Tomorrow, on January 18th, many sites around the internet are planning either blackouts or some form of protest against two pieces of American legislation that are currently being considered by Congress: the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act. Some of the world's largest internet entities have committed to the cause: Google, Wikipedia, and Reddit has all dedicated themselves to fighting this cause.
It's not enough.
Google merely plans to put up some wall of text on their home page to make people aware. What they don't seem to realize is that YouTube, a company they run, has already been spreading the message for a while now. Therefore, posting some fucking essay about how SOPA and Protect IP are bad isn't going to do more than what has already been done.
Wikipedia will be shutting down the English-language version of its website for 24 hours tomorrow. /slowclap Congrat-you-fucking-lations. Meanwhile, I'm going to open my browser up, load another version in some other language, and then hit the "Translate" button. It may not be perfect, but it will serve my purpose well enough.
Reddit will be going down for 12 hours. Whoop-tee-fuck.
The problem with protesting against something like this is that you need to be ballsy, and in corporate America, no one is willing to actually commit in fear that they are going to lose their fat-ass dirty dollars.
If Facebook shut down for a week solid...
If Google cut all of its services off for a week solid...
If Wikipedia killed its site for a week...
Would they lose money? Yeah. Would that make the shareholders worried? Yeah. They should already be worried about these bills passing and potentially killing the sites they have investments in. When it comes down to it, you as a company need to be willing to say "I am going to risk my business, my lifesblood...in order to see this legislation never passes, and I'm going to set an example to the world by showing how a bill like this can TRULY affect modern day living".
Personally, it could be the wish to see what kind of utter chaos would happen when someone can't tweet what they ate for breakfast or press "Like" on a status about how shitty the day was for them. I want to see people freaking out when they actually have to RETAIN knowledge rather than pulling out their Google smartphone to look on a Google search engine what 8 x 2 equals.
I want people to realize that they are too reliant on technology so they can understand the harm these bills will impose.
But instead...instead, we get a bullshit protest. We get a handful of websites that say "we're going to make sure we're still remaining profitable, but we're gonna show Congress by waving our fist in the air and telling them how bad this legislation is".
Lead by example, not by lies.
Until next time...
"Blackouts" have started.
Google put up a Google Doodle of their name censored out. If you click it, it tells you some stuff about SOPA and Protect IP...but only if you click it...and only if you want to learn about it. The search engine is still fully functional. LAWL
Wikipedia has killed the English version of their website. Luckily, you can just type in wikipedia.org with no prefix like "en", and then go to the Spanish version of the website...and have your browser translate it to English. As it turns out, you can then read it in pretty damn decent English (no more difficult to read than a lot of texts that people send nowadays anyways!).
SUPER...EFFECTIVE...PROTESTING. It may raise some awareness somewhere, but it's nothing more than a ding.