Reddit Users Use SOPA as Excuse to Target Paul Ryan

December 29, 2011 -

Reddit users, buoyed by its part in the damage done to GoDaddy over its support for SOPA, have decided to make an example of Paul Ryan (R-WI) for his support of the anti-piracy / rogue web sites bills in the Senate and the House. A sub-Reddit called "OperationPullRyan" has been created and users are throwing their support behind Wisconsin Democrat Rob Zerban, who will try to take Paul out in 2012. 

Zerban has his work cut out for him because Ryan has a 54 percent approval rating among his constituents. He also has his work cut out for him because Ryan does not support SOPA or Protect IP – nor has he sponsored any bills. In fact, he has never taken any money from special interest groups that are pushing for the bills either. A representative for Ryan contacted BetaBeat to ask them for a correction on a story it ran yesterday about Reddit users targeting him for supporting SOPA.

I’m unclear on how you could derive Rep. Ryan supports SOPA from the letter you link to in the post,” spokesman Kevin Seifert wrote, referring to this letter Ryan’s office sent to a constituent who wrote to him about the Stop Online Piracy Act. Ryan never says in the letter that he supports SOPA, saying instead that he will watch the bill's progress and keep his constituent’s opinions in mind.

A later statement from Ryan and his spokesman, Seifert, states for the record his opinions on SOPA:

"Contrary to false reports, Congressman Paul Ryan is not a co-sponsor of H.R 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act. He remains committed to advancing policies which protect free speech and foster innovation online and will continue to follow the House Judiciary Committee’s deliberations on this issue carefully."

The community began courting Zerban by inviting him to what they call an "Ask Me Anything" thread. He did so, answering questions about everything from his positions on wars and the legalization of marijuana, to his opinions on SOPA and whether he has any cats. He's a dog person, for the record.

Here's what he had to say about SOPA:

"SOPA is a complex issue but here is how I approach it- the first thing to remember is that our free speech is our most fundamental right as Americans and this is critical to our society and economy. It is also critical to innovation and this process of free speech, which we are doing right now on Reddit, is what enables us to share and develop the ideas that impact the world.

We need to preserve the free nature of the internet. I believe that more and more people are going to pay for content they enjoy to be able to use on many devices and in different formats, and the benefit to a company of brand growth, new fans, and advertising, can be a great benefit. Companies need to start thinking outside of the box and leveraging the exposure to greater benefit.

There are many online companies that oppose SOPA including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, eBay, Mozilla, Yahoo, AOL, and LinkedIn. These companies wrote a letter to key members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, saying SOPA poses “a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job creation, as well as to our nation’s cybersecurity.” I think where it goes too far is that it allows unilateral measures to revoke IP addresses or domain names. In short, I recognize the need for content providers to be able to profit and benefit from their work but there needs to be a middle ground approach to this issue."

Reddit users face an uphill battle in unseating a popular and young member of the Senate who many believe will be a future candidate for the presidency. Still, polls indicate that Zerban has a chance, and the election is less than a year away so anything is possible. Reddit users certainly have the power to change public opinion by driving the news cycle with fund raising and good old fashioned muck-raking. But they may want to change the reasons why they oppose Ryan, because he clearly is not a sponsor or supporter of SOPA.

Source: BetaBeat


Comments

Re: Reddit Users Use SOPA as Excuse to Target Paul Ryan

This "middle ground" mentality is insidious. We already ARE at the middle ground. In fact, we more than likely have passed it. Companies as well as individuals have multiple ways of taking down copyrighted material. In fact, they can exploit the system to try and create an unfair advantage against a competitor. They do not need MORE unless they can demonstrate without the shadow of a doubt that what is already in place is not enough.

Re: Reddit Users Use SOPA as Excuse to Target Paul Ryan

So is he going to vote for SOPA/PIPA or not? Because if he isn't then the campaign seems to be pointless. Not that he seems willing to commit one way or the other at this point in time.
 
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WonderkarpI try to direct gamergate away from the same old antagonists. The least talk about Quinn or Wu or Sarkeesian, the more they can talk about the real issues. Its why I've rarely ever mentioned them on my twitter, unless there's like a giant news development11/24/2014 - 12:46pm
Andrew EisenHoly Metamucil, that Blogjob article is STILL propagating the same Grayson/Quinn horse poop!11/24/2014 - 12:30pm
Andrew EisenWell, to be clear, no one manually added your name.11/24/2014 - 12:26pm
Andrew EisenOh, and I know Harper's Twitter handle but that isn't the name on the list you linked to nor was she ever mentioned by name. Hence my subsequent confusion. The name on the list was something like randi_ebooks. But yeah, that's still Harper. Same list.11/24/2014 - 12:25pm
WonderkarpABC reporter admits they chose Harassment angle over coruption when reporting #GamerGate http://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2014/11/gamergate-abc-reporter-admits-they-chose-harassment-coverage-over-corruption/11/24/2014 - 12:25pm
Wonderkarpnah. I was miffed, but I got my apology. Now I think its hilarious that htey put me in that. I told my friend and cohost of my lets plays once I move, and she said she's gonna try to make the list XD. I told her "Just follow these people"11/24/2014 - 12:24pm
Andrew EisenHeh, looks like we confirmed it at the same time!11/24/2014 - 12:15pm
Andrew EisenYep, it was a pseudonym. By the by, there's an appeals process to be whitelisted if that's still a concern of yours.11/24/2014 - 12:15pm
WonderkarpI wasnt 100% certain so I confirmed it.11/24/2014 - 12:13pm
Wonderkarpyeah. Randi Harper is @FreeBSDGirl, Its her list.11/24/2014 - 12:09pm
Andrew EisenAre you sure? Because, again, I'm pretty sure it had a different name and author. Was it a pseudonym or something?11/24/2014 - 11:57am
Wonderkarpno, Randi Harper designed the list that IGDA used.11/24/2014 - 11:53am
Andrew EisenI was going to ask yesterday but isn't that a different list than the one IGDA has up a few days ago? Shout box doesn't go back that far but I'm pretty sure the list had a different name and author.11/24/2014 - 11:51am
WonderkarpBlocklist Author Randi Harper accused of Doxxing Someone on the List http://theralphretort.com/time-caught-blocklist-dunce-randi-harper-doxing-someone/11/24/2014 - 10:56am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=35311/24/2014 - 9:46am
WonderkarpDay 4 of my Amiibos. Still Unopened. Now pegged too a wall. I just love the packaging too much11/24/2014 - 8:12am
PHX Corp@Jessy I actually saw it on gamespot, seems that Nintendo accidently turned Samus into a Badass11/23/2014 - 9:28pm
Jessy HartAnybody else see the Samus Amiibo with 2 arm canons?11/23/2014 - 9:10pm
Andrew EisenNeo - If you're not bleeding then it's probably not you who needs to go to the doctor.11/23/2014 - 5:45pm
Wonderkarpgood. that kind of behavior is unnecessary.11/23/2014 - 5:44pm
 

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