This is a guest post by Aaron Harris, CEO and co-founder of Tutorspree.
After finding myself explaining SOPA and PIPA to my parents and to my girlfriend over the weekend, I realized that, while the tech community has done a good job firing itself up – we have not done enough to educate people outside of our sphere. When it comes down to it, that constituency is the one you really need to sway Congress. If we stay within our own echo chamber we’ll lose to the force of the MPAA/RIAA and their associated lobbies.
The problem, at heart, is similar to the one we tackle every day at Tutorspree. While we’re normally focused on math tutors and the like, our fundamental mission is to spread knowledge through one-on-one interactions. If we could use that ability to educate even a single person who currently has no idea what’s going on, then that’s a win. Every person we convince after that is another victory.
So we launched www.explainsopa.com. We’re collecting emails of people who have questions and of people who have answers, and we’ll match them up to hash out the issues. As we get more knowledgeable, it will become easier and easier to convince others how critical stopping these bills actually is. And on a day like today, where Google, Wikipedia, and Reddit are blacking themselves out to create awareness on SOPA/PIPA, we think it’s time to do more than just observe. It’s a time to go out and teach others the dangers embedded in these bills, and how we can stop them.