Of course everybody has heard about Wikipedia’s controversial blackout in protest of SOPA. And while some may be quick to credit the online encyclopedia as our shining beacon of online freedom, let’s not too soon forget another little blackout that made a not-so-little impact…
That’s right, we’re talking about the blog of Joe Schmoe. And although the blog only had four regular readers, which included his Mom, his friend, and himself on another computer, when he decided to take his blog offline to protest the possibility of someone else taking it offline, the entire Internet was shaken.
We talked to Joe on Skype. “At first it seemed nobody noticed,” he said. “I spent several hours watching my Google Analytics in realtime, but nothing was happening. That’s when a realized I had to spread word of my decision.”
And spread the word he did. Joe tweeted his personal blackout, and posted broken links to Facebook and a Wikipedia article he wrote on himself which will probably be deleted soon due to lack of verifiable citations.
The news spread like wildfire. A congressman from Florida said: “I had never heard of Joe Schmoe. But when friends of mine began tweeting his broken link, I suddenly really cared about what he had to say. And of course I couldn’t find out what he had to say because he had taken his blog offline. I felt so ashamed. I’m now starting to really question everything I believe in. Clearly we can’t have this. These blogs are important for the nation, I think, maybe.”
“This is a real victory for us bloggers,” said another blogger who took his blog offline to protest SOPA. “It just goes to show that while the pen may be mightier than the sword, taking all the ink out of your pen is the mightiest of all.”
And Joe Schmoe isn’t through yet. He’s now planning to burn books to protest of book censorship.
“Censorship can’t exist if there’s nothing to censor,” Joe said. “We can show the men in Washington that if they keep trying to do things like SOPA, we’re all just going to not blog or look things up on Wikipedia or really do anything… oh, wait a second, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.”
In loving memory of Joe Schmoe (1983-2012)