But I also think that a call to action is even more important, so hopefully they don't just go offline, but present the visitors with an overlay or a widget or something to call their representatives, and with some clear explanation in layman terms of what SOPA and PIPA do.
"If these companies were to take this route, all of these sites would go completely dark save for a message of opposition to SOPA censorship and instructions on how to contact your local representative."
If web giants -- those that are used most by those unaware or uneducated about SOPA -- were to post a page about SOPA in place of their services, people would have no choice but to take notice and learn what "this SOPA" is all about.
My (and many people's) individual words will not have near the impact that seeing giant organizations cooperatively taking action -- by giving up a day's worth of business -- in opposition to something.
That's not to say that we shouldn't try to educate others. But something like this will go so much further -- it will hit deeper and broader.
I even heard that people in IT have said that other people they work with have no idea about the ramifications of SOPA and many other anti-Internet bills.
Saying "Please stand by for a demonstration of relevancy" and doing it would be way more effective
Speaking of "nuclear options", one of the reasons the bombs were dropped on japan in WW2 instead of just sending an "or else!" telegram was that threats would not have been taken seriously until the effect was confirmed - an there were even some doubts on whether it will work at all as designed. Unfortunately it did.
An earlier discussion proposed a more thorough "nuclear option." Instead of trying to inform the electorate, threaten to cut the supporters off from a lot of prominent Internet-based services. It's also a bit easier to claim moral high ground with a second strike strategy.
I recall a documentary which said that some physicists believed the bomb could cause a runaway reaction which would consume our entire atmosphere. Maybe we should be concerned about such a reaction resulting from the "nuclear option" for SOPA, or maybe it will just fizzle like a firecracker thrown into a bucket of water.
Why hasn't anyone suggested boycotting the media industries? Perhaps I missed it, but are we that materialistic to where no one even considered it? Stop going to theaters, buying from iTunes, cancel netflix. You vote with your dollars.
"Hacker News Boycotts Media over SOPA." When questioned, [media exec] responded "We didn't Notice a thing - as a matter of fact, sales were up for the week. Who the hell is Hacker News? Sounds like the group of pirates we're trying to protect ourselves from."
Once everyone understands what SOPA actually is and how it could affect them, a boycott would make sense.
* Fixed Typo.
I understand this completely. A boycott isn't actually a boycott unless the company knows why you are boycotting them, but that is what exactly I'm suggesting. It shouldn't be in the name of anything i.e. "Hacker News". It should be a movement for citizens, by citizens. SOPA is a huge violation of constitutional rights and that should be all the reason needed to initiate a boycott.
Instead of a black out, perhaps every other page load will display an "educational" message for five minutes. Business continues but it's annoying enough to be effective. I'm also not suggesting that google or facebook encourage a boycott as that is just asking for trouble. That's why it needs to be a "civil rights" movement.
Every one of these services should have a splash page that every user sees at least once. It should explain in simple terms, what SOPA is, why it is on the verge of wrecking the US internet economy.
Time is running out. If these services don't act, they'll eventually be taken down by the political class who can't stand the fact that their power has diminished by the next wave of technology.
No one needs to black out anything, or "go nuclear". Just spread awareness. ASAP
If the main stream media was threatened with a similar type of legislation they would mount an non-stop campaign through their editorials and choice of headlining stories so that their audience was aware of what was happening and how bad the legislation was. This is the reason Rupert Murdoch has so much power.
It seems to me that the popularity of activism and protesting do little to affect change, whereas more commonly yes than no they simply represent an inconvenience to everyone else who can't be bothered with another struggle/burden in their lives. There must be more mature and effective means of defeating SOPA than having a group of web services throwing a temper tantrum.
What makes you think that? Most major shifts begin with activism and protests. These are the ways that the populace makes their voice heard in large masses, much like lobbying is typically the way corporations have theirs heard. Sometimes protests go unheeded, and sometimes this leads to revolutions. Other times, the protesters disband without having achieved anything. The protester was named person of the year for 2011 because of the clear effects that protesters did have in 2011—from the Middle East to Europe. The true effects have even been felt here, in the form of the Tea Party, though that was before 2011. Occupy has had less success in achieving concrete change, but plenty of success in achieving shifts in the media narrative.
Moreover, what is immature about this? A temper tantrum? What makes you call this a temper tantrum? Temper tantrums are, by definition, uncontrolled. This is an extremely controlled and planned response. This is law we're talking about. A law that threatens these businesses, and, through them, their customers. But most of their customers have no idea this law is even in the works, or don't really get how it could affect them. What better way is there of telling them the effect beyond... Well... Telling them?
In a functioning representative democracy, there can be no more effective means to defeating a law than informing the public and getting the public to contact their representatives and inform them that there is a problem en masse. This is a means to achieve that.
As for the time article, I don't know how you could be disappointed. It's global. It's Tunisia, it's Egypt, yes even some of the Occupy moments, and others too around the world. Protest, dissent, the idea that you can make a showing and try to make a difference, is important.
In general protests do decrease popular support for their cause a bit if the protests are disruptive, but they can make up for it by making an issue the focus of wider debate. In authoritarian countries they also let people in the majority figure out that they are in the majority, which is very important when you're trying to figure out if you want to commit to helping to overthrow a regime.
Why does this require so much talk and so little action? Why do we keep seeing headlines of "consider", rather than the headlines we hope to see of the action taken and the resulting impact?
The outcome of this less-abrasive approach may be enough - and if not, Plan B can then be implemented; a complete blackout.
Quite the opposite; each dollar spent on lobbying usually produces more than a dollar in government subsidies.
Site5.com frontpage will be gone for a 24 hour period for it,
If anyone can build this let me know, we can help you host and get publicity and I'd be willing to pay you for your time if you think it's possible -> email@example.com
It would need to be made soon so it can go to users asap to prep for jan 23rd,
I am all for a coalition, but this looks odd at best and may easily backfire. If they are assigning themselves to be Google's representatives on the matter, then Google will have no choice but to distantiate from this entity, and this will inevitably be picked up by the media as "Google breaks away from anti-SOPA coalition."
Instead, promote Internet Freedom to replace and outlaw SOPA, DMCA, PROTECT-IP, COICA, CEST, OPENA, ACTA and more.
The pacifist nature of the SOPA movement sucks because it targets one bill, when there's a tsunami of anti-Internet bills.
I keep seeing this "nuclear option" story and it's annoying. We will keep fighting against SOPA, but we won't shut down our service in protest, that would be far worse (and not effective).
A Google or a Facebook prove they have the guts to throw their off-switch for anyone to take this seriously.