Anyone who doubts the power of social media hasn't been following the SOPA controversy this week. SOPA stands for Stop Online Piracy Act and it, along with related legislation, PIPA, has been a hot topic of discussion on the internet. I was trying to explain the issue to one of my students and found these resources.
Clay Shirky, author of Here Come Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, does an excellent job of explaining the history behind this move to pass the SOPA legislation and how it affects the public in this Ted Talk video.
Wikipedia, Google, Wordpress, Craigslist, and many other sites made a statement on Wednesday, January 18, by blacking out their homepages or even their entire website, making these unavailable to the public.
The National Post did a Q&A on why this is an issue and why Facebook and Twitter decided not to participate in the blackout.
Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) tweeted me this analogy: "The patient is very sick. But Congress wants medicine that will not only kill the patient, but lots of others too.
Ike Pigott (@ikepigott) explained it this way: "Those against SOPA are not "pro-piracy." They just believe there are better ways to kill crabgrass than Agent Orange."
Kirk Tuck (photographer) presents the opposite point of view as an artist.