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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SleakerNow if you disagree with anything in my last 2 posts then we obviously have a difference in world view, and wont come to any sort of agreement. I'm fine with that, maybe some people aren't?09/20/2014 - 5:09pm
SleakerIt also doesn't mean that just because a news outlet says that Gamers are the problem and you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem. It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so.09/20/2014 - 4:59pm
SleakerJust to re-iterate: People getting harassed is wrong. Just because someone is harassed by so called 'gamers' doesn't mean that all gamers are bad. nor does it mean that you need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers.09/20/2014 - 4:56pm
SleakerAnd furthermore just because someone doesn't 'crusade against the evil' that doesn't make them the problem. You can have discussion with those around you. There's a thing called sphere of influence.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
Sleaker@Conster - one person getting harassed is a 'problem' only so far as the harassee's are doing it. Just because a select few people choose to act like this doesn't make it widespread. Nor does it immediately make everyone responsible to put an end to it.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
james_fudgeno worries09/20/2014 - 4:15pm
TechnogeekI misread james' comment as "we can't have a debate without threatening" there at first. Actually wound up posting a shout about death threats and "kill yourself" not technically being the same thing before I realized.09/20/2014 - 3:59pm
james_fudgeDon't hit me *cowers behind Andrew*09/20/2014 - 3:20pm
ConsterYou take that back right now, james, or else. *shakes fist menacingly*09/20/2014 - 3:00pm
james_fudgeOur community is awesome. We can have a debate without threatening to kill each other.09/20/2014 - 2:50pm
Andrew EisenNo one's crossed a line but I just want to remind you all to keep discussions civil.09/20/2014 - 1:54pm
Craig R.tldr: I'm a gamer, and imo those who support GamerGate should feel free to take a flying leap off a cliff.09/20/2014 - 1:27pm
Craig R.Not only that, I'm pretty sure that if actual studies were done, you'd still deny them, Sleaker. After all, it's not what you'd want to hear to support your rose-colored view of GamerGate.09/20/2014 - 1:18pm
Craig R.There IS an issue. Nor do we need a study to show that if you deny it then you're part of the problem.09/20/2014 - 1:17pm
Sleakersimply oust people that do harass others.09/20/2014 - 11:34am
Sleaker@Conster - I can say the same thing if you think there's been more than a handful. Until there's an actual study on rates no one can claim to know how widespread the incidence of harassment is. Thus the best we can do is 'there might be an issue' and...09/20/2014 - 11:33am
ConsterSleaker: if you think there's only been "a handful of" incidents, you have your head stuck *somewhere* - I'm assuming it's sand.09/20/2014 - 5:38am
prh99Most of it's agitprop clickbait anyway.09/20/2014 - 5:27am
prh99A good reason to stop reading reguardless of view pointhttp://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli.09/20/2014 - 5:22am
Andrew EisenWell this is unique! A musical critique of the Factual Feminist's "Are Video Games Sexist?" video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4s7cV4Us409/20/2014 - 2:41am
 

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