SOPA and PIPA protests reached fever pitch yesterday, as hundreds of thousands of Web users raged against two proposed bills that have been criticized as heavy-handed and intrusive. Among the protesters? Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook.
In a post to his Facebook wall, Zuckerberg called SOPA and PIPA "poorly thought out" and encouraged readers to get in touch with their local representatives.
"The internet is the most powerful tool we have for creating a more open and connected world. We can't let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the internet's development," Zuckerberg wrote. "Facebook opposes SOPA and PIPA, and we will continue to oppose any laws that will hurt the internet. The world today needs political leaders who are pro-internet."
As of this writing, the post had been "liked" by almost half a million Facebook users, and garnered close to 100,000 shares.
Of course, as Chris Taylor points out over at Mashable, if Zuckerberg really wanted to protest SOPA, he would do more than post a rant to his Facebook wall. Facebook chose not to follow in Wikipedia's footsteps, which imposed a blackout yesterday. Or, Facebook could have copped a move from Google, and display some sort of protest art on the Facebook homepage.
"So why hasn’t it? Doubtless the main argument against such a move is financial," Taylor admits. "Facebook made about $4.25 billion last year; by that reckoning, a single day of outage would cost the site nearly $12 million in revenue. Advertisers would be furious; space they bought in good faith would either be blacked out or appear next to blacked-out text."
Money is an issue, sure. But more pressing is what the world would do if they couldn't idly flick through pictures from the birthday party of their third cousin, twice removed...