Stories & Reflections
Yes, it is OUR problem. This law will affect everybody (not only American citizens)
Spread the word
(below, parts of a must read article by Jeff Jarvis)
The internet has helped untold publics to form. Yesterday, the internet became a public.
Or rather, millions of people who care about internet freedom used the net to organize and defend it against efforts to control and harm it.
The SOPA-PIPA blackout got attention in media that previously all but ignored the issue, whether out of conflict of interest or negligence.
In the discussion about the movement yesterday, I heard someone in Washington quoted, saying that these geeks should hire lobbyists like everyone else.
No, we’re all lobbyists now, and that’s just as it should be. This movement didn’t need influence peddlers. It didn’t need political commercials. It didn’t need media. It needed only citizens who give a shit. Democracy.
I’m delighted that the discussion rose to the level of principles, a discussion I’ve argued has to take place if we, the internet public, are to protect our tool of publicness.
There’s much more going on under this battle: the disruption of media business models, a fundamental change in our view of the value of content, the undercutting of institutions’ power, the lowering of national boundaries. But for now, never mind that and concentrate on what was born yesterday: a political movement, a movement whose cause is freedom.
What else can this movement do? Can it elect candidates? Should it? Or should it continue to hold politicians’ feet to the fire? I don’t think I want to see the formation of an internet party. I don’t want this movement to mimic the way power used to be traded. I don’t want it to become an institution. I also don’t think it’s possible. I prefer to see it continuing to mimic #OccupyWallStreet , organizing without organizations (pace Shirky), discerning through interaction its principles and goals.
After yesterday, the powerful are on warning that a public can rise up out of nowhere to protest and pressure, to fight and win.