An open letter to the leadership & employees of Twitter:
I, along with millions of others worldwide, enjoy using your service. In my case, I originally joined the “Twitterverse” in 2007. Over the nearly 5 years since, I’ve engaged thousands of others in discussions regarding current events, political affairs, health issues and my beloved New York Yankees. During the popular uprising in Iran, I was one of the tens of thousands people around the globe who helped spread the word. As the Arab Spring grew and rose, I was one of those men and women who retweeted the eyes-on accounts from those on the ground.
Your company has provided a unique platform for sharing ideas and organizing the global community. More than any other company, you became the epitome of what “social media” can and should be. Regardless of whatever platform changes you’ve made throughout the years, you never lost sight of what it was that makes your service unique and valuable to millions of people, of all ages and backgrounds, throughout the world.
Never, that is, until today. With your announcement that you will now engage in selective censoship, you have abandoned the very ideals of free speech and expression that make your service at times aggravating, others hilarious, but always thought provoking and important. But once you engage in censoring those short bursts of independent thought, your service is no more relevant than any other propoganda tool.
So, for that reason, I am taking the boycott planned for tomorrow one step further. Effective tomorrow, I will stop using your service until you renounce your current course of action. If you again pledge to support a free and open internet, free of censorship, then I will happily return to using Twitter. The links from this blog, my Facebook account and numerous other sites will all be deactivated. What’s more, I’m asking all of my followers to do likewise.
So, until then, au revoir, Twitter!
While there have been some positive developments today regarding the effort to derail internet censorship, not all is well. Yes, all of the bill’s co-sponsors ended their support earlier. And several high profile legislators have since reversed positions and are now opposed to the measure, including Marco Rubio.
But SOPA’s author, Lamar (Lamer?) Smith of Texas, is still promising to go forward with the bill. With typical DC hubris, he continues to insist his bill doesn’t allow censorship – and even if it does, we shouldn’t worry about it.
Don’t let up. Keep the pressure on. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, hit the link below and do so now. Then make sure you send it to your Congressmen and Senators and have them sign, too.
Sometimes, somebody posts something so good I just have to repost it. Here is a terrific example from Mashable. This op-ed goes deep into the weeds on SOPA, explaining why it’s bad for the internet. Bad for privacy. But great if you’re a devotee of censorship.