Tumblr Speaks Up Against Censorship By Censoring User Dashboards

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By Adam E. John

Even as the House of Representatives debate new privacy legislation today, Tumblr has decided to show us how exactly the PROTECT-IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) will work, by blacking out our Tumblr dashboards. These two ‘well-intentioned but deeply flawed bills’ says Tumblr,  as they are written right now, “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.”

Tumblr is also offering a way for users to connect to our House representatives over email and phone. If we give our phone numbers in a form Tumblr provides, Tumblr auto-dials us. We get an automated message from Tumblr’s founder David Karp who asks us to politely tell our House representatives what we feel about the Acts as they are currently written, and the call gets connected to our local representative. According to a tweet from the Electronic Founder Foundation, tumblr is generating 3.6 calls per second to Congress opposing the legislation.

Tumblr is not the only one. Reddit for example, has a black line through its logo today.  ‘Stop Censorship,’ the legend reads. Google and Facebook have also urged the government against the legislation, as have AOL, Twitter and eBay, among others.