Does it strike you that the Web and social media have been on the defensive recently, playing the role of victim to the whims of the authorities who are attempting to instill some fairly radical, if not draconian, changes to possibly the greatest tool ever?
Powerful Web properties, search engines and social media services recently displayed their collective power of the digital world.
The Wikipedia blackout, Google’s blackout of its logo and the outspoken support of Mark Zuckerberg all played a vital role in this unprecedented act of Web activism.
Politicians gave up and SOPA has been shot down, but the sense of relief could be a short-lived mirage. A decision on PIPA (Protect IP Act) is nearing and Senate support seems to be high. Of course, the same was said about SOPA and we all know how that ended.
The voice of the Web transferred seamlessly to the political arena. It is fair to say SOPA and its aftermath will become a case study for years to come. The curious part is whether we can expect the same result for PIPA, which some believe has more legs.
It is imperative that we fight to secure the nature of the Web. We can achieve this by allowing social media to grow, not only in popularity but also in power and reach. If nothing else, we learned that our online voices can yield offline results.
SOPA and PIPA aren’t necessarily malicious and evil acts against the Web and its users, but they are out-of-touch posturing based on ideas that do not match our love and use of the web.
Ultimately, they have been born from people more concerned with political maneuvering, than with the unadulterated freedom and purpose of the internet.
For more, check out this video featuring Clay Shirky on why SOPA is going to disappear.