Thursday, January 19, 2012

What If The Internet As We Know It Disappeared?

cross posted from my Media Justice column

This is a real question. What would you do with all the work/media/writing you’ve created? How would you communicate with people all over the world? How would you find new resources and information from various perspectives? Do you enjoy any of these sites/spaces online:


If you said yes to any of these (and hopefully you did to at least one), NOW is an imperative time for understanding that the Internet as we know it today is under attack. I’m not overreacting, being dramatic, or exaggerating. I’m being serious and if you enjoy doing things like watching videos on your cell phone, updating your Facebook status, or blogging, now is the time to take action!

I’ve written on Net Neutrality a few times. This week SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP* Act) have been hot topics. Did you notice when went dark? Were you part of the folks who did not understand why this space was not available? If so, this post is for you and will provide some important information!

Check out this 3 minute video explaining what these two bills are about and what, if passed, they will do to all of us:

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

I care about this issue because if it wasn’t for the internet our work on an inter/national level would not be the same (and I say this as someone who was organizing long before the internet was accessible). But I mostly care about this topic because of how all of us, especially youth, have found ways to express themselves, share their voices, and make change in their community through the internet. After completing 3 syllabi for this coming semester, a lot of the articles and films by media makers are online. I value all of us having the access to create, produce, and share knowledge.

What YOU can do NOW

• Call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on SOPA and PIPA next week (the week of January 23, 2012). Find out where your representative falls regarding this issue and how to contact them here.
• SHARE this information with your friends and people who are your contacts.
• Blog, darken, and/or share your thoughts on SOPA and PIPA on social media that is threatened.
• Read more about what is going on and educate yourself. A few good spots include Save The Internet, Free Press and Save The News.

*IP stands for Intellectual Property

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