Activism: The SOPA Blackouts

I LOVE the SOPA blackouts. It’s an interesting event happening on the internet, a place where it’s rare to have a realtime event. Image

When thinking about the SOPA debacle, my mind immediately goes to money, and a power struggle between the people at large vs. powerful corporations and powerful government officials. What bothers me most about the discussion is that the people holding seats in Congress and the House of Representatives are old. I don’t mean to be ageist, but if these people are as technically challenged as my own parents and basically anyone alive in the 70’s, then do they even know anything about the bills they support, and what they mean for mass communication, ACTUAL freedom of speech and liberty?

The Egyptian protests that were put together using Twitter and Facebook are a perfect example of why the government wants to pass bills like SOPA. Mass communication among the people is a huge threat to government control. What if the government had the power to shut down Twitter and Facebook, maybe during protesting times, under the vaguely written SOPA bill? And even certain news websites, because they were doing and saying things the government simply didn’t like? Is that free speech? Or is it free speech, government-approval pending?

This is not Democrat vs. Republican. Not by a long shot. This is censorship for the masses.

I read today on reddit that the entertainment industry paid Congress 93 million dollars to fast-track a bill like SOPA so they could get control over the piracy issue. Does that even make any sense? As a country, a body of people, is it O.K. that corporations are able to pay our politicians to create or not create certain legislation?  We’re the people, right? Shouldn’t they be working for us?Image

Maybe the entertainment industry should find better ways to sell their products, or (shockingly) try to be innovative, instead of trying to push government censorship in our alleged “land of the free.” Or maybe, the entertainment industry could stop producing movies with that “Get ‘Er Done” asshole and make quality things, that people would actually want to spend their money on. Piracy will always find a way, Jurassic Park style. I believe there is no way around it. Enforcing any kind of censorship in the United States of America is a disgrace to everything we as a people have ever believed our country to be.

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