SOPA/PIPA and the Power of Communication

The internet was invented to make communication easier. And by “communication” I don’t mean “talking” or “getting cat videos to all your friends as rapidly as possible” although certainly both of those things qualify. When I say “communication” I’m referring to transfer of knowledge from one person or group to another person or group in a way that delivers understanding.

For the last few months the internet has been buzzing with complaints about the lunacy of SOPA/PIPA and a couple days ago major web presences like Wikipedia and Google staged an awareness campaign to protest the bill. When Wikipedia “went dark” it was actually just one more protest in a long line of letter-writing, emailing, and contacting congressmen that many of us that use the internet regularly for work and school had participated in. But this story was picked up by all the major news outlets, satire-based and otherwise. And of course everyone’s Twitter feed was impossible to read because of jokes about what “facts” we knew now that Wikipedia was down.

In any case, this was the result.

This isn’t the end, of course. But it is an important reminder that the internet, despite the porn, urban legends, and wiki-editor disagreements, there is wisdom here and it can be channeled to make a difference in policy making.

I’m in a rush right now and I don’t have a source for that photo, but if one of you can provide it for me before I get back online and can put it in the comments, I’d be much obliged.