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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MattsworknameI think Ip needs to go watch some Team four star and laugh a bit, he seems to serious at times. I think he'd get a kick outta Hellsing ultimate abridged.05/30/2015 - 5:36pm
DocMelonheadPretty much05/30/2015 - 5:33pm
InfophileSo... he's sea-lioning? http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/sea-lioning05/30/2015 - 5:29pm
Goth_SkunkAnd those are examples just targeting me specifically. Nevermind targeting others like Mattsworkname or DocMelonhead or WonderKarp.05/30/2015 - 5:28pm
DocMelonheadWhich is why it's fitting to call him/her a troll; bait the GG sympathizer and attack them through guilt of supporting a hate movement05/30/2015 - 5:28pm
Goth_Skunk1. http://ow.ly/NEH62 | 2. http://ow.ly/NEHfW | 3. http://ow.ly/NEHPN | 4. http://ow.ly/NEHWM | 5. http://ow.ly/NEIcR05/30/2015 - 5:27pm
MattsworknameThe being said, Ip loves to demand you answer specific claims and when you do, he then immedately shifts to another tactic rather then address your repsonses05/30/2015 - 5:23pm
MattsworknameThe problem is that gamergate has no organization or leaders so no one can really claim direct libel unless they got directly named and attacked. The double edged sword of internet activism at work.05/30/2015 - 5:22pm
DocMelonhead@InfoPhile true, but it seems like Iron Patriot been shoving his/her opinion down the the throats of GG sympathizer.05/30/2015 - 5:19pm
InfophilePlus, it discusses a movement, not a person. Libel usually only applies to people in the US (though some countries, like the UK, will hear libel cases against organizations)05/30/2015 - 5:16pm
DocMelonheadBut don't have Iron Patriot get to you Goth_Skunk. He/she just wanted GamerGater to GTHO of GamePolitics and back into their basement.05/30/2015 - 5:16pm
InfophileTo be libel, it has to be a statement of fact, not a matter of opinion. That's easily construable as an opinion, as it reflects on the perceived goals of a movement05/30/2015 - 5:15pm
DocMelonheadI think that GamerGate is nothing but a Failed attempt to kick Women out of Gaming is libel enough.05/30/2015 - 5:13pm
Mattsworknamethat out in people.05/30/2015 - 5:13pm
MattsworknameWhile IM no fan of Ip, and think he acts exceddingly dicksh most of the time, I dont know if its gone far enough to be ,abusive, Uncivil yes, of that I have not doubt, but at the same time, there have been moments when Im also uncivil to ip. he brings05/30/2015 - 5:13pm
InfophileGoth_Skunk: Could you point to an example of libel? That is, a statement that's false, defamatory, and made in either the knowledge it's false or with reckless disregard for the truth (that's the definition in US law, at least)05/30/2015 - 5:12pm
Andrew EisenGP staff will take another look.05/30/2015 - 5:11pm
DocMelonheadBecause right now it seems that Iron Patriot doesn't want GG supporters to go on GamerPolitics and spreads lies about the Movement.05/30/2015 - 5:11pm
DocMelonheadPersonally, I suggest that we invite other GamerGaters to participate in the Comment section, and see were we go from here.05/30/2015 - 5:10pm
DocMelonheadHeck, they even allowed us to slander Anita Sarkeesian.05/30/2015 - 5:09pm
 

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