Do you have an online presence? Then stop SOPA/PIPA Now!

in #HCSM by

stop-sopa (1)

in today’s world hardly anyone is bereft of an online presence. And hence, hardly anyone is in the dark about the outrageous Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act. While I am in no way condoning acts of piracy, I am just defending my right to speak out freely. I am not sure that being in India how it will affect me directly, but I am sure that I would not stand down to this gross encroachment of basic human rights irrespective of whichever nation is involved.

And anyways, if the US does manage to pass the SOPA do you think our very own #iditokapilsibbal will be left behind?

Facebook-Kapil-Sibal

WordPress.com has given us the opportunity to be a part of the whole protest SOPA/PIPA movement. I will strike out Scepticemia for the 12 official hours of the protest along with a number of internet biggies. WordPress, in its official release says:

On January 18, 2012, sites all over the internet will be blacking out to protest and try to mobilize more people to speak out against this bill coming up in the Senate next week — S. 968: the Protect IP Act (PIPA) — in an attempt to let U.S. lawmakers know how much opposition there is.WordPress.org, Wikipedia, and even WordPress.com VIP I Can Has Cheezburger? will be participating in the blackout to raise awareness and spur you to action.

stop-sopa-pipa-protest

If like me, you are a wordpress.com user (and I am a very satisfied one, at that), follow these simple instructions to get your site on strike:

Here’s how to join in:

  1. Go to Settings → Protest SOPA/PIPAin your dashboard.
  2. Select if you want to join the blackout or show a ribbon.
  3. If you choose to join the blackout, you can edit the message that will be shown on your site during the blackout.
  4. Preview what your protest will look like.
  5. Click “Save Changes” button to activate your protest.

That’s it! Easy-peasy activism right at your fingertips.

Its not just about activism. I think the deeper matter at hand is the control of expression. I must say all said and done, in India I can stand and say whatever I want to without facing the fear of a racial or communal or political backlash. Yeah, things are far from ideal but today we have the right to say #idiotkapilsibbal and make it trend on twitter.

#idiotkapilsibbal

SOPA and its spawn will take that right away from us. Do we want a society where we continually live in fear of what we are talking about? Do we want a world where we are continually looking over our shoulders to make sure that a political censor is not waiting to snip out our words and comments?

https://twitter.com/#!/Hamsasya/status/159516612708417536

I take this opportunity to thank WordPress for making this symbolic protest possible on my behalf. I have been with wordpress for over a year now and despite the latest workload making my blog flow come down to a trickle, I have been very happy to be a wordpresser and I would like to let all you folks at Automattic know (I know there is little chance of any of you reading this, but still…) that I am glad you have given me a chance to be a part of this revolution.

So, if you have an online presence, use it to protest SOPA/PIPA. It may not be affecting you directly but remember, human rights violations do not follow geographic or topographic sequestration. Yes, your blog will lose a few hits, it will not record a loss of revenues if you are so into the whole blogging for money thing, but do this for the greater good. I know I will be losing 400-500 unique page views (especially since the WBPGMAT is around the corner, a lot of people have been coming over here to grab the questions from last year’s exam), if not more, but I believe in the cause.

Stop SOPA/PIPA! Stand with us.

stop-sopa

Skeptic Oslerphile, Scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

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