If you tried to visit the blog this week, you probably noticed that a couple of days ago, it wasn’t there! Yep, NYAW joined forces with thousands of websites to cause an internet-wide blackout on Thursday.
Now that I am back online, I wanted to share the purpose and effects of shutting down this site and many
greater than like it. It wasn’t just small blogs like NYAW who contributed to this success — the big leagues fought this one, with Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, Craigslist, Mozilla, and many other popular websites joining in the protest. So what was all this for? To fight against censorship.
I imagine many of you have heard about SOPA and PIPA by now, either via a blackened website, Facebook, or your own research. If not, the gist of it is this: two bills were proposed to Congress in an effort to censor how information is shared and distributed on the Internet. Watch this video or read here or here to find much more detailed and accurate descriptions than I could provide.
With combination of countless websites blacking out and millions of people contacting their Congressmen, not to mention the 3+ million protestors who signed a petition, this objection became the largest online protest in history. The resulting opinion was loud and clear: we will not be censored.
Here on NYAW, I value the ability to share my thoughts and opinions. If I want to share a link to a video or the lyrics of a song, properly credited of course, I don’t want to be shut down because those links could be misconstrued as a copyright violation. Imagine an Internet without the ability to share. It wouldn’t be much, would it? Isn’t that one of the most fundamental components of Social Media?
In short, the blackout was a HUGE success! Thanks to our cumulative efforts, SOPA and PIPA were NOT passed. For now, we have won the fight against censorship.
But the battle isn’t over. How can you help protect our rights to free speech? Check out Fight for the Future to discover ways to defend against censorship.
And thank you for bearing with me while content was slowed this week! I’ve been bottling it all up and have much on the books for the next few posts. Another to follow shortly. :)