As you may have noticed, Wikipedia, the world's leading purveyor of pretty accurate information, was offline yesterday, one of thousands of websites blacked out in protest of Congress' SOPA and the Senate's PIPA anti-piracy bills. Giants such as Facebook, Google and LinkedIn issued letters of protests, as Internet companies and regular ol' citizens alike expressed concerns that the bills will introduce censorship, limit the spread of information and make it harder to find that really weird Icelandic porn we're all into.
Heeding Wikipedia's cry, The People actually reached out to lawmakers yesterday, engaging in calm, rationale discourse about DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH MY FUCKING INTERNETZ. Here's a sampling of messages received by local lawmakers:
@_dezJ @RepEBJ i oppose SOPA and PIPA this is unconstitutional and its stupid that you guys even came up with it
@unclewilly89 Yo @petesessions. Can the whole SOPA thing aight?
@LucasPuryear @JohnCornyn I generally have never agreed with you, but thanks for pulling your support for SOPA
@DustyReins @JohnCornyn Your web site is broken. Cannot use your contact form to write you about not supporting the SOPA bill. RU a SOPA victim?
@JackClifto @kaybaileyhutch SOPA is the devil in disguise. Kill it now!!
@abbysuxx SERIOUSLY DON'T STOP ADVANCEMENT OF THE HUMAN RACE @RepEBJ @PeteSessions @JohnCornyn @kaybaileyhutch
@cbobbet t@JohnCornyn @kaybaileyhutch DO NOT support SOPA or PIPA. It's the wrong way to go about anti-piracy. Will you be wise or a fool? #watching
@_blynne @PeteSessions GIVE ME THE INTERNET BACK YOU HOE BAG.
@tannerdsilva @kaybaileyhutch I am surprised and disappointed at your support of #SOPA and #PIPA. Your decision is clearly not founded on logic.
@tylerjameslee @repebj as a smart democrat i assume you are anti-SOPA, so keep it up please. if you're not. please be smarter
@treyhammett SOPA is not dopa! No to SOPA! @kaybaileyhutch @johncornyn @RepEBJ
@ericdmoore For the love of anything good in this world #StopSOPA #StopPIPA @RepEBJ @PeteSessions @JohnCornyn @kaybaileyhutch Make Dallas Texas proud.
PIPA's slated to be voted on on the 24th, and although SOPA has been delayed due to public outcry and legislators pulling out to preserve any hope of a political future, the bill's leading sponsor, Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, is standing behind the legislation and plans on riding the sucker 'till the wheels roll off.
"It's easy to engage in fear-mongering and it's easy to raise straw men and red herrings, but if they read the bill they will be reassured," Smith told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.
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Actually, you can read the bill here, and it's convoluted as hell. But regardless of your stance on online piracy, Wikipedia's ploy seems to be working working. Fear has been mongered. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Congresswoman Eddie Johnson and Congressman Pete Sessions were unavailable for comment, probably because they were busy reading #thetealeaves. Senator John Cornyn, once a sponsor, has reversed his stance on PIPA. And the HUMAN RACE MARCHES ON.