Internet Blackout Censorship Protest Kicks Off Today

Internet Blackout Censorship Protest Kicks Off Today

Legislation to enable mandatory censorship legislation will hit Parliament next month. To highlight the issue during the week of Australian Day, Electronic Frontiers Australia is backing a ‘blackout’ campaign encouraging people to darken their social networking profile pictures and web sites.

While online protests can seem like an example of ‘slacktivism’, using the Internet seems appropriate given that it’s the very medium that the legislation would restrict (and restrict in ways that we wouldn’t be allowed to know about). Darkening your avatar also provides an opportunity to explain the issue to friends if they ask “Hey, what’s up with your picture?” If you’re not sure how to go about darkening your picture, there’s detailed instructions on the site.

One aim of the online protest is to encourage people to sign the EFA treaty opposing the move, which will eventually be presented to the Senate. Don’t forget all the other ways you can signal opposition to the plan too (writing to your MP remains probably the single most valuable thing you can do).

The Great Australian Internet Blackout


  • I know I will be seen as a defeatist and a negative little poo, but srsly you guys. Srsly.
    This isn’t going to help at all.
    If you can put the 3/4 mins of photoshop time into a more coherent email/letter to your MP, do that and not this.

  • Even better than writing to your MP, write and ask to make an appointment for a *meeting* about this issue.

    That said, I’m still waiting 4 months later, for the office of my Federal MP, Minister Anthony Albanese, to respond to such a request.

  • I still fail to see how this will help at all.
    Stop preaching to the converted and take the issue OFFLINE.
    Internet users get it, that’s why there is the support for the blackout. Whomever decided on this approach has really not planned this well and does not understand the market that they need to target.

    But irregular net users, moms & dads, etc, are the ones that need to know about this.
    Instead of this online activity and “meetings” with MP’s, there should be fundraising efforts going on, so that press, radio & TV campaigns can be created to target the people that really need to be told about this.

    This filter will get through if the message is not taken to the families, etc, via mediums they use more regularly.

    This smacks of slacktivism, and when the filter gets put in place, all the people with blacked out avatars will say “oh, well I did my part”.

    I am against the filter, but I see no-one out there who seems to actually have a plan that will work to spread this message where it needs to be. If there were, I would happily donate funds to the cause.

    Please, please prove me wrong in this.

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