Reddit Founder Plans ‘Internet Bat Signal’ to Defend the Tubes
Team internet assemble! Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian is partnering with an internet rights advocacy group to create an ongoing strategy to harness web outrage.
Remember when, for a few says this winter, large swaths of the web talked frequently or solely about pending SOPA and PIPA legislation, laws that threatened internet freedoms we’ve taken for granted since we hung out in AOL chat rooms to talk about the latest episode of The Real World?
The coordination of big name sites like Wikipedia, Reddit and those on the Cheezburger network along with individual users talking about SOPA and PIPA on networks like Facebook and Twitter led to large and quickly disseminated knowledge about the dangerous legislation.
But Ohanian and the web rights group Fight for the Future realize that there’s a small threshold for outrage fatigue on the internet, and have come up with a solution to stop that- a handy problem to address considering that following the massive SOPA and PIPA backlash, passing rights-killing laws is far better accomplished in small bits rather than via sweeping, Orwellian legislation.
According to Forbes, Ohanian says of the “Internet Defense League”:
“People who wish to be tapped can see, oh look, the Bat-Signal is up. Time to do something,” says Ohanian. “Whatever website you own, this is a way for you to be notified if something comes up and take some basic actions…If we aggregate everyone that’s doing it, the numbers start exploding.”
Of the dangers that face web users now that lawmakers know SOPA and PIPA tripped outrage sensors, the site quotes Ohanian:
”You can only cry ‘Oh my gosh, they’re going to shut down the Internet so often,’” he says. “We’ve scared [Congress] from doing anything as egregious as SOPA and PIPA again. But the new challenge is this endless series of smaller bills that try to unravel internet rights.”
So far, Cheezburger, Reddit, Imgur and the EFF are among the names that have pledged support to the “bat signal of the internet,” or the Internet Defense League.