Last saturday i woke up mad – a #BlackoutSOPA origin story

Last saturday i read that news networks were undercovering the SOPA/PIPA debate – in fact there was evidence that the networks owned by SOPA/PIPA supporters were less eager to cover the topic than their independent colleagues.

My friend @grex & I figured that if the media was going to try and blackout coverage, well, we’d try to #BlackoutSOPA and www.blackoutsopa.org was conceived.

The idea was simple – get people to change their Twitter avatar to a symbol of protest. Phase 1 concept was that a persistent and unified sign of anger among the technology crowd could spill over and draw media interest,┬ácuriosity from those not as aware.

We launched on Monday at 1pm. It’s now Saturday morning and we’re at 13,299 members with a combined Twitter following of nearly 24 million people. There have been several press stories. Our community is broad and diverse — MC Hammer, Kevin Rose, John Perry Barlow, Tim O’Reilly — plus hundreds of other people I consider friends, and thousands I’m meeting for the first time.

In this next phase we’re focused on continuing to grow the community and starting to encourage people to take action beyond the avatar change. We’ll get up some resources and specific ideas this weekend.

It’s been really exciting to see folks respond – there are so many good organizations doing anti SOPA/PIPA work right now, Grex and I are just happy to do our part too.

I’ve also learned a lot during the past five days. Definitely a post-mortem to be written in the near future.

thanks for coming along on this ride – the goal is near: stop SOPA/PIPA!

(you can follow me on twitter @hunterwalk to get more #BlackoutSOPA updates)

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