January 21, 2012

The Week the Web Changed Washington

YESTERDAY, SENATOR Harry Reid (D-NV), the Senate Majority Leader, said in a statement that he would postpone next week's vote on the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) followed with a statement that he would also halt consideration of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Collectively, millions of people rose up and told Washington that these bills shall not pass.

This outcome was driven by an unprecedented day of online protests on Wednesday of this week, and the resulting coverage on cable and broadcast news networks had an effect.

Consider the following statistics:

  • 162 million Wikipedia page views, with some 8 million visitors using an online form to look up the address of their Congressional representatives
  • 7 million signatures on Google's petition
  • 200,000+ signatures on the Progressive Change Campaign Committee petition
  • 30,000+ Craigslist users called Congress through the PCCC's website
  • 250,000+ people took action through the EFF's resources
  • 2.4 million+ SOPA-related tweets were sent between 12 a.m. and 4 p.m. on January 18
  • 140,000 phone calls made through Tumblr's platform
  • Nearly 1,000 protesters outside New York's U.S. Senators' office in New York City

The key metric to consider for impact of this action, however, was not measured in digital terms bu by civic outcomes: 40 new opponents in Congress.

>Read more here

>Also consider reading the New York Times' article, "After an Online Firestorm, Congress Shelves Antipiracy Bills

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