Last week, there was some news regarding Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) going through the U.S. House of Representatives. It was shelved, but that doesn’t mean that this is over. Several websites such as Wikipedia had a site blackout last Wednesday to raise awareness of the damage SOPA could do.
I attempted to use Wikipedia that day to learn more about Polar Plunges, but I wasn’t able to. I was writing a press release regarding the event called the Polar Bear Plunge. Then, it got me thinking about what censorship could do to public relations.
- Social Media sites would be censored. No one would be able to share information. Especially information regarding entertainment and consumer products in fear of violating copyrights (YouTube and Flickr).
- Businesses would have to pay to be visible in search engines such as Google.
- Non-US sites or services would be excluded from the internet.
- PR practitioners learn more about the industry through sharing podcasts, videos, and blogs. If these include information from copyrighted works, they will be blocked.
Now, you understand why we should care. If this ever passes, it would completely change our profession. Piracy is bad, but there are other ways to approach this issue without censoring the viral information we need daily.
Read more about how this affects public relations…