In The Guardian, Domninic Rushe quotes Twitter CEO Dick Costolo's dim view of a "blackout" SOPA protest
from Wikipedia, Reddit, and others* at Twitter.
That's just silly. Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish.
Which nation's laws and court rulings does your global business have to obey, Dick?
Update: Commenters say that Dick Costolo was taken out of context by The Guardian; that he referred only to the idea of Twitter going dark as silly.
This is a fair point, and it encapsulates something important: it's not reasonable to expect everyone to go dark for a day, and it's not fair to think less of them if they choose not to.
Sites might not have the technical wherewithal to go offline safely and inexpensively. They might be contractually obligated to be up on that particular day for one reason or another -- think advertising campaigns. Even if it's just a day's revenue, not everyone can afford to go without. Finally, they may just not want to, even if they oppose SOPA/PIPA: there are plenty of ways to skin this beast.
Unlike a site such as Wikipedia, Twitter is also a communications platform. Going down for a day could cause all sorts of unexpected problems for people around the world. So there are good reasons for Twitter to not go dark, even for just a few hours, if it doesn't have to.
The problem with Costolo's remark is that he expands the formulation to global businesses in general and the relevance of national politics to the decisions they make. Even if the global business is assumed to be Twitter alone, the problem doesn't go away: lurking behind his dismissal is the fact that the national politics of one country controls his company's fortunes, whether Twitter's global userbase likes it or not.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]