I wanted to join in with the rest of the internet today and do my part in spreading the word about the legislation that is SOPA and PIPA. For those of you who may (somehow) not be familiar with this legislation, they are the latest attempts by the powers that be within the United States government to stop piracy. While what they attempt to do is understandable, their methods as they stand to day would likely break the internet as we know it.
As the topic has been debated to death online, there are many other elequant articles expressing the horrors of these bills (a technical explanation by reddit.com for example), so I will simply express that I share the sentiment that these must not be made into law, and encourage everyone to spread the word.
Today websites such as Wikipedia, Reddit, CyanogenMod, Google, and many more are blacking out their sites in some form or another in order to raise awareness. This is great and all, but we cannot forget the core point of it: to raise awarenes of SOPA/PIPA outside of the technology/internet community.
Likely many of you reading this have already heard of SOPA/PIPA, and if you are still reading this then I thank you.
It is not the internet community that this blackout is for. It is for your mothers. It is for your fathers. It is for your grandfathers and your grandmothers. It is for your friends that only use their computer for facebook, and your neighbors that do not even own a computer.
The point of this blackout is to get people talking about SOPA/PIPA. Not blogging, not writing, not commenting, but talking. The vast majority of the United States does not know about SOPA/PIPA because they simply are not privy to the medium where it has been discussed the most: the internet.
So whatever you do today, do NOT go a day looking at blacked out websites and discussing them on forums, blogs, social media sites, etc. Go offline. Talk to your friends. Talk to your family. Maybe even talk to your representatives. Start a dialogue. Ask them if they have heard about SOPA/PIPA. Wikipedia has graciously given you an opening line to get the conversation rolling.
And with that, I'm going to go call my brother to ask if he has seen that Wikipedia is down.
The best thing you can do to help the internet blackout is to get off of the computer and go talk to your friends and family about SOPA/PIPA, and encourage them to do the same.