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P2P Political action: Reddit-created PAC to release anti Lamar Smith (SOPA proponent) TV Ad

photo of Nicolas Mendoza

Nicolas Mendoza
5th April 2012

The SOPA/PIPA episode, which escalated earlier this year into a showdown between entertainment industry lobby and large numbers of internet users, and led to a widespread online blackout protest, resulted in the creation of several new organizations concerned with the defense of online freedoms.

One of these organisations is called TestPAC. It was created by engaged Reddit users, who are in a way the unsung heroes of the SOPA blackout day. Reddit was key to coordinating the massive e-mail, fax, and phone-call campaign that eventually broke the morale of congressmen who supported the bill.

TestPAC is now committed to making life hard for Lamar Smith, the Texan Republican congressman who presented the SOPA bill to the US congress. Their goal is to unseat Lamar Smith from congress by bringing attention to the local electorate about his attacks to internet freedom.

TestPAC is an example of pragmatism in P2P political action: it plays within the system in that it uses its spaces and conducts (TV ads, PACS, congress), but does so through distributed creativity, aggregating power, swarming to achieve a collective goal. In a way, it can be conceptualized as emulation: the crowd or swarm shapes itself to fit the mold created for a different kind of entity, in order to gain the access necessary to break the mold.

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One Response to “P2P Political action: Reddit-created PAC to release anti Lamar Smith (SOPA proponent) TV Ad”

  1. Conor Says:

    TestPAC is doing really good work in my opinion by trying to keep people involved in the political process and to go after the SOPA authors. Nice article, glad to see them getting some exposure. #unseatlamar

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