Reddit Turns Its Attention To Politics: Seeking Supporters Of SOPA & NDAA To Unseat

from the the-internet-awakens? dept

Following its ability to build up enough grassroots support to get GoDaddy to change its position (if not its mind) on SOPA & PIPA, it appears the Reddit community wants to see if it can do the same thing with some politicians. Earlier this week, we had asked who would be the first politician to be “GoDaddy’d” and it appears that the Reddit community has already jumped onto that challenge. It’s been rather fascinating to watch over the past few days as the amorphous crowd self-organized and set up its own rules over who to focus on and why. They’ve decided to focus on politicians who supported both NDAA (the controversial bill that crystallizes the government’s ability to detain Americans without trial) and SOPA/PIPA. They also want to pick one politician from each major party, to keep this from being a partisan thing. Separately, they’ve been seeking out politicians who may actually be vulnerable… and trying to vet their opponents to make sure who gets elected in their place isn’t even worse.

So far, the community has focused in on Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee as its main Republican target (there have been a few others listed as well), but doesn’t seem to have settled on a Democratic target yet.

I still think that a lot of this will depend heavily on who is challenging these politicians, and if they’re willing to make a campaign issue out of these free speech/civil liberties issues. It’ll definitely be tough to unseat incumbents, but even if the internet community can make it into an actual fight, politicians will start to take notice. And, even if it fails this time around, watch out for what comes next. Like many “open” systems, the first version may not be pretty, the second version may be a little buggy, but once you get around to the third version and beyond, they often start being a lot more powerful than anyone expects. Politicians who underestimate the community of folks at Reddit and similar sites may be in for a surprise before too long…

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Comments on “Reddit Turns Its Attention To Politics: Seeking Supporters Of SOPA & NDAA To Unseat”

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Like Starcraft 2

… its about time.

As much as I hate dealing with politics, it seems to me that we productive members of society have lets this festering region of our social structure rot for too long. I hope taking action as we did with godaddy and soon will with a few congressmen will maintain building steam. To adapt a previously mentioned sentiment on this site, the private capitol that starts a market has about run its course. Its time for the open source community to take the reigns.


“Like many “open” systems, the first version may not be pretty, the second version may be a little buggy, but once you get around to the third version and beyond, they often start being a lot more powerful than anyone expects.”

I would have expected this to come out of Facebook and later Google+. With the apps being developed to follow politicians voting records, funding, positions on topics, etc.

Christine Sandquistsays:


I actually disagree – sites like Facebook and G+ aren’t as focused on “issues” per se as a site like reddit is. Reddit is somewhat interesting in the way its bits and pieces are set up and devoted to each their own little niche, so it’s much easier for like-minded people to migrate into the right places. Facebook, however, is based on real-life social interactions for the most part. Proximity, rather than belief, is what influences who gets together there. For apps like the ones you describe to be used, there first must be a bunch of people WANTING to use them. Reddit gets people excited, and makes them want to use them. Facebook is concerned with the local social scene because that’s where its user base is drawn from. Reddit is from everywhere.


Good.These corrupted politicians who would sell us all out and open the door of censorship do not belong in a public office.
Stealing may be a wrong thing but it is an even greater wrong to allow the door of censorship to open in our free Nation.
Mom always said to me that two wrongs do not make a right.

I also add that we all do our best to boycott the MPAA & RIAA.
And keep on spreading the word on who in Washington is doing what to all of us.


“but even if the internet community can make it into an actual fight, politicians will start to take notice. And, even if it fails this time around, watch out for what comes next.”

I disagree. At the start of Bill Clinton’s term democrats in congress pushed through the Brady gun bill. The NRA made a list of targets in the 1994, all people who voted for the Brady bill, and got 100% of them taken out of office.

Look at gun legislation today, did congress pass any gun legislation as a result of the Virginia Tech shootings? Or from congresswoman Giffords being shot? Nope. Sure they talked like they should do something, but no one agreed to anything.

The reason why is because success spooks politicians.

If anything gun issues have been going the opposite direction despite those high profile events. Gun advocates have been very successful under Obama attaching gun rights riders to must bills by threatened to count it as a vote against gun rights if the politicians didn’t attach the rider to the bill.

The lessons to take from this is to pick your targets carefully, make sure you go after people who are beatable. That will spook the rest of the politicians into doing what you want.

A Monkey with Atitudesays:

As some one who has run for election, I look forward to seeing how this plays out (and if it can help at the ballot box).
It would be a nice change to have a group like this backing a campaign. Better than the sweaty bankers, and “special” interest people that show up and waive money in the air (and if you don’t jump they get offended, tell their people your the anti-christ) because you wont sell out your soul for their “donation”.

Ken McHenrysays:

vote in 2012

I have been asking everyone I know if they are happy with our elected officials, aka “The GOOD OLD BOY’S CLUB” in congress…If you are then keep them…otherwise it’s time to overthrow them….VOTE OUT ALL incumbents in both houses!
It’s time to take this country back before Washington completely destroys it!
It will take only three voting sessions to rid both houses of the vermin that’s there…
Or…we could always DEMAND recall votes on the congressmen and senators that are only there to protect the bankers and wall street big guns….
If you are eighteen or over, vote, and get this country back…write, call, or email your states representatives and demand term limits in both houses! Demand they pay for their medical, dental, prescription drugs like you are going to be forced to by law…demand they do not receive lifetime retirement pay for the little they do unless they pay into social security…
Congress is pushing to end social security..only because WALL STREET thieves will make a killling off of the new investments ashingtons plan will bring them, and we all remember what the bankers, lenders and investment companies did to the economy a couple of years ago…..

Anonymous Anonymous Cowardsays:

Promises and Reality

What good will it do to vet the ‘replacement’ candidates? These folks ALL speak with forked tongues. Keep a campaign promise? Yeah right. When was the last time that happened?

I wonder if there is a way to write a contract with a candidate that would be legally binding? Keep your promises or be subjected to public humiliation while standing naked in each of their constituent communities with a population of over 2000 people (not voters), and then retire from office in disgrace to complete the contract.

When the pillory was in use, the crowd was allowed to throw things. Anything. Lets bring back the pillory, but only for politicians who lie in their campaigns.


Re: Promises and Reality

“What good will it do to vet the ‘replacement’ candidates? These folks ALL speak with forked tongues. Keep a campaign promise? Yeah right. When was the last time that happened?”

I would hate to be the politician to cross reddit once they put their support behind you. You apparently don’t hang there much. It’s like 4chan, without all the twisted dementia.

Anonymous Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Promises and Reality

You are right, I don’t hang there much, or at all.

But you miss the point. Let’s say that the Reddit community vets a new congresscritter who says they will do XYZ. Then that congresscritter actually wins an office, and starts to look for money for the next election (only two years away for the House), and lo and behold here comes Hollywood with BIG BUCKS and says ‘you can have this if you do ABC instead. Do you really think that congresscritter will tell them where to get off?

Anonymous Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Promises and Reality


I think we should remove money from politics, along with the presumption that corporations are individuals with First Amendment rights. I also think that copyright and patenting and publicity rights should be eliminated, and that the loser in a suit should make the other party whole, and that means whole, not just attorney fees. I also think we should put government officials who infringe on our rights (not granted, but recognized by the constitution) in jail for a very long time. There is probably more, but just off the top of the thought train…

Anonymous Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Promises and Reality

If I talked anyone down in this instance, I do apologize. However, I don’t think I did. I do think that their solution is bound to fail, and that is the point I was trying to make. The current system with SuperPacs and such is weighted much to much in favor of those with the money, and that that will continue until THAT issue is resolved.

Anonymous Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Promises and Reality

…thought train continued:

The real issue is how. I don’t believe that turning over congress with new critters will solve the issues. We need some new amendments to the constitution that give them better direction. Big problem here; they are the ones who will process any new amendments. Do you really think they will vote to change the current system? I don’t. It is much too profitable for them.

So what are our other alternatives?


I don’t think just replacing a few key congresscritters is enough. As long as both parties have a lock on Congress they have no real incentive to make any real changes. What is needed is not just to replace them, but to replace them with real independents. You start breaking the democrat-republican lock on Congress, even if it’s just say 2-3 people from each party (and concentrating on half a dozen campaigns is likely to be easier than targeting large groups) and see how they start moving then.


instant runoff elections or percentage politics

Our current election method guarantees only two parties. People won’t vote for a third-party candidate, because it might cause their next choice to lose to the candidate that they don’t want at all. Instant runoff elections would fix that, but it appears to be a hard sell due to apparent complexity. We need to popularize the instant runoff election method. It is already being used successfully for some offices, so the cause is not hopeless.

An alternative would be to use the European system of electing seats to Congress based on the percentages of votes cast.

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