Mark Zuckerberg: We Need Political Leaders Who Are Pro-Internet

The folks at Facebook have made no secret of their objection to the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act. And while it would have been a huge statement for Facebook to shut down, even for a few hours, you can’t fault the company for not wanting to turn off the money machine. Regardless, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg just took to his personal page to quickly voice his opinion on these pieces of legislation.

Writes Zuck (I can call him that because I pretend he and I are buddies, but we’ll never actually meet and it’s unlikely he’ll ever read this; but honestly I’d rather hang out with the guy that played him in the movie. I’m rambling.):

The internet is the most powerful tool we have for creating a more open and connected world. We can’t let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the internet’s development. Facebook opposes SOPA and PIPA, and we will continue to oppose any laws that will hurt the internet.

The world today needs political leaders who are pro-internet. We have been working with many of these folks for months on better alternatives to these current proposals. I encourage you to learn more about these issues and tell your congressmen that you want them to be pro-internet.


Edit Your Comment

  1. SpamFighterLoy says:

    With all the flipping page changes they regularly roll out, it would have been simple enough to stuff a black box on the feed somewhere. The man is a coward and much worse.

  2. pop top says:

    Shut down Farmville for 24 hours and SOPA/PIPA will never see the light of day again.

  3. Guppy06 says:

    “Pro-internet” is “anti-privacy” in Zuckerspeak

  4. ancientone567 says:

    Mark Zuckerberg can’t look past his own wallet for a day?! It is not always all about the money you idiot! Mark has turned his back on us all. What a statement it would have been to have Fakebook down for a day. How disappointing.

    • damicatz says:

      Zuckerberg is not the dictator of Facebook. As a public company, he has to answer to shareholders. And his company also likely has contractual obligations that would preclude taking down their service.

      • DariusC says:

        Thanks for correcting him before my blood boiled up. He can’t just arbitrarily decide what happens, he has to route things through multiple channels. Facebook has many partners and stakeholders and he has to answer to every one of them. Stock in all these companies if they just shut down and protested. It would be exactly what Murdoch wants, a weaker competition.

        • dangerp says:

          No, he is a coward. Even though it is a public company, he does have a lot of control over day to day operations. While shutting down the facebook money machine entirely may not have been feasible, it would have been dead simple to just post something on the main login page, or a header, or even something in the freaking ad space. Posting a note on his own personal page (does anyone even read that?) barely even counts as lipservice. I’m wondering how much sway hollywood and the music industry has over Mr. Zuckerberg.

      • Total Casual says:

        It’s not a public company until May, says a little bit of Googling.

      • Megalomania says:

        Facebook isn’t a public company. It’s still technically privately owned by a group of investors. The point about him not being King Facebook still stands though.

  5. jvanbrecht says:

    The Enemy of my Enemy is my friend… at least for today friend Zuckerberg…

  6. monsieurlee says:

    Yawn. Facebook can easily put up a splash page to raise awareness and not shut down like many other websites, but they didn’t even bother to do that. More lip service.

  7. matt314159 says:

    Facebook staying open is at least partially how this is spreading like wildfire. Ditto that for other social networking sites. I think it helps the cause more for it to stay open, but changing their logo or something might further help. But I can’t fault them for just being a neutral vessel through which the word spreads.

  8. CornwallBlank says:

    This is hardly surprising. Spammer Mark Zuckerberg makes noises about caring about the Internet, but all he REALLY cares about is money. Many — MANY! — operations that make less in a year than what Facebook makes in a day shut themselves down today. We see by Facebook’s lack of action that they’re not only cowards, but greedy cowards. Remember this later, when they try to claim part of the victory we will win: they failed to stand up when they were needed, failed to oppose power, failed to put the greater good ahead of their profits.

  9. crispyduck13 says:

    We do not need political leaders who are pro-internet, we need political leaders who are anti-lobbyist. We need leaders who make laws strictly on the basis that the country would run better, not a company/industry/special interest group. It is quite small-minded of Mr. Zuckerberg to make such a…specific statement like that.

    This whole thing is more about the power one private sector industry has over our elected leaders than the internet. This main issue can be applied to a number of other current issues, Keystone XL comes to mind.

    • plasmatop says:

      Or the tech companies need to start playing by the same rules that the entertainment industry plays by. It’s nice they’ve taken the moral high ground and don’t lobby the shit out of our government but this is what has come from that. I think the tech companies have more buying power than the entertainment industry does now. Maybe they should start buying politicians if they want to see they change they want.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        I see your point, but I don’t think that’s going to make things any better. I don’t want any industry to have the power to sway politics in their favor, even if I agree with or support them.

        • plasmatop says:

          I agree. But right now we aren’t seeing big corporations against the little guy. The only reason there is noise is because ANOTHER big industry doesn’t like what is going on. It shouldn’t take corporations to take on corporations that have bought Washington. I’m pleased someone is taking a stance but it’s frightening to realize how little the peoples’ voice really means. Without Google, Wikimedia, Reddit, Craigslist, Imgur, and a bunch of others the scumbag politicians in Washington would have laughed this bill all the way into law.

      • daynight says:

        The sites that are opposing SOPA and PIPA are not deeply funded in the say way the industry lobbyists are. People may rally for an emergency like this, but this isn’t a single skirmish. It is an ongoing battle against the encroachment of industry against liberty. And without consistent funding and attention from the people at large, all industry has to do it keep plugging away and we will miss blocking the punch at some point. We have to win every battle to maintain where we are. They just have to win occasionally to push us back. In the ‘quiet times’ we have no push-back to try to gain any ground. We have no lobby to try to actually gain ground for the sake of liberty and privacy rights.

    • matt314159 says:

      You, my friend, win the internet. Well put.

    • Groanan says:

      Lobbyists are fine, the problem is campaign contributions.

      A lobbyist who is not using large amount of cash, and who does not offer jobs within their industry (though not being that effective in comparison to those who do), is doing what we should be doing in our democracy; our elective representatives are mostly ignorant about everything they need to know before voting on or suggesting new legislation.

      There are a ton of lobbyist groups, particularly those who stand for human rights, privacy, consumer protection, etc., who we need in Washington to tell Senators that what they are really voting away is our right to due process.

      Without lobbyist groups for internet companies, who would inform members of our legislative branch, in response to some religious zealot’s cry for protecting the children, of the dangers of forcing Americans to have to log into the internet using State issued ID cards?

      • crispyduck13 says:

        I thought the term ‘lobbyist’ wasn’t quite right, but I honestly don’t know how else to phrase it. I really can’t say I agree with you on the ‘lobbying is cool as long as it’s not for profit, etc.’ line of thinking. I personally don’t think it is. To me “lobbying” is for businesses, industries, large religious groups, things like that.
        If a group of citizens wants to send a letter to their representative then fine, that’s actually what we are supposed to do. It’s when for-profit industries or groups ask for legislation to be made in their favor regardless of standing laws and the freedoms of the other 99% of US citizens. As you brought up, campaign contributions really turn everything to shit.

      • shepd says:

        That type of lobbying is illegal in Canada.

        It didn’t make a difference.

        Now they get free “meetings” at incredibly expensive resorts with top-notch meals included, super-duper flights, accommodations, golf club memberships, etc. And that’s just up front.

        And, although backloaded, most bought politicians get special cushy jobs at the companies they supported once out of office.

        The real answer is to let the people vote on the laws directly. We can do this now, we have the technology. Then there’s no benefit to giving all that cushy crap if the bill is DOA.

        • Groanan says:

          I’d be more for the direct democracy approach if we had actual news agencies and journalists with integrity.

          With representatives they buy off the politician; with direct voting they will just control Fox News and use propaganda to steer the witless masses into screwing themselves over directly instead of through a figurehead.

          How could any law that is not in favor of the media conglomerates ever pass?

  10. LightningUsagi says:

    The world today needs political leaders who have a slight understanding of the internet and other new-fangled technologies.

  11. dolemite says:

    I’d just settle for political leaders that gave a damn about their country and constituents, instead of kickbacks and super pac money.

  12. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    The world today needs political leaders who are pro-internet.

    That sounds dangerously close to being pro-business.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      It’s just such a stupid statement. Really? That’s what the world needs Mark?

      I used to envy his staggering success but now that I realize he paid for it with his common sense, perspective and decency I think I’ll stick to being broke and commenting about shit on the internet (while I sill can).

  13. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    you’d think they could figure out some way to put it on every user’s page

  14. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Translation: I want to appear to be with the majority, but I still don’t want to lose money. Not even for one….day…

  15. pika2000 says:

    Correction: We need political leaders that are not corrupt.
    By the way, how’s that dinner with Obama, Mark?

    • Jaxtrax says:

      I agree that it is not an issue of a politition being “pro Internet” sopa and other bills and laws like this are actually being created by “pro Internet” polititions for pro Internet companies that want total control over what us the people are allowed to view. It’s no secret that companies like time Warner all the way to major banks want nothing more than to restrict opinion being expressed and true innovation being moved forward so that they can maintain the bottom greed line without having to spend money to keep up or risk losing some profit if they don’t. It’s pure and simple corruption based off of greed.

  16. phonebem says:

    Wow, I can see this going badly but here goes… Personally I’m glad FB has stayed up today for the simple fact that it is a great way for the 0.05% of the population who actually reads tech blogs and knows what SOPA/PIPA are to get the word out to friends and family who don’t know why Google looks weird today and why Wikipedia isn’t working. Lets face it, we’re the canaries in the coal mine on this one…

  17. ned4spd8874 says:

    Weird, I haven’t been able to view my wall all day today. I assumed it was a sopa thing, but I guess not. Something’s broke then.

  18. Extended-Warranty says:

    Why do we need pro-internet leaders? No one is against the internet, it’s just that piracy has become too big of a problem.

    Zuckerberg just wants to rally the troops for when the bill resurfaces. Currently, piracy poses no thread to Facebook’s business model. This bill would become a nuisance if let’s say someone posts a music video on someone’s wall that the artist didn’t approve it.

    I understand why people oppose the bill. The wording allows the government lots of free range. Even though the intent of this bill is not to block anything anyone cares about. Even when the bill comes back with all the of things removed that were grievances of this “movement”, people will still complain. The people love to say that politicians lie, but they do the same thing. The real reason no one wants this to pass is because of piracy. We just found a loophole to delay the inevitable. I swear, people love watching the world burn if it means the slightest gain to themselves.

    • CornwallBlank says:

      Piracy — or much more correctly, infringement, is NOT a problem for anyone…except for the legacy companies that have failed to learn and failed to adapt. Go read TechDirt — you’ll find article after article after article explaining how infringement is a telltale: it’s a sign that whatever you’re doing in the market isn’t working, that there IS in fact demand for your product — and you’re not meeting it. Businesses that have figured out how to deal with that — like Valve, for example, which is now making buckets of money in the Russian market — are successful. Businesses that whine and complain and keep demanding more legislation and more enforcement are failures. And as we see in this case, their response to that failure is to try to destroy the Internet. We’re not having any.

    • daynight says:

      It seems that most people oppose piracy. That isn’t the real issue. It is the incremental creep of how the definition piracy has expanded and continues to expand. Steal a copy of a movie and piracy is clear. Then again, Stephen Colbert on his show uses a new word and phrase and then claims to now be able to charge for its usage. The idea of derivative works is too murky and slanted toward the corporations. Their goal is to prohibit individuals for using anything that MAY compete against anything they CAN POSSIBLY charge for. It is the cultivation of money as an addictive drug that deadens responsibility that is at the root of all this.

      • daynight says:

        It is this reason that a child’s usage of copyrighted material is a think to be crushed by industry. It is something that they, on principal, oppose as they see the child’s work as a distraction from paying customers spending time and money on the the products that they market. This is the attack on the children that is the attack on individual creativity.

    • dolemite says:

      “Too big of a problem.” It’s the same problem it’s always been. Why the rush to give corporations and government the ability to censor the internet? This isn’t a new problem, and it isn’t an urgent one. Movie, music and game companies are doing fine. They won’t be going out of business this year. They lose a bit of revenue due to piracy. We know.

      Potentially destroying thousands of companies and innovation while censoring billions of people is not the way to battle the loss of profit for a few select industries. It’s like shooting a person with a cannon shell to get a fly off of them.

      • Stickdude says:

        They lose a bit of revenue due to piracy. We know.

        [citation needed]

        And hysterical reports published by Big Content or their cronies don’t count.

  19. baltimoron says:

    It’s not just Facebook that didn’t participate at all. Wouldn’t Consumerist’s big brother Consumer Reports be potentially at risk from SOPA/PIPA? Why have they not joined this effort in any way? Not even a mention on the home page.

  20. moderndemagogue says:

    One can be pro-internet, and pro-SOPA/PIPA. These bills are about protecting people who want to use the internet legitimately from corporate interests who simply want to exploit them for free content which they can then sell ads against to the highest bidder. The idea that people are protecting Facebook and Google, companies that have raped the collective knowledge of humanity to turn a profit is disgusting. The only one caught in the middle of this I feel badly for is Wikipedia, and I think accordingly we should have exemptions for non-profit companies.

    The internet used to be about free exchange of information, not free exchange of information if you watch enough ads, or pay for our paywall. Why the hell are we defending these massively entrenched corporations who are constantly fucking us over on privacy?

    This populist outrage against SOPA is outrageous.

    • dolemite says:

      Because there are monsters across the land. On this side, we have behemoths that want you to enjoy freedom, buy things, play on the internet, and have the internet prosper. The only problem is they want to attach a tentacle to your neck and drink a few ounces of blood every now and then. And they let you know this, up-front, but they are sincere about freedom.

      On this other side, we have leviathans working behind closed doors, in secrecy. Their concern is simply control. They want to control what you see, hear or do. They state they know what is best for you. They want you to gain sustenance only from what they provide. They’ve proven to be liars and misanthropes in the past, and you can’t trust a single one of them, because they are only concerned about their own well-being, even if it is at detriment to yours.

      Me, I’m going with the first batch of monsters.

    • Kuri says:

      And you don’t think for a second that the legitimate users are going to be caught up in this while the illegitimate users get away relatively unscathed?

  21. Stickdude says:

    Forget political leaders who are pro-Internet.

    I’d just like a few who are still pro-Constitution – then you don’t have to worry about disasters like SOPA/PIPA.

  22. thewriteguy says:

    Hey, Mark, you’re a rich guy. How about just buying a couple of Senators and Representatives for the cause? That’s how it works in America.