Social media: Power to the people?

Things are looking brighter with regards to the issue that has rocked the Internet as of late, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

Several supporters of the bills pulled out recently such as PIPA co-sponsor Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and SOPA co-sponsor Arizona Rep. Ben Quayle.

Rubio also encouraged his co-sponsor Nevada Sen. Harry Reid to abandon the bill too in order to “take more time to address the concerns raised by all sides, and come up with new legislation that addresses Internet piracy while protecting free and open access to the Internet.”

Soon after Texas Sen. John Cornyn followed suit, while Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry has plans to withdraw his support as well. More senators such as Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a PIPA co-sponsor, Arkansas Sen. John Boozman and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch soon announced that they are discontinuing their support for the bill.

Was this all due to the blackout that several sites did in order to protest the bills? Hmms..

In other news, Mozilla has recently concluded the Mozilla Firefox challenge which was hosted on the Crowdrise fundraising platform. 12 celebrities competed to see who could raise the most money for a charitable cause of their choice. Users could either choose to donate directly or sign on as co-fundraisers through Crowdrise and help the celebrities to get the word out.

Sophia Bush, in support of F- Cancer, took 1st place, raising $117,405 while Seth Rogen and Hilarity for Charity came in a close second, with a total of $114,465. These numbers, however, are all the more impressive for how they were reached.

From Mashable:

Bush’s campaign attracted 63 independent fundraisers who, through their own steam, decided to help F- Cancer win the contest. More over, 83% of the Challenge’s total donations were less than $100, said a Mozilla spokesperson. That means that instead of several wealthy donors running the contest, the results were truly a result of everyday people giving what they could to help a cause.

The challenge raised a total of close to $600,000 through small donations and good will and thanks to it, F- Cancer has been fully funded through 2012.

This certainly raises the question if charities now could look to the crowd for financial support instead of still relying on big donors and their hefty donations?

Has the digital age brought power to the people?

That has been a debatable topic in recent times but the examples above have sure convinced me that the Internet have allowed us to engage the crowd and make a difference in a easier and more effective way than compared to the protests done in the streets 20-30 years ago.

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