Reddit announced they would blackout their site on January 18th to protest House Bill SOPA and the Senate version PIPA. SOPA and PIPA were created to combat online piracy, but in actuality bring the high price of sweeping censorship to the internet. (More information on both Bills are at the end of this announcement)
Instead of the normal glorious, user-curated chaos of reddit, we will be displaying a simple message about how the PIPA/SOPA legislation would shut down sites like reddit, link to resources to learn more, and suggest ways to take action.
PNC-Minnesota, along with our sister bureaus PNC-Texas, PNC Bay Area, Capital Witch joins Reddit and hundreds of other websites in the blackout. We oppose SOPA and PIPA for the same reason Craigslist opposes both Bills:
Corporate supporters of HR3261 (SOPA) and S968 (PIPA) want the ability to take down any web site that affects their profits — without due process or judicial oversight — in the name of combating “online piracy.” Hoping you won’t notice or care, your Public Servants are preparing to give them that right.
Noted author and teacher T Thorn Coyle has announced her intent to join in the blackout: “My website will go dark this Wednesday in solidarity with all of those trying to get the attention of US Congress before the Jan 24th vote.(Let’s fight SOPA and NDAA and Social Inequality too! Let’s stand for the world we wish to create, while we’re at it!)”
Public opposition to both Bills has already started to turn the tide against SOPA and PIPA. The House has agreed to shelve SOPA until greater consensus is achieved. Some Senators have started to oppose or drop support for PIPA. However, it’s not over. SOPA can be picked up again at any time and PIPA is moving forward in the Senate. If you would like to join in the blackout, here are a few suggestions:
- 1. Post a large photo on facebook or G+ or the social network of your choice. Here’s an article detailing how to do this.
- 2. Have your personal blog or group’s website join the blackout. Here’s a tutorial on how to do this.
- 3. Post links to articles with information about the Bills, how they affect you, and what you can do to protest them. Links provided below.
If you are confused or haven’t heard of SOPA or PIPA and wonder what all the fuss is about, here are a few articles that can help you become better informed about them.
SPA: An Architecture for Censorship
“The practical effect of SOPA will be to create an architecture for censorship—both legal and technological—that will radically alter the costs of engaging in future censorship unrelated to piracy or counterfeiting.”
How PIPA and SOPA violate White House principles supporting free speech
“…a look at the dangerous provisions in the blacklist bills that would violate the White House’s own principles by damaging free speech, Internet security, and online innovation”
SOPA and PIPA are bad industrial policy
“There are many arguments against SOPA and PIPA that are based on the potential harm they will do to the Internet. (There’s a comprehensive outline of those arguments here.) At O’Reilly, we argue that they are also bad for the content industries that have proposed them, and bad industrial policy as a whole.”
Debate between Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and NBC Universal EVP Richard Cotton.
Remain diligent: SOPA and PIPA must be squashed, not changed
“As members of both the Senate and the House start falling back to a more defensible position by considering the removal of the DNS provision from SOPA and PIPA, many voices of opposition to the bills are claiming victory. This is a big mistake.”