Anyone who logged onto Tumblr yesterday may have noticed that every single photo, tag and word was grayed out.
If you panicked a little — that was the intent. Clicking on an image would usually enlarge it.
“Protect the internet” from what?
Congress could pass a bill allowing corporations to censor the internet and Tumblr is showing us just how scary that could be. Using a similar tactic as americancensorship.org, the micro-blogging company joins Google, Facebook, Zynga, ebay, LinkedIn, Twitter, Mozilla and more in the fight against the bill.
“As written, they would betray more than a decade of US policy and advocacy of Internet freedom by establishing a censorship system using the same domain blacklisting technologies pioneered by China and Iran.”
How did it work?
Once users filled out the form, an automated Tumblr rep called their phone and connected them to their congressman’s office. Dashboards promptly returned to normal… uncensored, for now.
Tumblr‘s concerted effort to help protect the net in 87,834 generated phone calls to U.S. Representatives. As for the bill’s progress, it’s still in the House Judiciary Committee.
Following yesterday’s hearing, members will now debate and bring amendments to the bill. Representative Darrell Issa provides some encouraging words:
“I don’t believe this bill has any chance on the House floor. I think it’s way too extreme, it infringes on too many areas that our leadership will know is simply too dangerous to do in its current form.”