Down With SOPA! Down With PIPA!
January 20, 2012
So, this week's protest against the proposed Internet piracy bills SOPA and PIPA seemed to work. For the time being. Today (1/20) the votes for both were shelved.
Seems like our petition signing, contacting congressional offices and online chatter about the bills' dangers and/or shortcomings yesterday paid off today. Yay for us!
But don't be so quick to think that this is the last we've heard about copyright protection over the Internet. I think most agreed intellectual property should be protected but SOPA and PIPA were not the answer. Keep your eyes and ears open for the next round.
In the meantime, what have we learned here?
Once again, we have seen the power of the Internet and the power of social media. Sites like Wikipedia going dark and automatically directing us to our own congressional representatives. No extra Google searches necessary. Sharing tweets and Facebook statuses about SOPA, PIPA and sopapillas keep the story moving all day long. And look! The next day Congress responds and tables the matter.
That's some power.
Now, think about what this power if directed towards other matters could mean for humanity. Or at the very least, for the least of those among us. If our collective voice did this, what could it do for other issues or needs that we face today? Either globally or domestically or even just locally. Have you considered the kind of power you could harness for change in your community? In your own audience? Are you willing to find out?
Consider a local issue or social campaign that you believe not only your listeners but also others would rally to change. Think about who and what it would take to combine your voices in one day for local leaders to tackle that issue - or at least recognize it exists and work toward change. Maybe it's a bit daring; maybe it's a bit daunting, but is it doable?
You could suddenly go from "down with SOPA and PIPA" to "down with hunger" or "down with homelessness!" Something to think about. You have the tools - we used them yesterday. Try it again.