Web Strike – A New Form of Strike?
Yesterday I wrote about PIPA, SOPA and the resulting web blackout. If you didn’t see the post and don’t know what those two strange acronyms are, click here to read my blog entry.
Today, we found that yesterday’s blackout had a major impact on not only users, but also government officials. This leads me to wonder if we will see a rise in the use of the Internet to issue a general strike against policies and regulations in our government (or anything else for that matter). From Wikipedia’s full blackout to Google’s Take Action page, and Wordpress, Tumblr & Flickr’s messages offering users the ability to either promote the cause or blackout their own page, Internet users everywhere became aware of the struggle to maintain our freedom of information.
What happened yesterday was much like a general strike. In a general strike, organizations and unions help make it easier by providing organized pickets, food, signs and so forth … but it’s the people who take action and walk off the job that make it happen. These black spots across the web yesterday led to the following political reactions, as documented in the NY Times article, In Fight Over Piracy Bills, New Economy Rises Against Old:
First, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a rising Republican star, took to Facebook, one of the vehicles for promoting opposition, to renounce a bill he had co-sponsored. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who leads the G.O.P.’s Senate campaign efforts, used Facebook to urge his colleagues to slow the bill down. Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina and a Tea Party favorite, announced his opposition on Twitter, which was already boiling over with anti-#SOPA and #PIPA fever.
Then trickle turned to flood — adding Senators Mark Kirk of Illinois and Roy Blunt of Missouri, and Representatives Lee Terry of Nebraska and Ben Quayle of Arizona. At least 10 senators and nearly twice that many House members announced their opposition.
This indicates a new era in protests and strikes where technology may rule the an age old form of opposition. It’s pretty darn interesting, if you ask me.