The Home Row Blog

News, notes and ramblings
from the Home Row team

January 18, Internet Freedom Day

Posted on January 18, 2013

Internet Freedom Day

Posted by Sharon Ritchey

Today is Internet Freedom Day, not a national holiday or even a net event like Cyber Monday. It is, however, a day to recognize the importance of a free Internet that is not censored and is available to everyone as a means to share news and content.

A little history… back in 2012, Texas Congressman Lamar S. Smith introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The intent was to create a legal means to stop copyright infringement and protect the intellectual and financial rights of content creators. Opponents saw this as a threat to free speech in that the government could deem a single webpage or blog posting as breaking the law and then block the domain of the offending site. In response, on January 18, 2012, some 7,000 websites staged a service black-out and there was a rally in New York City. The protest was heard loud and clear and the bill was tabled – democracy in action?

What this does mean is that the public – at least a loud public in the United States feels that however flawed information sharing and creation may be, the Internet should be left as is – open and allowed to expand.

What we get in return is well, in some instances, pure garbage, such as pornography, sites that exploit people, sites that openly exist only to rip people off, cyberbullies, plagiarism, not to mention bad design, and a 24-hour news cycle that reports anything but news.

But we also have the sharing of volumes of information, research, humor, life-altering news, and useful bits of information such as how to jump-start a car, say I love in 100 different languages, the best ever brownie recipes, and what to do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake. Maybe it’s a bit superficial, both the ugly and the innocuous. It doesn’t matter – it’s there for all of us to decide for ourselves.

As a writer, the Internet has given me a free voice to express thoughts and to research ideas. I can’t imagine going back even ten years to a fledgling Internet. But remember, we all must be responsible net citizens and practice proper content creation.

Don’t steal another site’s content and pass it off as your own

Give proper credit for content and ideas when credit is due

Check your facts. Just because you read something online doesn’t make it true

Remember that what you post online is there forever

Free speech is not a license to be a jerk!

What does Internet Freedom Day mean to you?



Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

What is the home row?

The home row is the center row of keys on the keyboard "A,S,D,F,J,K,L,;" When students are taught how to become touch typists (typing without looking at the keys) they begin with their hands resting on the home row. The left hand rests on the "A,S,D,F" keys and the right hand on the "J,K,L,;" keys. From this position the other keys can be reached.