Social Media Plays a Role For and Against SOPA

There is very little Facebook and Google would agree on, but the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is being heralded as a law so overbearing that even the two tech giants have teamed up to stop it dead in its tracks.
On its surface, if SOPA passes it could be good for entertainment companies, who will have enormous power to shut down websites they deem threatening to their public images, whether that be the case or not. The language of the bill allows for foreign websites trafficking in American entertainment to be censored, but opponents say it’s so vague that the U.S. government would end up censoring sites left and right, and we would end up with all the online freedom of countries such as China or Iran.
A judge in Nevada is already generating fierce backlash over an order to “de-index” tons of websites for selling fake Chanel perfume. Before this story began making its way around the media, both sides of the issue were using social media — tweets and sites like Tumblr and Reddit — to share their opinions.
Tech companies see it as kind of like getting a pet tiger to cure a mouse problem. Increasingly, members of Congress are having issues with the act as well. And companies that don’t oppose it are being called out by their peers.

SOPA was the reason for last week’s Day of Censorship protest that had a life of its own on Twitter and many other social media sites.

Mozilla quickly joined the ranks of anti-SOPA activists and also warns the rest of the free world about PIPA, not her, but the Protect-IP Act (PIPA), another bill analysts accuse of trying to put a chokehold on American internet commerce.

So if you represent a movie or music company, sure, this bill is good for you in the short term. But even with that tremendous control over bad publicity, the law will likely cause so much Internet gridlock that brands large and small will see their businesses suffer.

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