After the Blackout

The best results I’ve seen of yesterday’s “internet blackout” to protest SOPA and PIPA? The Oatmeal’s brilliant anti-SOPA/PIPA animation (featuring a koala and a goat having sexy times) got mainstream news coverage and it appears that the blackout actually had a positive effect in turning more people (including politicians) against SOPA and PIPA.

Of course, correlation does not equal causation, so to the best of my knowledge, we can’t definitively say the blackout was successful. But all in all, I still think it was worth doing.

If we do at least accept the possibility that the blackout helped turn the tide against SOPA and PIPA, do I think my blog had a hand in that? Nope. I’ve seen my blog’s stats and there’s no way I could bring about any kind of serious change here. So why did I do it?

I was raised to never cross a picket line and to always honk your car horn when driving past a worker’s strike, to show solidarity for the strikers. I blacked out my site for the same reason: to help show my solidarity for the main strikers (Wikipedia, Google, Reddit, etc). I also did it as a personal reminder to myself to take further action, like contacting my representatives and telling them why I think it’s important for them to vote against SOPA and PIPA.

It’s also important to keep contacting your reps and campaigning against SOPA and PIPA. Who knows how much good that will do? The MPAA and RIAA have far more money and power than the rest of us. But some representatives have already reversed their support, so I’m optimistic enough to think more change is possible.

This wasn’t a one-day thing. The fight continues. Let’s keep going and do what we can.

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