SOPA: Lash Out is better than Black Out
Once again, lawmakers are considering a stupid protectionist measure and this time it’s the US, so it has some effects outside the US too.
Once again, some websites have taken themselves offline and caused great inconvenience to their supporters.
This is really annoying. Protesting about threats to take websites offline by taking websites offline is as stupid as protesting against a ban on kissing by not kissing. It just demonstrates that you can do without your websites/kisses if you must.
I feel it’s much better to use websites to distribute information and call people to action, like this epetition for UK citizens and residents, or by asking your associations and suppliers to oppose these measures and their supporters.
Wikipedia is probably a bit to blame. Although it called its action a blackout, it wasn’t one and there were still many ways to access its information. In fact, if you use NoScript, the banner didn’t even display and there’s only a line on the front page to say anything is happening.
The one that really annoyed me was identi.ca, which even turned off its API so clients just started spewing errors everywhere (I returned to my desk to a stack of retry questions). That stopped some of my websites from distributing a link to the anti-SOPA epetition because they read from my identi.ca stream – how much other anti-SOPA activism was hindered?
I’ve been told that Evan held a vote, but I didn’t see it, so I didn’t vote and I don’t know the turnout or anything. How many people voted for the blackout because they use other sites like twitter more anyway?
Banners: yes; Blackouts: no.