January 19, 2012
2.4M Anti-SOPA Tweets Yesterday, D.C. Support Crumbles
If one can measure success of a movement in tweets, then coordinated Internet protest of now notorious anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA was a smashing success.
According to social media site Twitter, over 2.4 million SOPA-related tweets were sent on Wednesday between 12 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Time. The site also said that the top five most frequently used terms for the day were “SOPA,” “Stop SOPA,” “PIPA,” “Tell Congress” and “#factswithoutwikipedia.”A handful of beloved sites like Wikipedia and Reddit shut down their sites entirely for the day, offering users a one-paragraph explanation of their protest as well as a link directing users to online petition against the legislation.
And while not going quite as far in their protest as Wikipedia and Reddit, web giants Google and Facebook also registered their disapproval of the hugely unpopular legislation.
And after using their popularity to unify and mobilize the masses, Washington seems to be getting the picture.
Reports are already emerging from the nation´s capital today that PIPA co-sponsor Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and SOPA co-sponsor Representative Ben Quayle (R-Arizona) have removed their names from the respective Senate and House versions of the legislation.
A number of other senators have also defected, leaving the bill which was expected to have broad bipartisan support with just 30 members of the Senate still tenaciously supporting the bill.
Remaining supporters are expected to attempt to revise the most controversial parts of the bill before submitting it to a vote, but in the wake of yesterday´s massive Internet protests and the White House´s thinly veiled veto threat over the weekend, many political commentators believe the bills will be DOA.
Advocates of Internet freedom can hope this is case.
On the Net:
- PIPA - Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act
- SOPA - Stop Online Piracy Act