Should TWiT blackout on Jan 18 to protest SOPA?

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109 Replies to “Should TWiT blackout on Jan 18 to protest SOPA?”

  1. Leo,
    I’d say don’t do it. Your audience is well aware of the implications and has largely worked to inform members of Congress about it. There is greater value to sites like Wikipedia and others doing it as their audience is more main stream and likely not aware of the threat of the legislation.
    If anything, having a day on TwiT devoted to the topic where you can bring on members of Congress who oppose SOPA/PIPA would be more valuable to the tech community.  A TWiT network show devoted to the politics of tech would also be something I’d love to see.
    -Lon

  2. Yes I think you should as your voice carrys far Leo.   I got so worked up yesterday afternoon on this topic i went and setup stopbill.org

  3. I don’t think you should go black, but should add some information to the website sharing your thoughts on SOPA. Canceling shows for that day would cause more harm since the word would not get out.

  4. educate people.  going black would only affect your regular listeners, who most likely know what SOPA is anyways.  

  5. I vote for the blackbar and encouraging viewers to point non-viewers to TWiT that day to learn about SOPA.

  6. suggestion: spend the “black out” time reviewing the 635 representatives, by state, explaining their position pro or con SOPA or PIPA. or even just calling out those representatives which support them. 

  7. I say don’t.  Choose the education route and talk about.  Spend the day helping to educate people and on how to get in touch with their congressional representatives.  I have used to EFF website many times to send their form letter to my congressional critters.

  8. Hi Leo,
    I am having a real struggle to answer this question. TWiT going dark won’t affect those who need to know about SOPA or PIPA.  All of your audience already know about the issue. If you go dark, I’d say you should continue the audio stream.
    But honestly, I’d say “Stay on-line and talk about the issue all day”

  9. I prefer to educate people. Do a massive special during that day. A SOPA/PIPA only special. It’s a way to protest and not affecting the regular audience.

  10. Leo, as much as I want to say “yes,” I would agree with you that the vast majority of TWiT listeners already know about SOPA/PIPA. Perhaps a better solution would be something like Chris Klein suggests. We also need to figure out the best way to get “normals” to care – how can we phrase our arguments to get them to listen?

  11. A black header on your page would be much more effective. Most who follow you know the ins and out of the bill so, so a total black out would be pointless.

  12. Hey Leo,
    First, I loved walking to work with you and am glad that car didn’t get too close. But I vote for you staying on the air and giving your voice of reason to us all on protest day. We need you.
    Your fan who needs to come visit the finished Super Studio…
    Steve

  13. i definetly think you should go dark. if not to protest sopa then to not take away from the others who are. TWiT is the most important geek resource and what kind of message does it send to say oh you others go black but we are not na na na. kind of like saying screw you to all of the other tech blogs. 

  14. I’d vote that TWIT stays online and keep on with your good work of educating us about Technology.

  15. Yes, but with a link to a detailed reasoning of why it was happening, and the reasons why SOPA poses such a threat to the internet we know today.

  16. My feeling is that TWiT should observe and cover the news.  It doesn’t seem right to participate in or make the news.  Going black isn’t going to explain what SOPA and PIPA means – especially to an international audience who won’t be as clued up.  Staying on the air and reporting will – host a special programme instead.

  17. If you blackout, Who will cover the blackout, Commercial news media may give it 30 seconds or so but as a footnote to days news, we need this to be covered & you need to get some of the big names behind it into TWiT Studios either personally or Virtually to state their opposition vocally & for the record. It is essential that you Don’t go Black, you are the Emergency Broadcast System of the Internet.

  18. Use all the technology in the brick house and reach others to educated why SOPA is wrong. Stay on air with banners on everything.

  19. If I were in your shoes I’d do as you suggested making it a point to discuss during your time.  Unlike others that may or are going to participate in the black out your format allows you to actually provide information in a unique way beyond ‘go there’ or ‘sopa=bad’.  Others are more suited to ‘interupting’ people’s internets who may not be aware of what is going on to then go find out what this ‘sopa’ thing is.The point of protesting is to show your power by disrupting the world in some way so others can take notice be they the uninformed or the people you are ‘fighting’.  I think you can do more by having discussions on what the problems with it are, what good solutions might be etc. People who don’t know what it is can be educated, or if they do and agree with it can be annoyed and not watch//listen as they’d do if you blacked out.  The rest can get some good information on the problem and maybe some solutions that don’t threaten the internet/etc.
    It is far easier to bury your head in the sand if you are denied the thing you wanted to do, through it being blacked out, over that thing dealing with the reason for the blackout.

  20. Yes, All sites should black out on Jan 18 to show everyone the potential issues of what could happen

  21. The blackout seems like something to draw the attention of those who are less informed. Your viewership (or listeners, such as myself!) are already pretty well informed, since it’s the sort of thing we generally show an interest in, and because the topic is covered so frequently.
    It would be a nice show of solidarity with the other sites, but it would otherwise be symbolic, rather than teaching, given who you have visiting your sites.
    How about, instead, a SOPA special episode of one of your shows on that day? Make it a super comprehensive episode covering all of the aspects of the law, what its aims are, and what the reprocussions will be. Then we can have something to point our less knowledgable friends to to help them learn about the bill, and spur them to action on it.

  22. Leo, I love what you all do.. and im proud to be a follower of the TWIT publications and broadcasts. I dont always agree with what you have to say.. but you always say what you believe. That is a staple of truth that is sadly missing in todays world. Everything your group does they do becuase they believe in what they are saying and doing. That in itself is all i need to know to listen to your shows. You teach and educate people.. you bring real life, real world things out into the open and provide us all with a connected dose of reality. Blacking out is powerful, but it doesnt seem like the TWIT way. Ill support you in what ever you do.. but You have always used your powers to educate.. and if there was ever a time.. its now.. Get the TWIT Army to post links to you info sessions everywhere.. rather than shut down.. push for uber broadcast.  Create a simple message blog / video/ mp3.. that we can publish like mad.. create an event that promotes people hearing the truth rather than hearing nothing at all. My 2 cents.. Good luck and keep up the great work!

  23. Don’t block the entire site, but make the live feed “go dark” by just showing a warning about SOPA and maybe only doing one show for the day talking about SOPA before/after it’s voted on.

  24. Don’t black out, do a full day of coverage. Have experts on to discuss the bills, actual experts both legal and technical. Make it a special SOPA/PIPA day. 

  25. Maybe stay on the air.  But wear black t-shirts with SOPA crossed out.Blacking out will only go so far.  We need to show and talk to the public
    on how this will effect everyone….greatly.

  26. Hello again Leo,
    I changed my mind.  I initially said, “Yes, go dark.”  However, after longer thought, I believe a day of education and SOPA coverage would be much more beneficial in the long-run.
    I think the greatest benefit would come from SOPA knowledge moreso than going dark.  The better educated we all are on the topic at hand, the more powerful we will become. 
    I am sure you will ultimately make the best choice for you, your team, and the listeners/viewers.
    Thank you!
    Jen

  27. I think your instincts are right Leo. While I think the broad-audience sites participating is a great thing, your audience gets the point, and the topic is best served by you continuning the conversation on that day rather than a blackout.
    Some kind of banner or ‘censorship bar’ on the site/feeds would be an appropraite statement. I also don’t think you should worry about being ‘partizan’ – your audience relies on you to have an honest opinion about tech and the politics which surround it. It’s absolutely appropriate for TWiT to take a position, even if there might be a handful of geeks who see things differently.

  28. NO, you should do a 24 hour teach-in to explain the issues.  Get Cory Doctorow to co-host.  Get as MANY people who can talk about the issue as possible.  Have a running counter of how many people in your audence have call/mail/tweeted/ect. about the issue.  Use TWiT to mobilze the army and get as many people as possible doing things about the issue all day long.

  29. I know it will cost you but I think you will reoup the cost in the end. Yes go black. Then come back and educate on SOPA.

  30. Please stay on the air and educate. You have a strong voice and, as importantly, the ears of others that can influence change. 

  31. I think a black-out would be the wrong thing for TWiT to do. TWiT should inform, not enforce. Create a STOP SOPA lower third and leave it up all day, maybe even all week. Do a TWiT/TNT crossover where you explain and disect SOPA and let the public know why SOPA ain’t good. If anyone could do that, the great Leo Laporte, Tom Merritt and the rest at TWiT could. So, lower third and information and people will get the drift.

  32. Leo, I think you day would best be spent educating people about the issues, from the top of the day’s lineup to the bottom. Make sure FLOSS Weekly talks about it in a way specific to the open source community. Let Steve Gibson review how DNS and the internet work, even though he’s talked about them before. For TWiG, it would be great to get as many cloud service representatives on as possible — a show full of reps from Google, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Dropbox, Wikipedia, Vimeo, Ustream, etc. would be great, even if each just gets 5-10 minutes to say their peace. TNT can monitor the media for the effects of the blackout, and for Triangulation you should get the most relevant guest for the topic you can, and it would be especially interesting to get someone pro-SOPA. I don’t know if much about SOPA is relevant to TWiRT, but following that you could ask Iyaz to do ION to wrap up the SOPA coverage for the day.

  33. Definately don’t go dark! Use the opportunity to educate and inform. I was just reading about Rupert Murdoch’s tweet tirade against “Pirate leader … Google” and obviously the problem is that corporates don’t understand that search is not in and off itself piracy (see here http://bit.ly/wLnZTg).
    Sure Google results point to copyright infringing content but to do otherwise is censorship. Go after the pirates, not the index, and don’t f8ck with the DNS. I’m dead against piracy in all its forms. I fully support content creators making money as they see fit, as that pays for future content. However I also support a free and open internet. 

  34. Stay on the air, let the website inform visitors of the SOPA/PIPA act, and educate on the air.
    Maybe take phone calls from people asking questions?

  35. My 2 cents:Do the blackout, because a network like twit participating increases the impact that the blackout will have on the media outlets who report on the blackout, raising awareness.
    You could also try to use the day to go on TV shows and talk about these proposed laws.
    Also, don’t be scared to be partisan, these acts are bad and the public is well served to hear your honest opinion.

  36. The idea of a blackout is to use the power of many voices with a single message.  If you believe in the message and want to add your voice to it, then go dark.
    I’ll grant you that a black page is not the most educational device by itself, but sometimes the most powerful communications come from simplicity.  Many voices with a single message can be a powerful communication. Many separate voices doing their own take on the same topic is just like watching cable TV at the news hour – hardly makes an impact.
    There are many people still don’t know anything about SOPA/PIPA.  You could tell them about it, but there’s something else you may want to consider.
    People want a show.  If you educate them with a show about SOPA/PIPA, then you’ve satisfied them.  Part of the purpose of the black page is to disrupt their desires and direct attention to the message at hand.  The black page is disruptive. Another show is another show.
    It’s your call and you should go with your heart. 

  37. Honestly, I’d rather have TWiG, TNT et al broadcasting and discussing this.
    But if you do jump on the bandwagon, at least take down all of your properties across the web: not just the TWiT site, but also the YT channel*, Ustream* and wherever else people can watch your videos. Not sure whether you can blackout on iTunes, but if you can do that as well. If you’re going to send a message, send it across all channerl. If I can watch TWiT on YouTube (which is where I usually watch it), then the message doesn’t get through. Chatroom (and everyone else who watches TWiT live) already knows that SOPA/PIPA is bad.
    That’s two more cents from me, someone who’s really far from the situation.

  38. well i think that people are getting to carried away with what they think as an invasion of privacy. they joined the sites so hello you get what you reap.

  39. There’s a stark difference between talking about something, and actually demonstrating how it will affect things. I think you should go dark.
    This audience clearly has taken one side, but when it comes down to it, do we really have a good taste of what this will do to the content we love? It’s not an act of defiance or politics. It’s an act of education and simulation. It shows, rather than tells.
    As far as taking sides, regardless of the core issue, the only relavent one here is whether SOPA or PIPA at present should be put into law. The rest can come later. I don’t see a danger in taking sides for the moment.

  40. i think that people are getting to wrapped up in this. we will do and be who we are no one can stop us!!!!

  41. If you dont go off the air you will probably be preaching to the choir.If you go off it might swing the fence sitters or the people who think it can never happen here to realize it could in real time and living absense of color,

  42. Leo you’ve had some hard views on SOPA and PIPA that are shared by some of your other hosts, i think TWIT needs to do something harder then just a banner, however i agree with some of the other comments that a full blown black out might be a bit much tho.
    Idea. why not have one show for the day, a special on bills and the blackout and push it out on to each of the shows ?

  43. Short and Simple: I agree that it may not be the most effective form of protest, any gesture against SOPA is a good gesture.I feel that any sites that don’t go black, would be able to do even more by, like you mentioned Leo, Educating everyone about the dangers of such a terribly written bill than effectivly destroys the internet as we know it.

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