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. Yes, i think you should go black on that day, agreed that you may be more effective by airing shows on what it is all about however, if the law(s) go into effect, then you WILL be blacked out if something happens.  It’s more of a stand than anything else.  I’m blacking out my website on that day as well (  

  2. I do not think that you should go black on the 18th. I feel that people who watch your shows should be fairly informed about SOPA. Wikipedia on the other hand should because ‘normal’ people who aren’t as informed use it. 

  3. I think that TWIT should spend the talking about SOPA on your shows and try to come out with ideas of alternatives to SOPA & PITA that will work and not break the internet.

  4. I’ll say this.  If TWiT blacks out to protest SOPA, then that would be the same thing as your destain for Goolge favoring G+ in search or that same search company becoming a content producer.
    Is TWiT an entertainment medium or journalistic medium first?  If you want your company to be a news agency over everything else, then do not black out… that would show bais.
    Just my two cents.

  5. I think you should stay on the air and educate people. There are still so many who know nothing of this yet. What will they learn if you are not there?

  6. Going black doesn’t seem like a particularly effective protest, in my opinion. Better to deluge congress with e-mails, online commentary and education about the issue.  

  7. Yes, Twit should go dark, but i’m gonna hate that it has…. I guess you can still record though…

  8. Don’t go black.
    Do the black bar and request viewers/listeners bombard their political representives.
    >:o  on SOPA, etc worldwide.

  9. That’s a tough queston. If you decide to go black I would totally understand and support it, but maybe you could instead devote the whole day to SOPA/PIPA (and any other hidden legisiative “gems” that we might be missing that are a danger to an free and open Internet) education.
    I think with more “general use” sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc it would make more sense to “go dark” in order to educate the user base that the issues even exists … the more tech savvy sites might do better to provide a “deeper education” of the issues so their viewers can be better prepared to answer any questions that arrise out of the other sites going dark.
    Google, reddit, Facebook can educate the masses that there is a problem and its’ name is SOPA/PIPA … twit, The Verge, Engadget, etc can help by providing education on the issue so the “day after” we can fill in the important details for the many people who will be asking what this protest is all about.

  10. Here is the reason I would Black out (although there have been many good points to the contrary). 
    The “idea” of a threat gets a much different reaction than the actual threat taking place in the here & now. It’s like the difference between the threat of a break up & the actual thing. FAR different reaction. 
    Many have been talking about the threat of losing our internet freedoms but none of us have actually felt that loss yet & thus, aren’t really even aware of how we will react to it. Blacking out & forcing us to consider the value of a show like yours being censored or run off the air is going to stir up a real reaction.
    Like they say..You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

  11. It’s too bad we can “blackout” the .gov sites to let our clueless lawmakers get a better understanding of the laws they try and pass. Unless a lot of sites go dark, I’m afraid it won’t have the desired effect. Leo, you are kind of preaching to the choir here. I think your audience is pretty informed on this issue. Go with your gut Leo, you seem to have a pretty good feel for where you should head.

  12. I think you said it best with TWiT staying live on Jan. 18th and educating people about SOPA and PIPA, rather than just putting up a black banner. You could still do something like wear black anti-SOPA / anti-PIPA shirts on air, or have black versions of your lower thirds accross the network. Looking forward to what TWiT brings to the table on Wednesday.

  13. Leo, I hope you will decide to stay on. Maybe it is too late to prepare with only a few days left, but I wish you would not go dark, but instead go wall-to-wall with coverage. Give us all a place to send our friends and family to learn more. Expose the connections and the reasons and the lobbyist dollars that created these bills. The last thing anyone should do in protest of laws which threaten to silence the Internet is to silience themselves. Now is the time for all of us to get louder.

  14. Leo, i think it would be smart to spend the 18 on informing people of why SOPA is bad.

  15. i feel the second option is best dedicate the day to raising awareness of the faults in this sopa bs and maybe with security now or another show /panel might even discuss possible options to what could be done instead what i have read so far on this the proposed black out may have already done its job but it definately wouldnt hurt to discuss the things that are wrong with it and the security concerns that invoking it would cause

  16. I’ve changed my mind. Blacking out on January 18th isn’t going to do us any good. Blocking out organizations such as wikipedia will inform the vast majority of citizens who don’t know any better. But for us individuals who are more aware, the gesture does seem a little redundant. Best to remain on the air and continue to inform us, in traditional Leo style! 
    Thank you for asking our opinion though Leo! Class act!

  17. I think going black is a strong statement, but I’m not sure it has the effect you’d hope for. As much as I love TWiT, its significance to the wider world is much smaller than that of Wikipedia or even Reddit. If Reddit or Wikipedia go dark, CNN will cover it, not TWiT. Additionally, the TWiT audience doesn’t really need convincing, does it?
    Instead, I like the idea of spending a whole day talking about little else. It might be fun to have some other kind of activity (I don’t know what) that the audience could participate in to show their support. Maybe people could submit recordings of their calls to Congress? I don’t know. “Stunt” is kind of pejorative, but something like that would be a fun way to educate and make the most out of everything that Reddit and others may be doing.

  18. Instead of going dark, I like the idea you made of making Wednesday SOPA Aweness Day where you can spend the day on your shows going over just what SOPA is and how it can/will effect everyone on the internet. I also saw an idea on here of the staff wearing all black so in a way, so the network does go black, but only in the waredrobe department.

  19. no leo, dont go dark plaster an old school black censor bar acrost your twit logo.
    then do a martathon 24hour show in protest bringing in experts, and calling out congressmen and senators on the issue live on air.
    if possible bring in some experts on the issues and have a debate, if at all possible bring in some congress or senators to debate with them and try to educate the fools who think its a good idea that are in congress/senate

  20. I don’t think you should go dark. I think it would be better for you to dedicate at least some part of each show on Wednesday to SOPA. All of your shows i’m aware of are in some way about technology. SOPA seems on topic, or nearly on topic for most of your shows.
    I think it comes down to, I don’t think you’ll reach more people with a blackout than you would talking about SOPA. I do think Wikipedia can reach more people with a blackout because many people have learned to ignore banners the same way they tune out ads. And for many people the only way to get their attention will be to block what they’re looking for.

  21. Yes Leo, please do so both – black out and educate about SOPA/PIPA. I’ve added a banner to ‘censor’ my blog already. 

  22. I like the Idea of having a border is the way to go.Seeing a blacked out sreen makes people think about it but only for a moment until they quickly leave go to another site.Leaving it up there will make them think about it longer and maybe have more of an effect.

  23. Ok After listening to your audio post I have the perfect solution. I think you should do the last one you mentioned. Stay on air and use the black banner and educate people. Run a show like Mac Break Weekly and mention how it will effect the mac users life. Do Security now covering how this may causwe security issues, how this all started is a security of data issue, and then maybe talk about how this may cause bigger security issues with a hacker uprising. 

  24. I say don’t go black, but rather make it a 24-hour action-thon.  Organize Twitter and other Social networking storms.  Tutotials and templates on contacting Congress.  All call Congress at the same time.  Fundraise for EFF.  Dedicate the time to doing something.  If you do go black, use a banner that directs people to do the above.

  25. How about hit it in the middle. Put a filter over the entire site that darkens it by 50%. This makes your position clear, but allows the site to maintain functionality so you can get Cory Doctrow or others in to talk about what’s going on.

  26. Going dark seems like the wrong way to go.  Your network is dedicated to news and information on technology. Fighting this is definatley news as it might affect everything on the internet.  Congress just doesn’t fully understand the issue and why should they even be making a law to help copyright infringment when there are already laws for that.  I think a bar on the edge with stop sopa and more info on steps to take and then the shows should all have something about it in them.

  27. I agree with many of the other here, a black banner or border and use the day to educate. It would be great to see Cory Doctorow on TWiT.

  28. To blackout for a day gives the message for a day the black border will carry the message on every time someone views it

  29. Perhaps the shows should be broadcast in black and white to indicate the specialness of the day and run a crawl saying how to protest the idotic legislation.

  30. I think Blackout is perfect, since it is what would happen should SOPA pass, and TWIT link to or refer to a site that contains infringing material. It is the best way to send the message that ‘this could happen if SOPA passes”.
    However, that being said, I think you should blackout your live stream, but still record as always. Perhaps have live audio, but in any case, simply record and post the day’s work as usual, just without the live feed, instead show a SOPA link.

  31. This is a hard decision, which is why I’m glad you’ve turned to your viewership in consultation.  All of the business reasons to stay on the air aside, I think TWiT’s mission is best served on the air on the 18th.  Your thoughts on getting guests and doing special commentary regarding SOPA and PIPA are sound.  
    If I could add one thing on that, I would have your crackerjack team of editors come up with a new bumper that is mildly dramatized that you could air between shows.  My first thought is to take your traditional “Netcasts you love…” bumper, and then have it interrupted.  I think faux analog jamming would be more dramatic, but making it appear like the stream halted and glitched with some compression artifacts would potentially be more gripping, as it would appear more like a legitimate problem.  After the faux stream crash/hijack, show an info card about TWiT and SOPA/PIPA, with some narration for audio listeners.  
    Thanks for asking, Leo.  Would love to know if my input is at all valuable.  
    -Cody ‘Belthesar’ Wilson

  32. NEVER – You are a content creator. Do not get sucked in, hard workers like you is what distinguishes you from artists that makes a song once and sell it over and over and over. If a movie does not get made or a song is never heard, its not missed. You being off the air for one day is disaster for many. 
    Perhaps you should invite a politician to your show and tell them how it will impact your business?

  33. SOPA is bad but are we paying so much attention to it that they can sneek around and pass something as bad or worse while they keep our attention on the shiney ? 

  34. TWiT should not go dark.  You are journalists.  You should cover the story.  (You covered “24 hours of iPhone” why not cover the SOPA protest which is much more important to the tech industry.)  Run all your lower thirds with a special black background and talk about SOPA all day long.  Cover the reaction of sites like Wikipedia going dark.  Yes, all your viewers are probably up to speed on the issue but the point is to create massive amounts of media that can be accesed on YouTube etc. that may be picked up my mainbstream media later.  This is a complex issue that needs longform indeph coverage that is more palatable to the mainstream than written articles in tech journals.
    There was some coverage of SOPA on MSNBC this weekend (the Sunday edition of UP with Chris Hayes) Unfortunately the NBC/Universal VP (the hosts boss) dominated the conversation and the CEO of Reditt who was there to counter him had no chance because no one including the host understood how the internet works.  And this is a “left leaning / free speach” program!  The main stream is lost!  America needs the kind of educated coverage that TWiT can offer!

  35. I feel like the selfish thing to say here is not to go dark, but it is more important for our future that a price be paid by all of us and if it means that we cannot see our beloved TWiT for a short period, then that is what we must do.  Imagine if going dark was not your choice, but rather that of some bureaucrat answering to a powerful lobbyist who could force this to happen against your will— something like what inspired FreeTNT, only being able to take down the entire domain.  It is a scary kind of power that would force a kind of internet doublethink to emerge.

  36. Black out the video — keep the audio?  Or add a banner.  Whatever you do, show your support to the blackout, but please cover the story! And, encourage further action. But, I understand if you go dark.

  37. Leo it would be more benefical to educate people many of which do not realize its impact or how far wrong it is.

  38. You could kick all the moderators that day – to remove censorship from the chatroom. 

  39. NO!!!
    It really doesn’t accomplish anything. Everyone who comes to/listens to TWiT already knows plenty about the potential dangers of SOPA and PIPA.
    It’d be better to keep everyone up on the latest news about these bills rather than “blacking out.”

  40. No! Most TWIT listensers are already aware, maybe a SOPA education special would be better, Iyaz and Steve Gibson could explain the legal and tech details. Everyone else could voice there opinions.

  41. No dont blackout, your shows are your voice , just stress to everyone to be active and contact there representatives.

  42. Most other sites are blacking out with text about SOPA to raise awareness. But you could do the same by talking about SOPA all day.

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