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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E. Zachary KnightConster, I think that might be a little uncalled for.05/04/2015 - 10:20am
MattsworknameConster, I vet what your saying, but lets not bring up Baltimore, that place had a very bad week.05/03/2015 - 5:48pm
MattsworknameFair enough Infophile, regardless of my own issues with the gaming industry and press, im just sorta tired of the whole GG thing as it is. it just seems pointless now you know?05/03/2015 - 5:46pm
ConsterThe trolls hiding behind GG may be too busy pretending to be looters in Baltimore right now.05/03/2015 - 3:32pm
InfophileWhich is to say, GG isn't people writing articles about GG; it's the swarm of people lashing out. That's still going on, even if not as many articles are being written about it05/03/2015 - 7:32am
InfophileIt's not about the articles, but about the people receiving threats. Found an article from just last week which says Zoe Quinn is still receiving daily threats: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2015/04/28/gamergate/05/03/2015 - 7:31am
Mattsworknameup hating the game industry on a more general level .05/03/2015 - 7:25am
MattsworknameIts funny, you know what i just realized, I love video games, and I hate the industry that has been forged around them. I hate the big name publishers, the press, all that jazz. But I still love gaming. that kinda sucks that I love games and still wind05/03/2015 - 7:25am
MattsworknameIt's like teh whole thing just went quiet.05/03/2015 - 6:28am
MattsworknameInfophile, I haven't really seen much activity either way, other then a few minor articles here or there, its like GG just sorta went dormant. I dont deny that I have some concerns with gaming press and industry, but I followed GG the last few months05/03/2015 - 6:28am
Infophile@Mattsworkname: It's more of a case that many media outlets have lost interest in their usual actions. "GamerGate still viciously harassing Zoe Quinn" isn't exactly news. Even if they are. *puts on sea lion hunting gear* Come at me, GG! I dare ya!05/03/2015 - 4:40am
MattsworknameAs much a I have some of the same concerns GG supposibly crusades against, i was really under the impression GG had sorta gone into dormantcy , it had been kinda quiet the last feww months05/02/2015 - 7:42pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bxcc3SM_KA if you guys haven't seen it, john oliver goes after patent trolls.05/02/2015 - 6:50pm
Matthew Wilsonwhile I dont like the guests, who ever did this is stupid. I can understand not liking GG, but come on.05/02/2015 - 6:17pm
Wonderkarpwell how about that shi.....poop05/02/2015 - 6:07pm
Andrew EisenKotaku caught it. Ran the story an hour ago. http://kotaku.com/gamergate-meetup-evacuated-after-apparent-threat-170176164505/02/2015 - 5:36pm
Wonderkarpevent was treading pretty hardcore on twitter last night. course thats just twitter. I'll agree with you if it does get reported05/02/2015 - 5:25pm
Andrew EisenAwkward wording on my part but "event" was referring to the bomb threat. It's silly to chastise mainstream press for not covering something that happened a mere 12 hours earlier, well after close of business on Friday, at a gathering very few knew about.05/02/2015 - 5:14pm
Wonderkarpthey arent "uppity" over the event not being covered. they are uppity over the harassment/bombthreats not being reported.05/02/2015 - 5:09pm
Andrew EisenWe've known that for quite a while now but I agree, completely cutting the feature is not a good move.05/02/2015 - 3:49pm
 

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