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Piracy Your Rights Online

Reddit Turning SOPA "Blackout" Into a "Learn-In" 241

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-today's-sopa-news dept.
bdking writes "Reddit's planned 12-hour 'blackout' on January 18 sounds like an ineffectual, if not self-defeating, strategy for opposing the Stop Online Piracy Act. But the social news site actually will use that time not to 'go dark,' but to educate visitors about the ramifications of the House legislation that many fear will lead to widespread shutdowns of Internet sites."
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Reddit Turning SOPA "Blackout" Into a "Learn-In"

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  • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tanktalus (794810) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @04:02PM (#38667580) Journal

    The thing is, every single person vaguely familiar with the Tech world already knows this. It's everybody else that needs convincing, and I'm pretty sure neither Google nor Facebook, 2 Tech giants, are the right pick the counter this.

    Google, Facebook ... these are perfect places for a "learn-in". Imagine if Google or Facebook "went dark" for every user (at least in the U.S.) once a day for a week, and, instead of serving up normal content, served up content that explained what SOPA would mean to them, the non-techies, in a language they could understand. Hitting reload would get you through to the content you were originally looking for, so it's not a huge impediment, but enough to wake people up.

    Reddit is not the best place for this, but it's a start.

  • Re:And Slashdot? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Idimmu Xul (204345) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @04:09PM (#38667652) Homepage Journal

    Why should slashdot follow suit?

    Strength in numbers. 'Smaller' sites like Reddit start the ball rumbling, Slashdot joins in, a few smaller sites hosted by webmasters that are part of these communities join in, the snowball gets bigger, then maybe Yahoo/Google/Facebook/Flickr get on board.

    Everyone has to start somewhere.

  • Re:And Slashdot? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @04:16PM (#38667732)

    Indeed.

    The more numbers the better, especially when you're trying to shine the light of truth on a bunch of MafiAA types who ran phoney-baloney "hearings" with Congressrobots hearing about how "anything not-us is doubleplusungood so there and you are all on our payroll so pass the law we wrote for you to pass."

  • by Immostlyharmless (1311531) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @04:16PM (#38667746)
    They could make up a list of words associated with trademarks/copyrights and every time someone either searched for, or posted a comment about something with one of those terms in it, they could use a popup "You used the copyrighted/trademarked term "(/insertstringhere)", Under the pending SOPA legislation, if the owner company sent us notice regarding this comment we would have no choice but to censor it. Please contact your representative and/or senator to let them know you stand with us in opposition to this extremely poorly worded piece of legislation"
  • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor[ ]et ['f.n' in gap]> on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @04:18PM (#38667766)

    The thing is, every single person vaguely familiar with the Tech world already knows this. It's everybody else that needs convincing, and I'm pretty sure neither Google nor Facebook, 2 Tech giants, are the right pick the counter this.

    Sure they are. Google and Facebook probably experience close to 95% of the entire web traffic, especially those who you want to educate.

    All Google has to do is simply put in an interstital page of censored results with the overlay "The Stop Online Piracy Act has will remove many sites from the Internet, including the ones you probably were looking for. Write your congressperson and then click here for the full internet." which redirects to the proper search.

    Facebook is similar. "Posting this on your wall could remove your Facebook access due to the Stop Online Piracy Act. Click here to object to this law and continue posting."

    For Google, it presents a borked listing of sites - perhaps culled from the pages near the end, and completely useless results.

    For Facebook, it threatens people to loss of access. Given how people are addicted to it, that could be quite scary.

  • Re:And Slashdot? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by symbolset (646467) * on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @04:27PM (#38667870) Journal

    Put me down in favor of this. These bills would shut down all comments everywhere, because there's no way the site could be sure that the comments didn't contain some copyrighted material or a clue where to find it. It means the end of the Internet as a dialogue.

    So to do without slashdot for a day, on the chance that it might help it not go away forever, that's something that should be done.

  • Re:And Slashdot? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @04:31PM (#38667930)

    I've been here well over a decade and even still I don't hold such Delusions of Grandeur of the Olden Times.

    Today, Reddit is bigger than Slashdot in both volume and content. And, believe it or not, this goes further than pictures of cute cats.

    Slashdot could still qualify for "better quality of content", however given the sluggish reaction time and somewhat reduced editorial prowess, this quality is nowadays only reflected in the comments.

    We should accept that Slashdot is getting old, focus more on quality over quantity and do as much we can to reduce signal noise. Especially regarding submissions.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by strength_of_10_men (967050) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @04:32PM (#38667938)

    Imagine if Google or Facebook "went dark" for every user (at least in the U.S.) once a day for a week, and, instead of serving up normal content, served up content that explained what SOPA would mean to them, the non-techies, in a language they could understand

    I think this is a good start, but an even more (I think) effective strategy for Google and FB would be if they served up normal content with random entries (search results/Feeds) darkened out or redacted with a hover box explaining this is what the internet could be if SOPA passes.

    That's a lot more illustrative than just spelling out for a visitor what SOPA could do.

  • by supremebob (574732) <themejunkyNO@SPAMgeocities.com> on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @04:35PM (#38667962) Journal

    Back when they were trying to pass the Communications Decency Act back in 1996, a bunch of the major web sites changed their pages to black backgrounds and included a link explaining why they were doing it. I remember that really getting my attention the day I went to Yahoo (remember when Yahoo was important?) and seeing that for the first time.

    If someone like Google or Facebook did that to protest SOPA today, I guarantee that it would get major news attention.

  • Re:And Slashdot? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ubergrendle (531719) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @04:42PM (#38668036) Journal
    As a non-american, the cynical part of me thinks that SOPA would be a good thing... there's some huge opportunities available to foreign nations, while the US conciously cedes its leadership position in a new technology and communication medium.

    Less legal restriction and onerous regulated enviornments will be a breeding ground for innovation and investment. The US is a huge market, but the BRIC countries are on the rise and there's still Europe, other South American and Asian nations, Canada, Mexico...
  • Re:Good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sidthegeek (626567) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @04:44PM (#38668062)

    The Wild West days of internet are fading fast, but not because the internet is getting deeds - its because Intellectual Property laws are giving away deeds to concepts and ideas.

    That is an awesome analogy. My hopefully-relevant car analogy would be like: You are free to purchase any car you want, but the manufacturers still own all the components inside, down to the nuts and bolts. And you have to pay those manufacturers a fee every time you want to use the car, or they'll take the parts out of the car and charge you an exorbitant amount FAR exceeding any possible monetary value the parts could have or earn.

  • by geekboybt (866398) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @04:45PM (#38668088)

    I've actually found the opposite - I've come back to Slashdot from Reddit because Slashdot's moderation system, as simplistic as it is, seems to be less susceptible to groupthink/hivemind tendencies. I'd bet this is because here you must have your moderation moderated, and only citizens in good standing are given mod points.

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @06:53PM (#38669082) Journal
    Jimbo Wales is supporting a blackout idea [wikipedia.org], and they're rounding up the votes to make it happen. A tricky thing for Wiki to do on short notice as they typically govern by consensus.
  • Re:And Slashdot? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @08:16PM (#38669628)

    Talk about the US all you want, but it's mostly the European nations that are doing the blacklists (e.g., piratebay). In fact, the supposedly superior Nordic countries (they're socialists there!!!!!!!!!!!!1) that are really starting to ramp that up.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @09:09PM (#38669966)

    Metamoderation makes Slashdot worse, because moderators who go against the groupthink receive a lifetime ban from moderating, so you end up with a system where only people with the "correct" beliefs have mod points.

    Metamoderation is good for eliminating trolls, but it suppresses minority opinions even more than a straight upvote/downvote system.

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @01:51AM (#38671274)
    I agree that there are an awful lot of +5 comments, and relatively few +3 and so on. As it is, it really only sorts comments into bad, neutral, and good. I think that's something that could better be sorted out by changing the balance between number of mod points available per day and the cap on points. Make it go to +10 but don't change the number of votes given out each day. The percentages of top rated comments will go down, and it will be better at sorting out the good ones.

    I think a cap is still necessary, as it forces mods to move on to other comments. After a certain point on reddit, the top comments just keep snowballing until you see comments with 3000 points. Not just parent comment either, the children comments are also overrated.. Meanwhile equally insightful or funny comments in lower threads are +40. That's worse sorting in my experience.

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