Friday, January 20, 2012

Beginning of new era of online activism?

I am sure everyone has heard the news that SOPA has been shelved indefinitely by Congress.  This is a huge victory for all internet users who voiced their concerns through different channels.  Although the related bill PROTECT IP was passed by Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and SOPA looked strong with backings from heavy-weight lobbyists, internet users were able to rally and change the course.

Anti-SOPA movement proved that Americans
can still make a difference;
there were 2.4M tweets anti-SOPA tweets Wednesday
Looking at this week's development, I now wonder whether a new era of online activism has begun.  Since Arab Spring last year, there has been increased awareness of how powerful mass protest can change a country and people now having means to coalesce around a common goal.  I think this anti-SOPA protest could be the pivotal moment when Americans realized that they are the one with power.

There are much to be improved in American life, but one of the things that I see the most need to change is its political climate.  It has become just too divisive.  People are not tolerant of other point of views and unwilling to even listen to what the other people are saying.  Media is just fanning this divisive rhetoric, and it's not representing most of Americans with moderate view.

Our politicians are focused on short-term results without thinking about long-term visions.  With small minority controlling the majority of economic wealth, American politics are heavily biased towards in favor of the rich at the price of those who are poor.  Those who have economic means are able to buy media to dictate what people hear and what people talk about.

Well, this week's anti-SOPA protest helped us realize that we now have the power to set our own agenda through social media.  All of us can now curate our own content, publish our own voice, and organize ourselves around issues that we care about.

So let's toast to this great win for all our netizens who helped us realize our own power.

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