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Earlier today, weatherdude posted a link to a Twitter feed that is filled with FacePalm:

I just wanted to follow up with my own FacePalm...this is from a Facebook thread (names redacted to protect the idiots):

[CLUELESS FB POSTER #1]:  I literally spend 20 minutes reading the bills and websites about it to figure out i dont care.... I don't know, I use facebook a lot but if everyone was forced to get off of it we'd find another way... we always do. Not to mention i have an email and a phone. I won't die without facebook, and I don't use youtube often. Computers should be used for education anyway and people abuse them. Not to sound pretentious because i'm just being honest, but my life isn't social networks or computer web-sites.

[CLUELESS FB POSTER #2]: I was just thinking this!! I'm like, Don't these people have any bigger battles??? I mean, I'm glad we're not asleep as a public but it's not like we're overturning Roe v. Wade here!

Update: Wow, I really wasn't expecting this one to make the Rec list, since half of it is just reposting an earlier one, but thanks. The only thing I want to add is that the true brain-hurting stupidity (or ignorance, depending on your POV) of the above posts is twofold:

First, because they completely fail to see anything wrong with websites being shut down for no particular reason, figuring that they'll just shrug it off and move on to something else.

Second, because they don't grasp the concept that email accounts are connected to a domain name, which is usually connected to a website. They don't grasp that just about EVERY means of modern communication is at least partly or fully hooked into the internet these days, from weather reports to billing systems, from telephone networks to TV broadcasts. They honestly don't grasp the impact that these bills would have on EVERY aspect of modern civilization.

Meanwhile, in addition to shutting my own site down today (and the mandatory Facebook/Tweeting/etc. spread-the-word stuff), I sent out the following email to all 90 or so of my clients (with appropriately linked names of various websites, politicians, etc. included in the actual mailing):

Dear Brainwrap Client:

I do my best not to mix politics with my business, and hope to never have to do so again. However, there are currently 2 bills pending in the United States Congress that directly threaten both my business and yours. I've decided that this is too important not to bring to your attention.

Brainwrap has gone “on strike” for the day, joining thousands of other websites small and large, including Wikipedia, Mozilla, Reddit, Wired, Craigslist and even Google in protesting the so-called “Stop Online Piracy Act” (aka “SOPA”) and it’s companion bill, the “Protect IP Act” (aka “PIPA”).

This is NOT a partisan, left-vs-right political issue.

Opposition to these bills is widespread and bipartisan. President Obama and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden oppose do Republican Congressmen Paul Ryan and Daryll Issa. Major partisan political website communities such as the left-wing Daily Kos and the right-wing Red State are in full agreement about how dangerous these bills (or any similar bills under a different name) would be to the entire internet.

These bills, if enacted into law, will do very little to “stop online piracy” or to “protect intellectual property”. They would, however, effectively censor the entire internet, potentially resulting in your website being taken down through no fault of your (or my) own.

The idea behind the bills is to give the government the authority to shut down websites that enable piracy of copyrighted material such as movies, music, tv shows, photos and so on, and to prosecute those who are responsible for these websites.

The problem is that the way the bills are worded, media companies would have the power to shut down ANY website--including yours--simply by CLAIMING that they contain—or even LINK TO—copyrighted materials. Whether you knew it was infringing or not. In fact, whether it was true or not; the accusation itself would be enough.

Ironically, none of this would stop actual piracy sites, since anyone knowing the direct numeric IP address of the server would simply enter that number directly.

No one is saying that copyright infringement isn’t an issue, but SOPA/PIPA—and any other similarly-worded bills that may crop up in the future under a different name—are NOT the solution.

What can you do about it?

First, learn more about SOPA and PIPA:

--Wikipedia has left two articles up: One on SOPA and one on PIPA
--A short video explaining the bills in a nutshell
--Google's take

Next, contact your members of Congress to tell them you’re opposed to SOPA/PIPA:

--Google: Take Action!
--Spread the word via Twitter & Facebook

Thank you for reading this, and I apologize for the intrusion into your day. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.


Brainwrap Web Design

I know it's too wordy and probably too defensive about the non-political angle, but I had to make sure to get it out early enough to make a difference.

So far, about 1/3 have read it, and I've received a couple of responses which proved that it was at least slightly worth the effort:

Thanks for sharing. I just signed the petition at Google.  I went to craigslist today and there was something that talked about it on their site as well.  I had no idea.
Thanks for the email re: the legislation.  Your thoughts prompted me to
send a letter to my congressman.
Your Email has been sent.
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