How the Internet blackout affected congressional support for PIPA/SOPA


Amy Seidenwurm says: "Pro Publica posted a simple/powerful image of the members of Congress' position on SOPA/PIPA today vs. yesterday."

SOPA Opera Update: Opposition Surges


  1. Wonderful graphic. Apparently for boingboing the effect was that comment numbers just got decimated drastically?

    1. Apparently for boingboing the effect was that comment numbers just got decimated drastically?

      For the Boing Boing moderators, the effect was a lovely nap. It’s like I’ve had a noisy parrot in the corner of the room for five years and somebody offered to take it for a day.

  2. That’s indeed impressive.   Now… will ‘anonymous’ hand the pro-SOPA minions a marvelous marketing tool (with their current ‘take down’ of various U.S. agencies? cf. or… will some bright bulb with a loud voice point out that ‘anonymous’ is now doing exactly what an active SOPA would look like (shutting down websites “they don’t like”)

  3. The one thing that changes their position faster than money is the risk of not being re-elected (so they can keep making money)

  4. Anyone else wondering where the extra 55 folks comr from? I’m not from the US so maybe you have some way to create new representatives by blacking out websites i don’t know.

    1. The extra folks were, at least publicly, neither ‘for’ nor ‘against’ the legislation, until they revealed their positions after the blackout.

    2. There are 435 members of the House of Representatives.  On January 18, 435-(80+31) left 324 just a’sitt’n on the fence ready to be either side’s (paid-for) friend.  After a ruckus was raised (and gawdbless it) just 269 thought the fence was de-fense-able by January 19.

      1. The graphic would be more informative if it also included blocks for the on-the-fence folks – that’s a large group who haven’t stated their intentions.

        Also, am I the only one who finds it disturbing that, despite millions of emails and phone calls, 65 member are happy to publicly support SOPA/PIPA? Are these politicians really so unafraid of the public vote?

        1. Sadly: oh, god yes, they are. If there wasn’t an election looming they wouldn’t have cared this much. It’s a result of your 2-party system: “so who else are they gonna vote for?”

    3. Anyone else wondering where the extra 55 folks comr from?

      We’ve got to stop this illegal copying of senators and representatives!

  5. @twitter-51151092:disqus – ProPublica is tracking 100+ congresspeople in the senate and 400+ in the house.  Not everyone has made a public stance .  Only the supporters / opposers are shown, not the undecided or people not-on-record yet.

  6. Anyone who wasn’t an opponent on January 18th needs to be shown to the unemployment line next time they’re up for election.  If they didn’t bother to read it or were too old and/or stupid to understand it or were bought off, I don’t care.  That the only time they’ll do the right thing is when their butts are on the line means they’re not qualified to hold office, period.

    1. And this includes any of the cowards who hadn’t made up their mind yet (most likely waiting to see which way the wind blew or if they could get a few more $$ for their vote).

    2. Perhaps you don’t realize that these people are elected by the people to represent the people’s interests.  Well that interest has been shown, big time.  And THAT’s exactly why this heinous legislation had to be prevented.

  7. While I can appreciate and understand the sentiment behind the graphic, I don’t really like the presentation. Yes, one of the points it’s making is that a number of Congressmen simply hadn’t made their opinion known before the 19th, but I wouldn’t use this as a comparison because I can’t make out any names or faces to know which people haven’t changed, which people switched sides, and which people voiced an opinion for the first time.

    I’d be more interested in seeing a graphic that shows the number of supporters who became opponents, vice versa, and how the undecideds decided (I’d be especially interested in seeing whether any opponents became supporters).

    Also, can someone explain to me what “leaning no” means? Isn’t that still being undecided?

    1. Yes.  See ialreadyexist’s comments above.

      I find it hard to believe that so many people still have trouble understanding what the Occupy protesters are protesting.  We need to change this system away from its’ bastardized golden rule; buying laws is, in and of itself, corruption.

      I’m sure most of you commenting here saw this petition:
      If you’re an American citizen, please let them know what we think of their decisions, or lack thereof.

  8. btw, I tossed together a mashup of a few data sources while sick on the couch.  it creates a very shareable page for every official that ProPublica tracks — with default sharing text optimized for reads on facebook and twitter .

    here’s the page for my senator , charles schumer, who is still supporting PIPA… and has not-surprisingly accepted  10x more campaign contributions from the entertainment industry than the average member of the Senate.–ny-senator

  9. Three cheers!

    We all know that the comments will soon fill up with defeatist hipster snark… so it goes. To the rest of you, just know that we all spoke, and our voice was heard.

    Political struggles never, ever end. That doesn’t mean every victory need be scorned. Accept yes for an answer, be proud, and be encouraged that the next fight, too, has some hope.

  10. My eyesight isn’t what it used to be, but I think the text on their graphic might be a bit small. Especially since they did not provide a text-based pledge list. I guess they want us to be satisfied with the birds-eye view.

    Both Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) are co-sponsors of the bill and I believe they are both still in support. This isn’t surprising, but if you live in California then get on the phone to their offices.

    Senator Al Franken is also a co-sponsor and is also still in support. Funny how everyone thought he was going to be the new progressive, fight for the people powerhouse, and he’s done nothing but sell America down the river in vote after vote. Also funny that so many SNL castmembers turn out to be not very likeable people when they retire from comedy.

  11. In related news, a legislation similar to SOPA has been sponsored as of December 15th by Senator Federico Döring, from the PAN (National Action Party).  The bill’s official name is ACTA (Commercial Anti-Piracy Act), it’s unofficially called The Döring Law and contains many of the same insidious provisions as SOPA/PIPA.

    Isn’t it curious how these things pop up in different countries, at the same time?
    As it relates to Mexico, maybe Xeni can post a piece (or three) on the issue?

  12. The important part is to keep an eye on it, and watch for the guys who flop back over to supporting it as public awareness starts to fade.

    1. Indeed. The next step is not getting complacent, because they will count on people patting themselves on the back and moving on to sneak whatever they want through anyway.

  13. Yes. Wait a month. They will reintroduce the same bill with a different name attached to it, they will all change their vote, and it will all get done quietly. The MPAA and RIAA give them too much money to say no. They will just say no when it is front and center in the news and when people are aware of what is going on. As soon as all of this dies down try doing the same metric and see what it looks like then. I have ZERO confidence.

    1. Not going to happen. We’re not stupid. There is a need to stop piracy of intellectual property, but it has to be part of a better drafted bill.

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