» Well, that sure worked: During the “great blackout” yesterday, one of the only things you actually could do with Wikipedia was get the information about your local congressperson, so to lodge a complaint against the SOPA and PIPA legislations that were the order of the day. This stripping down to such a basic, singular function proved to have just the effect Wikipedia had hoped for, as evidenced by the figure above; this surge in popular outcry clearly rattled quite a few on Capitol Hill, as numerous former supporters have changed their tunes.
» A great breakdown: Mashable’s dissection of the entire SOPA bill, in case you haven’t read it, does wonders in terms of clearing up what on its face is a confusing piece of legislation. It’s a solid breakdown that cuts through the legalese.
» Feeling some heat? Of these three co-sponsors of the SOPA or PIPA legislation, Florida Senator Marco Rubio is by far the biggest name. Rubio cited concerns about “a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government’s power to impact the Internet.” The other two co-sponsors were Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska, and Rep. Ben Quayle of Arizona. A Quayle spokesman, Zach Howell, made it clear the Arizona congressman could vote for a reworked bill: “The bill could have some unintended consequences that need to be addressed. Basically it needs more work before he can support it.”
@shortformernie Why do you LOVE LOVE LOVE it? Scab.— Ron Mills (@O2ron) January 18, 2012
@O2ron Big news outlets have to be objective. This allows for a balance between objectivity and informing the public.— Ernie Smith (@shortformernie) January 18, 2012
@O2ron It’s not a newspaper’s role to play activist, so this is common ground. Don’t like it? Don’t take part.— Ernie Smith (@shortformernie) January 18, 2012
One of the things that always gets me is the way that people always assume the worst intentions of mainstream media outlets, as if they’re large organizations who always think in terms of protecting their own vested interests, over the generally-more-accurate approach that it involves hundreds of people individually working for common goals. And last night, I pointed out how genius I thought the #altwiki idea was — as sort of a way for The Guardian, The Washington Post and NPR to avoid taking a formal stance on SOPA while still getting a chance to be active in the blackout off to the sidelines. I got some blowback from a few folks, but I’ll defend the approach heavily. It gets people engaged in the event (and thinking about the issues involved) without forcing the outlets to take a stance — allowing them to keep their objectivity. That’s win-win to me. — Ernie @ SFB