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The Internet Is Going Dark Tomorrow – What do I do on January 18th?
Posted By Jessica Lee On January 17, 2012 @ 6:19 pm In Featured,News,Social Media | 2 Comments
Thanks to Reddit taking the lead  – Wikipedia, Boing Boing, Imgur, Tucows, and other websites we love are blacking out their sites  on January 18th in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act  (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act  (PIPA). If you’re part of the Reddit cult, or if you’re just reading this article, you’re probably more well-informed about SOPA and PIPA than the rest of the general public thanks to limited media coverage . It’s up to us to follow their lead and I encourage you to utilize the blackout to be an advocate for the internet. Use that time to inform yourself and others about SOPA, PIPA, and some of the more recent activism happening online and in the world. Here are a few places you can start since the internet will be limited tomorrow!
Become an expert on SOPA/PIPA and share information
Read up on all the scary stuff happening with SOPA. Inform yourself of what is happening, talk to your friends and co-workers, and share stories on social media channels. Check out the following resources about SOPA.
Visit Reddit  during the blackout
Find out where your representatives in Congress stand on SOPA and PIPA
Find out which companies support SOPA
Read about the OPEN Act , a bipartisan SOPA alternate bill sponsored by Republican Representative Darrell Issa  of California and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden  of Oregon. So far companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook have shown their support  of this alternate bill.
Blackout your own site in solidarity with the SOPA/PIPA protests, but carefully! Read Googler Pierre Far’s Google+ post about how to best blackout your website .
Contact your representative
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a great tool to help you contact your government representatives . Please contact anyone you can, from local representatives to the members of Congress and Senate to voice your opposition to SOPA. Make it clear that they will LOSE YOUR VOTE in the next election if they decide to publicly support these stifling bills. If you choose to write to your representative , use some of these excerpts from public letters to inspire your message . If you’re feeling bold pick up the phone and call their office . Ask to be connected to their legislative assistant handling SOPA and PIPA, and ask what their office’s stance is on these bills. Urge them to consider your concern as a citizen and as a voter in making their decision on this issue. They will mark down your concern, and if they are overwhelmed by phone calls in opposition of SOPA it will definitely be a factor in their decision-making process. Would you rather use 140 characters or less? Tweet at Congress  and Tweet at Senate ! You don’t necessarily need to live in that Representative’s district to voice your opposition.
Register to vote (if you haven’t already!)
The best leverage you have over any government representative is your vote. 2012 is going to be a huge year with the presidential election and dozens of compelling issues will be on the ballot, some related to internet privacy and some not. As we are connected more than ever to our fellow citizens of the United States and the world, it is up to us to vote and vote responsibly. In some states you can register as a permanent absentee voter , so for the cost of a postage stamp you don’t even have to leave your house to vote. For more information about voter registration check out Rock the Vote .
Learn more about online activism
In 2011 we saw news break on social media more than any other media. We kept up with all the latest news of the Occupy movements, the Middle East uprisings and the Arab Springs, and the Japanese tsunami. We engaged directly with people in the field and on the ground, listened, and shared their stories. It is no accident that social media is one of the most vital tools in this decade’s public movements. Read some of the more recent events in online activism , and truly understand that the tools we touch and type on every day are amazing vehicles that connect us and move us forward.
So, on January 18th you have lots of internet-free time to do something to affect our future. Go be active on social media, email friends, phone your representatives, talk to people, and make sure to start active conversations that day!
Article printed from The Search Agents: http://www.thesearchagents.com
URL to article: http://www.thesearchagents.com/2012/01/the-internet-is-going-dark-tomorrow-what-do-i-do-on-january-18th/
URLs in this post:
 Reddit taking the lead: http://blog.reddit.com/2012/01/stopped-they-must-be-on-this-all.html
 blacking out their sites : http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9223496/Protests_against_SOPA_PIPA_go_viral
 Stop Online Piracy Act: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.3261:
 PROTECT IP Act: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.968:
 limited media coverage: http://mashable.com/2012/01/11/sopa-news/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29
 SOPA: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3261/show
 PIPA: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-s968/show
 Stop SOPA, Save the Internet: http://boingboing.net/2011/11/11/stop-sopa-save-the-internet.html
 Sergey Brin’s public statement on SOPA: https://plus.google.com/u/0/109813896768294978296/posts/Dt6FoRv6hXJ
 List of companies that oppose SOPA: https://www.cdt.org/report/list-organizations-and-individuals-opposing-sopa
 Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/
 SOPA Opera: http://sopaopera.org/
 donations from SOPA/PIPA supporters: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3261/money
 Congress’s list of SOPA supporters: http://gizmodo.com/5870241/presented-without-comment-every-single-company-supporting-sopa-the-awful-internet-censorship-law
 No More SOPA app: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.boycottsopa.android
 boycotted GoDaddy: http://godaddyboycott.org/
 publicly opposed SOPA: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57349913-281/godaddy-bows-to-boycott-now-opposes-sopa-copyright-bill/
 I Work for the Internet: http://iworkfortheinternet.org/
 OPEN Act: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-s2029/show
 Representative Darrell Issa: http://issa.house.gov/
 Senator Ron Wyden: http://wyden.senate.gov/
 Google, Twitter, and Facebook have shown their support: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/202627-twitter-facebook-and-google-endorse-alternate-online-piracy-bill
 SOPA vs PIPA vs OPEN infographic: http://www.keepthewebopen.com/sopa-vs-open
 Pierre Far’s Google+ post about how to best blackout your website: https://plus.google.com/115984868678744352358/posts/Gas8vjZ5fmB
 contact your government representatives: https://wfc2.wiredforchange.com/o/9042/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8173
 write to your representative: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
 inspire your message: http://www.cdt.org/report/growing-chorus-opposition-stop-online-piracy-act
 call their office: http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/mcapdir.aspx
 Tweet at Congress: http://tweetcongress.org/members/
 Tweet at Senate: http://blog.muckrack.com/post/14989028232/us-senators-on-twitter-the-81
 permanent absentee voter: http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=16604#permanent
 Rock the Vote: http://www.rockthevote.org/
 recent events in online activism: http://mashable.com/2011/08/15/online-activism/
 SOPA – What You Need to Know Today: http://www.thesearchagents.com/2012/01/sopa-what-you-need-to-know-today/
 Interview with Ranil Wiratunga – January 2012: http://www.thesearchagents.com/2012/01/interview-with-ranil-wiratunga-january-2012/
 The Week We Searched For- January 20, 2012: http://www.thesearchagents.com/2012/01/the-week-we-searched-for-january-20-2012/
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