In case you’ve been avoiding the Internet, TV, radio or even the newspapers (remember those?), the debate over the proposed SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill is boiling over. American sites like Wikipedia, WordPress, Redditt and countless others participated in the largest online protest in history, purposely blacking out their own sites in protest yesterday. This now global issue is certain to become one of the grand precedent-setting moments of the Internet’s history. Tokii wanted to know what our Tokii members thought about this polarizing topic, and if the genders happened to see things differently. Tokii launched the Internet Regulation and Stop Online Piracy Act DiscoveryGames, some of Tokii`s most popular yet, and the feedback from our users is still pouring in.
Based on user data from the Internet Regulation DiscoveryGame, Tokii uncovered a number of seemingly contradictory opinions on the matter… A matter that’s as varied and complex as the responses to it. Tokii decided toexpand upon the results on this issue from our users, asking for perspectives from our expert and a professional in the field.
A large portion of Tokii users, male and female alike, agreed with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s quote on the necessity of a free Internet. “These results suggest that both genders passionately embrace the unconditional use of the Internet,” said Alison Sigmon, a licensed professional counselor and author. “The idea of putting restrictions and constraints is distasteful, and when imposed it can actually encourage workarounds that are dubious or even illicit. Most people simply don’t like to be told what they can and can’t do. The same holds true in relationships.”
When asked about the statistic that a large amount of men and women alike feel bad for the victims of online piracy, Sigmon explained “Women and men are more aligned on this result likely because both genders understand the value of commitment and hard work and the subsequent appreciation of that. When someone feel they haven’t been treated unfairly or are not appreciated, they tend to feel angry, hurt, and even betrayed. It’s this understanding that probably contributes to the empathy they feel the effort and expense corporations and individuals expend.”
Andrew Kingston, Managing partner of Kingston Law Partners LLP, works primarily in the internet and technology sectors, and has his own take on SOPA`s difficult task. Kingston said “Online piracy raises hard questions. How do we protect the legitimate rights of content owners without damaging the free flow of ideas and information at the heart of the Internet? Where do we draw the line between the sometimes competing rights of property and free expression?”
Kingston continues, adding: “Any serious attempt to balance two such fundamental rights must be precise, predictable and fair. The proposed SOPA legislation is a poor choice of tools for this task. Where the careful cut of the surgeon’s scalpel is required, SOPA is a sledgehammer.”
A not-insignificant amount of Tokii members see in these new bills an ominous portent of things to come… 43% of men and 25% of women think that America could become as controlled as China in terms of Internet censorship*.
When asked how the bill could impact legitimate online businesses, Tokii CEO and founder Karla Stephens-Tolstoy warned, “While the SOPA issue might arise out of some legitimate US concerns over content piracy, the proposed heavy-handed legislation overtly delivers a broad swipe at the complex issue and establishes the potential danger of over-reaction and ignores the seriously harmful impact on legitimate small businesses.”
Do you have opinions on SOPA, PIPA (PROTECT-IP Act), and other issues related to online piracy and free speech issues? Visit Tokii’s Internet Regulation DiscoveryGame and Stop Online Piracy Act in the Politics and Events Category to let your voice be heard.