I was very happy to see TechCrunch 2.0 launch today as Pando.
Much less happy with Paul Carr’s applause of Dick Costolo’s tweet that Wikipedia's support of Internet Blackout Day is “…just silly. Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish”.
Possibly a smart position for Twitter. It would be expensive to shut down for a day, and it’s hard to infringe copyright in 140 characters so of the many sites that depend on user generated content Twitter could very well be the least likely to fall foul of SOPA/PIPA.
And, you know what? He’s right. Whatever your stance on SOPA, closing down a global business to protest an American law is foolish.
It happens to be an American law that seeks to unplug foreign sites from the Internet, even if they’re not breaking any local laws. And then:
Arguing that a one-day closure reminds everyone of the importance of net freedom is like burning down one church to underscore the importance of the First Amendment for all of the others.
Really? Nobody is burning down anything. But if there was a potential law that allowed churches to be repossessed, say on the basis of claims of false scripture from other religions, without requiring a trial and say with a specific exemption that no legal challenge could be brought against any repossession made in ‘good faith’ compliance with the law then it might be worth it for a church or two to self-immolate.
The trouble with taking a political stance on one issue is that your silence on every issue becomes a stance.
There’s a difference between fighting an existential threat and throwing in the towel on neutrality. I’m very glad to see Wikipedia join the blackout.
- More on breaking the Internet
- Facebook shouldn't own your social graph
- Pulling the plug on Facebook and Twitter, Tweet Archive