Category Archives: internet

We Stand Against SOPA

On Thursday, Racialicious joined the many websites around the world in shutting down for most of the day to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which threatens to undermine the same creative freedom it was allegedly designed to protect.

SOPA supporters say the bill, introduced in the House of Representatives in October 2011, would protect copyright holders against online piracy. SOPA’s counterpart in the Senate, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), is scheduled for a Jan. 24 vote.

The idea is, the two bills would give authorities more ways to starve  “rogue sites,” as Politico’s Mike Zapler and Kim Hart explain:

Here’s how it would work: If the Justice Department or a copyright holder believed a site was directing users to pirated content, they would go to court. Depending on who’s complaining, different remedies would come into play: In some instances a judge could order an Internet service provider like Verizon to cut off access to a site. In others, a search engine like Google could be directed to delete links to an infringing site. The idea is to starve the offending sites of the web traffic that keeps them in business.

Though much of the debate around SOPA and PIPA centers around copyrighted content involving movies and music, is it really so hard, in the age of Occupy and of increased scrutiny of public officials’ malfeasance, to imagine certain cities’ police forces wouldn’t go to court to sue someone for “illegally displaying their likeness” on YouTube?
This past Saturday, President Barack Obama’s administration released a statement saying the White House will not support “legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.” But, as this is an election year, we agree with most experts – this issue isn’t even close to being settled.
ProPublica has a breakdown of where each member of Congress stands on each bill. You can write to your congressional representative or petition the U.S. State Department against the act here. And Google has a petition of its’ own. We urge our readers to speak up against this legislation, and we’ll be back with regular content Thursday at 8 a.m. EST.

Find Our Missing Shines A Media Spotlight Where It’s Sorely Needed

By Guest Contributor Kendra James

The bias in reporting the stories of missing children and people of color is nothing new. The names Elizabeth Smart, Shondra Levey, Kaley Anthony, Adam Walsh, Jaycee Dugard, and even the Lindbergh Baby roll off my tongue easily, but how many Pam Butlers, Hassani Campbells, or Jakadrien Turners can I name?

Two weeks ago on The Today Show, Ann Curry sat with the mother and sister of George Smith, a white Connecticut man who vanished on a cruise during his honeymoon in 2005. The same morning, I was following the story of Jakadrien, the 15-year-old runaway from Texas who went missing for eight months, before being found recently in the country of Colombia where she had been mistakenly deported.

After being featured on Today, Smith’s story was covered by Dateline NBC that evening. Turner’s, I read about on Tumblr and, later, Gawker. A search for the girl’s name that day revealed no articles on the New York Times website, and nothing on the Today Show site. Maybe the saddest part about that is my Tumblr dashboard regularly features pictures, signs, and descriptions for missing children of color who aren’t getting any attention at all aside from a few thousand reblogs via the site’s social justice blogs.

It’s thanks to TVOne’s new news magazine show, Find Our Missing, that I can add Campbell and Butler to my list.
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Work It Keeps Getting Its Heel In Its Mouth

By Arturo R. García

Hola mi gente. Seems like a few of you felt uncomfortable with a line my character said on #Workit. I understand your feelings. The show is a comedy and is meant to be viewed in that context. Soy Boricua de pura sepa. I am proud of our culture and I’ve always strived to uphold the positive image of my beautiful island and our people in both my career and personal lives. Pa’lante mi gente.
- Jan. 11 statement by Amaury Nolasco posted on WhoSay, as quoted on LatinoRebels

As his show Work It continued to get skewered by both activists and critics, Amaury Nolasco released the statement above in an attempt to defuse some of the tension.

To be sure, Nolasco’s in a tough spot, seeing as how he’s still under contract. But there’s no way not to consider the statement a missed opportunity. The best he could do here was to hide behind the “it’s a comedy” card, a tactic which is especially unhelpful when nobody’s laughing at any of the jokes – let alone the line, “I’m Puerto Rican. I’ll be great at selling drugs,” which he was forced to deliver in the premiere.
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How Egypt’s Nude Revolutionary Delivered a Stick of Dynamite

 By Guest Contributor Simba Rousseau, cross-posted from Witnessing Life

Twenty-year-old Egyptian blogger Magda Aliaa el-Mahdy rose to stardom after delivering a stick of dynamite via her blog, ‘A Rebel’s Diary’, in what she described as being in the spirit of the revolution.

(Editor’s Note: NSFW image is under the cut. – Arturo)

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A Nation LOLZ: The Best Of #CainWreck

By Arturo R. García

For Herman Cain, it looks to be all over except for the tweeting.

Cain didn’t technically drop out of the 2012 Republican nomination race Saturday – he’s “suspending his campaign,” a bit of legalese that, according to the New York Times, allows him to raise money in order to go on tour and promote projects like his Cain Solutions website.

But by the time he finished quoting Pokemon again in front of a crowd of supporters in Atlanta, the Koch Brothers’ stooge “brother from another mother’s” campaign was already being discussed in the past tense, with the schadenfreude-licious hashtag #CainWreck. Under the cut are some of the choicest bits of snark from the weekend. And farewell, Herman – by the end, we knew a bit too much about thee.

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Chromatic Casting: Finding A Host For The 2012 Academy Awards

By Arturo R. García

It was almost enough to make you say, F-ck The Muppets.

No sooner did Eddie Murphy give up his shot at hosting the Academy Awards in a heart-warming display of solidarity with Bro – I mean, Brett – Ratner than an online campaign recommending Kermit The Frog and friends get the job pick up some steam.

The Muppets hosting The Oscars? The most interesting part of that pairing would be figuring out which half should feel more insulted.

But at least Muppets fans are coming at this from a place of honest – if at times overbearing (wokka wokka!) – enthusiasm. It’s been more disappointing to scan around other sites and see the same basic wishlist of prospective replacements:

  • Stephen Colbert/Tina Fey
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • Somebody associated with Glee
  • Nobody at all
  • Not to be outdone, the Huffington Post also nominated a muppet, albeit one with his own talk show.
  • And one black person

With such a lack of creativity from normally creative people (Tracy Morgan? Oprah? Chris Rock?) you’d think Ratner was still doing the show! O-HOHOHOHO!

But seriously, folks. We here at The R can do better than that – especially since Rick Perry’s botched his audition last night. And our nominees are …
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