On January 18, Internet users were left aghast after experiencing a tiny glimpse of what SOPA and PIPA are actively trying to censor. For people who previously relied on sites like Wikipedia for information, and had no clue about its planned blackout, well, they kind of freaked. Imagine how people would react should these bills pass.
The Twitter handle Herpderpedia has undertaken the arduous task of retweeting hundreds of confused tweets – mostly students, from the looks of it – regarding Wikipedia’s blackout – and what people are saying isn’t pretty. Rather than taking a moment to educate themselves on the matter, it seems plenty of users are directing their anger towards Wikipedia as if the site did the blackout as punishment to its users.
TechnoBuffalo brings this up, not to poke fun, but because there is obviously a large portion of the population that doesn’t know what’s going on, and how incredibly important it is for them to realize what’s at stake. The Internet landscape could potentially change forever if these bills are put into effect.
As a small example, in Wikipedia’s blackout explanation, the site wrote, “SOPA and PIPA are a threat to Wikipedia in many ways. For example, in its current form, SOPA would require Wikipedia to actively monitor every site we link to, to ensure it doesn’t host infringing content. Any link to an infringing site could put us in jeopardy of being forced offline.”
This could happen all across the Internet, potentially stunting millions of creative projects and our ability to share content, among other things, stuff that’s done on sites like Facebook, Twitter and TechnoBuffalo every single day. SOPA and PIPA have yet to pass, let’s keep it that way by standing against what we feel is wrong. To do so, don’t hesitate to contact your nearest representative.