I did something last night that I do not often do. I threw a fit – online.
People who know me in my day to day “real” life would say it is not that uncommon for me to throw a fit. But I have pretty good boundaries when it comes to the internet. I rarely have a meltdown in a medium that is open for all to see.
What got into me last night? I was upset that a political agenda was interrupting my plans. Never mind that I basically was in support of the political agenda that was compelling me to change direction. It was the fact that I was being compelled that upset me.
I had planned a Twitter event for today. After putting considerable time and effort into coordinating plans with others for the event to take place, I learned that the SOPA internet “blackout” protests would likely affect our use of certain Twitter apps for the event. Reluctantly, I decided that I had to reschedule the event.
It is not that difficult to reschedule, in fact, the extra time may give me opportunities to enhance the event. But being forced to alter my course really angered me. I am a heavy user of the internet, and I was not pleased with being unable to use it as I wished.
Luckily, I have some very wise and supportive Facebook friends who calmed my fit down. Not only that, they helped me see that our government passing SOPA would quite possibly make my temporary interruption of internet use an every day thing. Were SOPA to become law, I would be compelled daily to use the internet according to governmental standards that are unrealistic and unfair.
SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is legislation to deal with the increasing problem of copyright infringement by foreign entities who fail to respect intellectual property laws of other countries. The problem is correctly identified. This is a serious problem. The solution is flawed, though, and it has far-reaching and harmful impact. SOPA would cause serious damage to internet freedom and individual rights, forcing unrealistic censorship on legitimate websites and internet users.
Unlike many who are completely shutting down their websites today to protest SOPA, I am keeping my site active. I do, however support the actions of those who are “blacking out” today. My site is the hub of my business, and I simply cannot afford to bring it all down, not even for one day.
I am, however, leaving this space, the center of my front page which is usually graced with an artwork image prominently displayed, dark. And I will be letting my legislators know that I do not want them to support SOPA, or the similarly drafted bill PIPA ( Protect Intellectual Property Act).
Tomorrow this space will be once again graced with colorful artwork. I hope that today you will reflect upon how much nicer my site is with imagery in the center, and therefore, consider how important it is for Congress to find a better solution to internet piracy.