Tag Archives: PIPA

Twitter is Playing Itself. For Real.

I just read this and felt that I had to say something, lest it pass unnoticed.

Pour some out for my dead homie, Twitter.

Even though I’ve already tweeted it, posted it as a status update to Facebook and Linkedin, I still can’t believe it.

I'm Paul Revering it across the internet. "Twitter filters are coming! Twitter filters are coming!"

Apparently, Twitter has gone ahead and implemented a filter that will prevent ‘charged’ tweets from being delivered to or seen by users in certain geographic locations where the content of the tweet would be deemed objectionable.

Using Twitter to tweet about how wack Twitter is being! LOL!

Despite the Congressional retreat from SOPA and PIPA, and the general consensus in the digital community that the proposed bills would stifle the free exchange of ideas over the internet, Twitter has taken a step that will likely draw vocal criticism in the days to come.

In a statement to reported by the Inquirer, Twitter offered, “Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country – while keeping it available in the rest of the world. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.”

The reality of the proposed filter is that it won’t work. Period.

What it will likely do, is simply remove literally thousands of tweets from the Twitter stream, regardless of whether the that content is actually offensive.

As Mark Gibbs noted in his article in the Forbes blog (where I first read the story), “if the algorithm Twitter uses registers a false positive [or determines that content is offensive when it isn’t] and the tweet has any time sensitivity to it then that attribute will be completely nullified by the time the tweet makes it out of tweet-jail if it ever does.”

What makes Twitter…well Twitter, is the fact that information moves instantaneously, and users are able to tune in to content (and the ramifications/implications of that content) in real time.

Now Twitter is just another trick of big business.

How sad.

Let’s all hold up our bottles and pour a lil’ out for our dead homie, Twitter.

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It’s Not Over Yet! SOPA & PIPA, the day after the Blackout

This morning, I got a slew of emails, discussing yesterday’s historic internet Blackout, by Wikipedia, and a host of other internet sites, who have made it their mission to fight the SOPA and PIPA bills attempting to make their way through the Senate and the House.

The central theme of each of these messages, is the fact that the fight isn’t over, and that we have to continue to press our elected representatives to oppose these bills.

Here is a great video that gives a really quick and informative primer on the whole PIPA issue, I talked about yesterday.

The video was produced by Fight For The Future, a non-profit helping to organize the historic strike against the web censorship bills SOPA and PIPA on their site sopastrike.com, where you can find a list of websites that are striking and more information.

There’s a vote coming up, and the music and movie industry lobby is still motivated to try to push through some superficially altered form of the original bill.

Stay aware and informed!

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The Day The Internet Went Black: SOPA, PIPA & You(‘re Internet Rights)

If you’ve been following the whole SOPA/PIPA debate, then you’re probably aware that today, January 18, 2012, Wikipedia went black to protest the introduction of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act.

The day Wikipedia went black.

These two bills, one being introduced in the Senate and the other the House, are designed to allegedly protect copyright owners from the infringing conduct of offshore and overseas violators.

In short, if a copyright owner believes that a website is selling counterfeit or pirated content, they can apply to the Court for an order  which would then bar all links to the allegedly infringing site, stop search engines from making the site available and force ISPs to block access to the site.

In addition, there would be criminal penalties for unauthorized streaming of content online.

The debate rages passionately on both sides of the equation.

The bills’ proponents, lobbyists for the film and music industry, say its necessary to prevent the rampant unchecked piracy overseas that are cutting into their profits and hurting copyright owners.

Opponents of the bill, citing issues of inadequate due process, censorship and interference with free speech, believe that piracy can be combatted without these draconian laws.

But we’ve been here before.

Remember the music industry’s all out assault on peer-2-peer networks like Napster?

And the spate of lawsuits that the RIAA rammed through the courts, dragging countless teenagers and their parents into court for alleged infringing conduct?

And what did we learn from that?

That these massive companies, the laws were designed to protect, actually ended up abusing the laws, violating due process and in too many instances, initiating action against people who had never, actually, infringed anything.

What makes anyone think that if this law passes, that the exact same thing won’t happen?

For the time being, it looks like SOPA and PIPA have stalled.

Many commentators note that even if it passes both the Senate and the House, President Obama won’t sign it into law.

But they also note that this doesn’t mean the debate is over. Not by a longshot.

The movie and music industry lobby is fierce and motivated.

After the 2012 elections, President Obama will be more likely to extend an olive branch to the entertainment industry, which has had his back since the 2008 elections.

If a Republican is elected (God forbid), then it’s a foregone conclusion that these bills will be resurrected, and find their way into the law books.

But for internet activists, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Wikipedia, Google, Mozilla, and others, this bill would likely have passed without much fanfare.

But the ramifications are so far reaching, and impact so much of what we take for granted, that these organizations have made it their mission to fight SOPA and PIPA for all it’s worth.

If you’re not up on this issue, Wikipedia has kept up these pages related to SOPA and PIPA for people to learn more about the issues.

I, for one, have signed an online petition, contacted my Senator and Representative, and am encouraging everyone who reads this post to ring the alarm and let people know what’s going on.

Don’t let big business become Big Brother and take away your rights.

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