Tumblr users fight SOPA with 87,834 calls to Congress

The company says that the average call to representatives about the bill was 53 seconds long, but the longest lasted 31 minutes, according to data it compiled.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Tumblr's SOPA facts.
Tumblr's SOPA facts Tumblr

Tumblr users have come out in full force against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the microblogging service announced yesterday.

Earlier this week, Tumblr set up a page where its users could sign up and receive a phone call from the company with talking points about SOPA. From there, the company connected users with their U.S. representatives to voice concerns about the bill.

All told, Tumblr said yesterday, 87,834 calls were placed to representatives. The average call lasted 53 seconds, while the longest came in at 31 minutes, the company said. A total of 1,293 total hours were spent talking to representatives.

"Yesterday we did a historic thing," Tumblr wrote in a blog post. "We generated 87,834 phone calls to U.S. Representatives in a concerted effort to protect the Internet. Extraordinary. There's no doubt that we've been heard."

The bill, which was introduced to the House last month, attempts to eradicate from the Internet sites that have pirated content by serving court orders to domain name system (DNS) providers. Although some lawmakers say that it could benefit both content creators and consumers, some of the bill's detractors say it provides the government with too much control over the Web. What's worse, it could potentially lead to the creation "of the great firewall of America," OpenDNS founder David Ulevitch said yesterday in an interview with CNET.

"It's beyond troubling to hear hyperbolic charges that this bill will open the floodgates to government censorship," Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) said in a House Judiciary committee hearing earlier this week in response to such complaints.

But not everyone in Washington, D.C., thinks SOPA is right for the U.S. On Wednesday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said that bill is "extreme" and will die on the House floor.

"I don't believe this bill has any chance on the House floor," Issa said. "I think it's way too extreme, it infringes on too many areas that our leadership will know is simply too dangerous to do in its current form."

SOPA is currently caught up in the House Judiciary Committee. After members debate it and start making changes, it could still take several weeks or months before it comes up for a full House vote.