If you've been on the internet today, you might have noticed some site blackouts.
One of the more popular blackouts include Wikipedia-- where would we be without the amazing people who contribute to Wiki? Sure, I totally understand that you can NEVER reference Wiki as an official source on a paper, but good authors will ALWAYS go out of their way to provide proper evidence of where their information is coming from via the footnotes. And most of the time, you can use your own judgement to determine if those footnoted sources are legitimate.
These blackouts here to protest against the SOPA/PIPA legislation.
If you have not yet heard about SOPA/PIPA, now is a great time to take a few moments to educate yourself. The passing of this legislation could mean the end of internet freedom, and many of our well-loves sites will be blocked by the government, effecting millions of individuals all across America. Now, many of us are on the internet because we want information. What's the point of having the internet if it gets censored the crap out of... like China? I was in China a few year ago. I have used their internet. It sucks.
Here are a few good resources to get some info on SOPA/PIPA about:
(yes, there's a reason I'm using Google and Wiki links-- could you imagine your internet life without them?)
Social media will be at its end if this passes. Imagine how different your life would be without Facebook, YouTube, Google, Etsy, Twitter, etc. etc.
As a result,
Many people will lose their jobs, and they won't be able to do anything about it, even if they've done nothing wrong.
The government will monitor and control everything we see on the internet.
This leads to a misinformed public (well, the media already does that, but it could get way worse if this legislation passes...).
What this means for us small business owners:
If you sell through Etsy, consider your business closed.
This is why: http://www.etsy.com/protect-innovation
And this is only the tip of the ice burg.
What this means for us bloggers:
Are you a beauty blogger? Did you buy a product and hate it? Have you seen this web article?
Here's an excerpt:
" Here is an example of how the legislation, which is meant to do good, could actually cause harm to beauty blogs such as this one: A blogger could place a negative review of a product he or she purchased with a photo of the item. Perhaps they also include a photo of the product they found online or that was given to them by a PR person. The company, angered by the review seeks remedies under SOPA, which would essentially shut down the site. Note that it would not result in simply removing any copyrighted material, instead it could shut down an entire site without notice. Also note that I mentioned items that might not actually be copyright violations. I would argue that they would not be. I used those examples because, in the case of a photo, a company could attempt to argue that their logo shown in the photo was copyrighted, and in the case of a PR photo, I am aware of a past instance where a company demanded removal of such an image from a blog. I believe it was the Estee Lauder Company (A SOPA supporter) at that, and I had another blogger confirm their memory that it was Estee Lauder company, but I am not 100% positive in my recollection there. In any event, in that example, the problem was remedied through communications sent under existing law, and the company was informed that the photo was provided to the blogger to use . Under SOPA, the company, if it felt so inclined, could cause the website to disappear for some time before anything was resolved. Now, imagine what this Act might do to your favorite larger sites such as You Tube, Facebook, and Twitter. If you are a social media fan, you should be very concerned."
Yep. It's that simple. Forget freedom of speech.
What this means for the average American who surfs the internet for leisure:
Any information you get from the internet will be skewed. Look at the people who support SOPA/PIPA; though the initial intention of the legislation is to protect intellectual property (which I'm a HUGE advocate of, as a fellow artist), the proposal is poorly written and there are just too many loopholes for large corporations to use to their advantage.
Here is the list of companies who are against SOPA/PIPA. I'm not surprised that any of them are on there because they will be the ones who "gain" the most of it.
If you look at a list, do you not notice a pattern? :)
This event has fueled me more to support local, small businesses.
I have a huge blurb for small business who use cheap materials obtained through means of child labor and other unfair situations (whether or not they know it), but I'll keep my mouth shut on that for now, as I could write a whole post on that easily.
SOPA/PIPA has the potential to negatively impact all of America. I'm not certain if congress understands the wide scope of if this legislation. The internet will never be the same. You'll never be able to browse Reddit again. You'll never be able to Google Search "what's going on in Iran" and get half the truth. You'll never be able to look for negative, constructive beauty reviews again.
Please take a few moments to contact your local representative to voice your thoughts.
Fortunately, although the Google logo is blacked out on iGoogle today, you can still fully utilize their search engine. Run a Google search to find the contact information of your respective representative.
We can only get results if we pull together.
Anyway, bottom line is: I love the good intentions behind SOPA/PIPA. I hate how it has HUGE potential to get really out of hand and cause way more harm than good.
Thanks for your time.
I appreciate all my friends who have taken the time and effort to make others around them aware of this issue. Please make sure you pass the message on to your friends and family to use the internet.
Tweet about it.
.... while you still can.