But covering a story fully often means turning the lens back to the community. The community of readers here at ReadWriteWeb never cease to amaze us with their smart commentary and responses, so we've compiled a list of some of the most intriguing below. One caveat though, is to remember that this is internet commenting, and though there are typos and misspellings, it shouldn't detract from the overall thought. Inclusion in this list does not necessarily imply agreement.
From Wikipedia Goes Dark, News Orgs Say "I Got This"
b1313536 -- "Let them suffer!!!! The suffering done because wikipedia tried to inform people via the shutdown for only one day will be nothing like the suffering from censorship if the bill passes. Boycott Washington Post for trying to take advantage!"
Brendan Blaine -- "Thanks for the article Jon!
The idea of an unaware Wikipedia user when it comes to something like SOPA or PIPA is truly frightening. Mainstream media outlets (as general supporters of the online piracy bills before congress) have done an amazingly good job of not informing people about the implications that the passing of these bills will have on the ability of people who turn to the internet for entertainment, information, news, or use the internet as a platform from which they can provide food and shelter for themselves and their families to continue to do so. So much so that the majority of the people in the US (and the world) don't really know what it is all about and how heavily it will impact their lives.
The experiment is interesting though and I look forward to reading the blog post about their findings and experience."
John Collins -- "Really? People can't take a single day off from looking up how many Twilight Zone episodes Jack Klugman was in?
If your researching a paper your local public and/or school library exists for a reason, folks! Don't be so dependent on a single access point for your information."
Margaret E Hazel -- "Did you know you can access many public libraries online now, too? We have chat and text reference available, not to mention a slew of good databases to do research in."
Zack Ambold -- "I'm not sure if these three news organizations can do in one day, what Wikipedia has done since it's creation, but good luck! Ha ha"
Carlos José Teixeira -- "Yeap... Trying to redirect attention, but to late. What did they meanwhile wikipedia was working?"
Danielle Morrill -- "Yes yes yes, this is exactly it! I agree and we need to all become more vigilant. I also implore you, as a member of the news media who is paying attention - please help us stay informed. Government is big and complex and we laymen have work to accomplish day-to-day. Help us find information, point us to new sources, new ideas. Challenge us. Its not that we can't think, but simply that we are busy producing and I personally feel their are few news sources that give me the facts, respect my intelligence, and dig in deep."
Aaron Alexander -- "Agree.
What I find most shocking is that one minute I'm getting the "what-a-conspiracy-nut" look, then I'm stating facts that fighten people (NDAA says this, PIPA does that, etc), then the next: we're talking about the weather. (IRL conversations)
Why it is such a struggle to keep important conversation topics live is beyond me.
When people ask, upon hitting the site, "WHY IS WIKIPEDIA DOWN?" it blows my mind.
I don't have faith in this protest. SOPA is back. We cannot protest that people _learn_.
They're just abusing the tools they've been given. Microsoft is mass producing the television-computer. Facebook is the new video game for budding adults who would rather defer on their social responsibilities and post LOLcat pictures or pictures of themselves. Big oil companies here in Texas are just leeching from the open source movement's work (sites that use Wordpress as a CMS or MediaTemple as a Webhost, but won't protest confuses the absolute hell out of me).
Many people think: "It's _my_ website, so I get to say whatever I please" while the foundation of the whole system on which they're claiming their rights is under attack. And they don't even want to educate themselves.
I don't understand why Wikipedia has to demand that people become politically active and motivated. That seems so backwards. People go to Wikipedia to lift answers and shortcut the academic system. And now we have a problem that can only be solved by more people engaging in academic learning.
None of this makes a lick of sense. I'm not even sure how we could qualitatively say the protest was a success. Quantifiably, sure: Senators' sites go down. Some recant. But that's just hitting around balls on a billiard table. Who the heck really knows what's going on and who'll win the game?
It's Congress' job to review these bills. They can wait all year, and no one understands that. This is how the Patriot Act got passed."
Orga Price -- The fact that a law like SOPA/PIPA got so far is indicative of a populace that is indifferent, blinded, stupid, or some combination thereof.
I don't wish Wikipedia et al. were saying anything else, because SOPA/PIPA is a symptom. The disease is the ignorance of the American voting populace."
Mariva H. Aviram -- "This is FANTASTIC. I was just thinking about these issues today: what other dreadful legislation have we allowed through, just because protesting them wasn't as sexy or as popular as protesting SOPA/PIPA?"
fjpoblam -- "Informing the general public is crucial. Putting the issue into easily understood terms is essential. The media giants have given coverage short shrift: by and large, they are pro-SOPA (ABC, CBS, NBC). This presents a major obstacle. Word-of-mouth coverage has been the medium of choice."From Stop SOPA: What A Blacked Out Internet Looks Like
Christopher McHale -- Who's missing Wikipedia? Not me. If I want to to do research I'll walk across the street to the library.
Dillie-O Bonum -- "I want to also point out that wordpress made it easy for hosted account users to do a full blackout or a support label in as simple as two clicks. I did that on my blog today to help support it. It was nice to help empower the users that way."
Jennifer Cobb -- "Glad to see it and and for a good cause. Makes you wonder -- what if the tech giants decided to go dark for some other reason? Good or bad, depending on where you sit? Awesome? Awful?"
BradBell -- "SOPA so obscenely stupid that it's difficult to discuss.
Every stone in the foundation of the analog business model called, 'selling content' has been undermined by the transition from analog to digital media - yet we discuss "piracy."
We discuss the moral failure of consumers rather than the failure of businesses to adapt to a new telecommunications landscape.
SOPA is a bailout. We're bailing out an obsolete business model."
iWantMyName -- "The online response to SOPA pales when we consider how the Internet has led to greater political empowerment for many in 2011. The more important issue is that government censorship of the Internet at the behest of big corporations undermines online freedom in general. Just ask the young people who protested and broadcast their struggle online from Egypt, Libya, Iran and Russia.