This isn't to say don't sign this, but if you are really concerned, the absolute bottom line is phone calls. Anything you can do to funnel phone calls in is what counts.
Edit: Let me add this, which makes it absurdly easy: http://fightforthefuture.org/
This is the first use of the White House petitioning system that I think is actually really clever. (Honorable mention: Petition to Please Take Petitions Seriously.)
Rest assured this will get just as ignored as any other. Please call your rep.
Call them anyways. Mention that you're from their district.
He's a pretty awesome guy -- check him out here entering the lyrics to "The Internet is for Porn" from Avenue Q into the congressional record: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owyNvlVJ1qE
> Third--and this may have been the point of the entire exercise--it gave Polis an excuse to insert the full lyrics of the popular Internet meme "The Internet is for Porn" into the official congressional hearing record for SOPA. (Representative excerpt: "All these guys unzip their flies / For porn, porn, porn!")
> Because the amendment goes further than obscenity and encompasses "pornography," it could have imperiled the remainder of SOPA. U.S. courts have ruled that pornography is not a legal term of art and is presumptively protected by the First Amendment.
> Polis' amendment, in other words, could doom SOPA on constitutional grounds: which "R" rated movies would be pornographic? How about Maxim? Explicit rap lyrics? More to the point, which MPAA and RIAA member companies might have to worry about their products being deemed "pornographic?"
If I remember correctly, that means they have to respond to it within a month, which would be Dec. 27th?
I believe that corporate executives act with impunity because society, as a whole, has come to consider corporations as people (beyond the legal fiction of Personhood). Executives hide behind this "personhood". Why should we stop at: "BigCo is doing something evil", when the individual board members and executives of BigCo are ultimately the ones who make the decisions?
Zuckerberg, and in an earlier era, Gates, are examples of two CEOs who are held personally liable in the court of public opinion for the misdeeds of their corporations. In my opinion, more of that would be healthy.
Efficiency is the enemy for things like this, because it only shows a minimum amount of involvement with the issue. You show you care at all by participating in petitions, but you prove you care more by participating in more time-intensive activities.
This is something that you'll see people close to politicians say quite a lot, that the method of communication counts, and a multiplier is used to count your input based on that method. It's why you're supposed to write to your $political_representative on paper rather that firing off an email, and it's why you're supposed to hand write the letter (legibly, please!) rather than typing it. A person who takes an hour or two drafting a compelling response to legislation, writing a final copy by hand, taking it to the post office, affixing a stamp, and mailing it out has shown more concern for the issue than does a guy who goes on HN, sees this link, and fills out a form to effectively just say "yeah, me too, what he said!"
And on November 8th, going into a voting booth, that is all that anyone can do already. Just push a button or fill in a circle which indicates "yeah, me too!". For those cases, let's speed it up and scale it up.
That aside, welcome to HN. I hope you enjoy it.
Before anyone claims "OH, so we should just do nothing instead????". Posting a dubious e-signature to an internet petition does nothing. There are people out in the streets sleeping in parks getting pepper sprayed and arrested because the government can't simply ignore it (unlike every single internet petition).
Filling out a whitehouse petition is like getting punched in the face by your boss then slipping a folded piece of paper into the complaint box he put in the break-room next to the donuts.
Under SOPA, whitehouse.gov would be taken down because someone posted this petition :)
Unfortunately, just like every other law, SOPA will only be applied when some high power decides is should be. (and in the case of whitehouse.gov, it never will be)
The petition system is an ineffectual smokescreen.
Actually now in britain we have it set up so whenever one of these gets 100,000 votes, it must be debated in parliament. One of the few useful or interesting things cameron has done. Of course they are quite rightly not bound to do anything more than debate it, and in the long run it will probably just be a more efficient way of shutting people up. "Look, we've debated it, we've given parliamentary time to your issue, what more do you want? This is a representative democracy you know!"
fuel prices - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/347 (small decrease implemented, plans for the future shared)
immigration - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/19658 (basic plans shared, recently implemented changes listed, already heard some people having visa issues, so something is happening)
summer riots - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/7337 (no direct actions, but response means pretty much "this is happening anyways", there's some more information about what the local authorities can do)
Hillsborough 1989 - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/2199 (accepted, disclosure will happen)
financial education - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/8903 (this one does look like a non-answer, but maybe they're really doing the reviews now)
private pensions - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/1535 (no response yet, only crossed the line recently)
While I'm not crazy about all the answers, there was some effect (or at least an explanation or a commitment to the original plan). They're quite far from "a more efficient way of shutting people up" the way it's presented in the comments here.
When we get a million signatures against war in iran, or to unilaterally leave the EU or something, then we'll see what happens.
Even worse, if enough petitions get that many votes, it could be spun as a problem for politicians who want to get things done, "The public keeps wanting us to debate these stupid issues! We can't get to the more important things!" Yes it sounds far-fetched, but some newspapers will sink that low...
In the truth-vacuum of DC, it's pretty relevant.
OT, but is it then reasonable to infer that the increasing closeness of Presidential elections over the past couple of decades may have simply been a cost-cutting operation by the lobbying industry?
Short serious video:
Long sarcastic video with a British accent:
(Sidenote: I think it is an extra step worse that the government put up a website for petitions, and still ignores their own system. Random petitions (e.g. "\signed" forum posts) are one thing, but this is more like toying with people.)
That said, I think this petition has something important that other whitehouse.gov petitions don't: in that, under SOPA, there is actually technically a possibility that the government would censor itself (via whitehouse.gov), which is pretty funny if you think about it.
Edit: I suppose I mean "funny" in a darker sense.
F^(#!~& server-side browser filtering... >:-(
Notice the bar on the bottom showing I'm signed in. And the prompt to sign in before I can vote.
Can't seem to get past that no matter what I try. I'll try IE, I guess.
Otherwise there'll be another attempt at SOPA after outrage fatigue. And there had been many before.
On the other hand, if he veto's maybe we can make up the difference. I'd be happy to contribute to a president who is a proven proponent of internet liberty. I just don't have the bankroll of the hollywood execs. Maybe some of the recent internet billionaires can fill in the gaps.
1) The petition gets removed for containing infringing content
2) The government moves towards removing imgur.com because it is doing the hosting of the infringing content
I know, I know its absurd, but who really believes that that link can bring down whitehouse.gov?
We need a better methodology.
You apparently just cannot create an account from that particular page.
For whatever reason account creation doesn't work from the 'Stop SOPA' petition page.
edit: banning is too harsh. censored to the agreement of all corporate interests, all potential corporate interests and the interests of those rich and American enough to have influence