We all must against SOPA to protect our online freedom

If you've visited the Internet today, you know that SOPA and PIPA are being protested by companies like Google, Craigslist, Reddit and thousands of others. To them, I say, "Thank You." It's not often that the web's interests align so clearly with the principles of economic and political freedom, and I appreciate those who are recognizing it today, along with those who'll continue the fight in the future.

I'd also strongly recommend that everyone concerned about this take heed of Joe Brockmeier's wise words on the topic (via RWW):

I'm glad that all of these organizations are taking a stand. But invoking what some call the "nuclear option" is only going to be so effective. Even if SOPA/PIPA are stopped this year, they'll be back under new names next year. The entertainment industry can afford to keep at it, knowing that the public's attention span is extremely short. The lobbyists who work on things like SOPA are paid to press these things through Congress. They can focus on them year after year, while the voting public has to make a conscious effort to keep tabs on their representatives.

Informing people about SOPA and asking that they call their representatives is all well and good, but it doesn't go nearly far enough.

What the SOPA protesters should say is that even if SOPA goes down in flames, it's not over. It's never over. Further, the public can not rely on mainstream media to warn them of this sort of legislation. This is doubly true when the legislation is supported by the same organizations that own the media.

Sure, call your representative and senators today. Protest SOPA and PIPA. But beyond that, keep paying attention to what your elected officials are doing. Spend a little more time paying attention to your government, even if it means spending a little less time on entertainment activities.

Today's events are a great step in helping to raise public awareness, but there is real danger in the long term, and advocates must take action more than just today. That said, I've personally signed the petition at American Censorship, and if your beliefs align, I'd encourage you to consider it.

SOPA + PIPA are real threats to Internet freedom, commerce, content and the marketing profession not just in the US, but worldwide (another troubling and terrifying issue that Moz isn't really the place to discuss). I support all those helping to keep the web the amazing place it's become and will put our names, our votes and our dollars to use stopping those who'd legislate against web freedom to help the wallets of self-interested non-innovators.



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