Steven Gradidge. Hi :)

The Ironic Ignorance of the SOPA Blackout

Posted on: January 18, 2012

I, like many millions around the world, am fearful of the proposed SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) laws being passed. In spite of my fear it appears many are oblivious to the destruction it poses to the Internet.

During my morning Facebook and Twitter perusal I am obviously not the only one to have noticed that Wikipedia is down. People seem not to be happy, yet they don’t seem to know why. Oh…  

Other linchpin websites are also participating in today’s blackout including WordPress, Reddit, Mozilla, BoingBoing and the Cheezburger network. Other sites Including Twitter and Facebook are against SOPA and PIPA but are not participating in the blackout efforts. 

 From what I can gauge from the Wikipedia withdrawal is, as very well expected with social platforms, is an exceedingly high level of ignorance. It ironically appears that the very platforms most threatened by SOPA are the channels displaying the least educated reactions (from theUK anyway). People seem to be unwilling to discover what is motivating the online blackouts or why #SOPA is appearing within the list of current trends. People seem cheerfully resolute to the prospect of Internet censorship via SOPA all the time they can moan about it. How very British…

It is a contrived belief that people are becoming lazier through the continuing reliance on the Internet. A certain whiff of truth may well hold true however the Internet does bestow the ability to educate and to answer people’s deepest and most sought questions. If you have a question, the Internet is often the first port of call.

Take my hatred for Justin Bieber for example. I don’t like his music, I don’t like the industry he works in and I certainly do not like him as an individual. (By SOPA jurisdiction I am not allowed to say this by the way). Nevertheless I take an interest in knowing of his existence because I believe it is within my general interest to do so.

What if you wanted to know what Application lifecycle Management meant? I know what it means because I have been writing about it for the last 18 months but what about Joe Bloggs from down the road? Or he may want to know about a particular garage door or cloud CRM. What is an IBC filler? Wikipedia will help. WordPress blogs will help.

With Wikipedia down, 99% of us are about to become exposed as idiots. On this occasion I am satisfied to be within the 1% minority.


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