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As proud supporters of Creative Commons, we were encouraged to see so many websites effectively shut down or "go dark" on January 18, 2012 in protest of the tyrannical SOPA/PIPA bills that the US government and Hollywood's chief lobbyist want to pass.

But we found it interesting that the primary revenue source for most all of these blacked-out websites is advertising or donations based upon the content of others. And that got us thinking...

The Oatmeal.com SOPA-PIPA blackout gifWhy is THIS the first time that internet powerhouses like Google, Wikipedia, Mozilla, Flickr, 4Chan, and Reddit have protested bad policy decisions by the government? Where were these powerhouses when NDAA was being passed, or while Guantanamo remained open with people being tortured, or when the CIA was kidnapping and "renditioning" innocent victims around the world, or when the highest government officials were openly sanctioning torture, or when the US military was bombing the hell out of innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, or when non-violent protesters were being arrested and tased, or when children were being sexually assaulted by the TSA, or when our tax dollars were being used to bailout banks while so many remained unemployed, or when people were losing their homes from destructive government policies, or when divorce judges were removing good parents out of their children's lives, or when the media was being censored and controlled to cover-up government wrongs, or when the government was setting up so-called Free Speech Zones, or when the government was lying about WMDs in order to take us to war, or when people were being arrested for filming police, or when agent provocateurs were inciting violence, or when people were being arrested for blowing the whistle on government corruption, or when very sick patients were being prevented from getting the medicines they needed, or when the US Supreme Court was sanctioning taking private property from homeowners to give to corporations...

With laws that "mirror the worst excesses of some dictatorships," surely all of those tyrannical acts by government are more worthy of protest than losing a few advertising dollars, right?

But then it hit us. In his famous statement "First they came," Pastor Martin Niemöller once blasted the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power as they purged group after group:

THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.


and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Who do you think the government is coming for next? Isn't it time for you to protest? What do you think about internet companies going dark to protest against the government? Should companies be using their power against more destructive governmental policies? Since Hollywood hates freedom, should we be protesting Hollywood?

First they came


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Jan 19, 2012 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=678

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