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.
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will Target Australia sell the next GTA game upon its release?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MechaCrashNo, IP is trying to dehumanize you, I'm just pointing out that you're a hypocrit who makes bad faith arguments.08/01/2015 - 11:56am
Andrew EisenAnd I'm off too. Play nice, y'all!08/01/2015 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenIn short, discussions of ethics in journalism? Totally fine. Said indie dev's sex life? Not okay.08/01/2015 - 11:31am
james_fudgeTry talking when you have hundreds of people tweeting at you at the same time :)08/01/2015 - 11:30am
Andrew EisenAnd yet, when 30-seconds of research showed that there was no relevance to said indie dev's sex life, many people kept talking about. Hell, still do to this day. I had a guy on Twitter pester me about this nonsense for an entire day last weekend.08/01/2015 - 11:30am
james_fudgeWhatever dude, you're here posting. No one's stopping you.08/01/2015 - 11:30am
Goth_SkunkBe advised: In approximately 30 minutes I'm heading out of town for an obligatory family reunion. This is being stated so that none can interpret my upcoming 24 hour hiatus as a tail-tucking turn from discussion.08/01/2015 - 11:28am
Goth_SkunkEven now, IronPatriot, MechaCrash, and Craig R. continue to attempt to shout me down and dehumanize me.08/01/2015 - 11:25am
Goth_SkunkWhat transpired afterwards was a concerted effort to shout down and dehumanize those trying to bring these matters out into the open. I remain utterly convinced of this to this day.08/01/2015 - 11:24am
Goth_SkunkAnd yet the sex life of this indie developer tied right into the matter of journalistic ethics, as investigations uncovered a great number of breaches of ethical conduct, both related & not. That scandal is the orifice from which the balloon is inflated.08/01/2015 - 11:20am
MechaCrashI am reminded of the saying about playing chess with a pigeon.08/01/2015 - 11:13am
Andrew EisenThis is supported by, well, what actually happened, but also the text of the actual leaks. That was Tito's question and what he and a few (four total, I think) were discussing.08/01/2015 - 11:11am
Andrew EisenNo, it's not. What was generally prohibited was not discussion of journalistic ethics or other GamerGate topics, but threads that were, for example, discussing the sex life of an indie developer. THOSE are what were locked and removed.08/01/2015 - 11:10am
Goth_SkunkI don't believe you. Not for a second. Every major site with the exception of the Escapist prohibited discussion of GamerGate in its early stages. That is a fact.08/01/2015 - 11:04am
Andrew EisenNo, that's a fact. Don't believe me, read 'em yourself. No one was trying to censor discussion of GamerGate.08/01/2015 - 11:02am
Goth_Skunk@Andrew: That's your opinion.08/01/2015 - 10:57am
Goth_Skunkfuture? I'd compensate you for your time, of course.08/01/2015 - 10:57am
Goth_Skunk@IronPatriot: Congratulations on a sweeping statement to remove the agency of people supporting GamerGate for their own individual reasons. Since you're so good at painting in such broad strokes, are you free to paint my apartment sometime in the near08/01/2015 - 10:57am
Andrew EisenWhich, as you can tell by actually reading the snippets that were leaked, is a shamefully disingenuous telling of what was actually said.08/01/2015 - 10:56am
Goth_SkunkAdditionally, to quote William Usher, "[s]ome of the members on that list actively used their platform to support and propagate a wide-sweeping media narrative based on lies and factual inaccuracies."08/01/2015 - 10:54am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician