Young People Followed SOPA News More Than Election News

from the more-likely-to-impact-them dept

For people who still don’t recognize that there’s a generational shift going on when it comes to how people view attempts to regulate the internet, communications and copyright law, they might want to start paying attention. According to the folks over at the Pew Research Center, the story of SOPA was the most followed story for people under 30 — even more than news about the Presidential election. That’s probably because SOPA/PIPA had much more of a likelihood of impacting their daily lives. Either way, it’s amazing to see politicians and SOPA/PIPA supporters still think that this was just a “vocal minority” complaining about the bill. Their ridiculously bad miscalculation in introducing ridiculously bad bills has now awakened a very large percentage of young people to these issues, in a way that won’t just go away. Amazingly, it wasn’t just people aged 20 to 30 who took an interest. The research showed that there was interest all the way down to the K-12 set as well.

Filed Under: , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Young People Followed SOPA News More Than Election News”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: The Internet has become

Those is the 10-30 age group depend on the Internet in much greater numbers than the other groups.

I’m not so sure that dependence on the internet is greater or less for any age group. The internet has pervaded most walks of life and age groups.

I think the larger problem is that for 30+ age groups, network news is still the predominate way they receive pertinent information. Old habits die hard.

GMacGuffin says:

Re: Re: The Internet has become

I think the larger problem is that for 30+ age groups, network news is still the predominate way they receive pertinent information. Old habits die hard.

They do indeed. Now however, we older folks watch the news to yell at it for being just speculation or opinion, or spun hard left or right, then check the coffee table laptop for the real story. (Or we grouse about how stuff we knew about for weeks: the Wisconsin union debacle, Occupy and SOPA, even the Wiki blackout, were all apparently NOT news until they became so big they couldn’t be ignored – like NBC not reporting the Wiki blackout at all until they realized they looked complicit.)

Cowardly Anonymous says:

Re: Re:

Funny, I’m 22 and I vote, but I have no interest in stealing (or even pirating) music. Anyways, from your generalization, I take it you are speaking from experience. Now, I know it is within your rights to refuse to answer this, but what did you steal when you were young that makes you so certain all young people are theives?

Nothing? Then cut the prejudice. Something? Then stop being a hypocrite.

Generalizations: they make your arguments weak.

jupiterkansas (profile) says:

Re: Those of us over 60 weren't asleep, either.

I did the same thing (and I’m 42).

Roy Blunt was a co-sponsor and withdrew his support, but that was long after he sent me an auto-reply filled with the exact B.S. statistics that were debunked here (and by the Government Accounting Office) long ago.

And the presidential election is still ten months away. I’m not paying attention to it either. They’re all a bunch of boneheads.

DCX2 says:

Who cares about the election?

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. It doesn’t matter who is elected, the Establishment will do what they want to do regardless.

For instance, take President Obama. He said he would close Gitmo, now he’s authorizing secret assassination programs aimed at United States citizens. If anything, Obama has been *worse* because now we have progressives who previously would scream bloody murder when Bush so much as eavesdropped on our phone calls, while they cheer on Obama’s ability to end the life of American citizens without charges, trials, or convictions, all under secret law that the administration refuses to disclose.

BraindeadBZH (profile) says:

This is normal, the previous generations have completely locked up the real world for the new generations. The virtual world is the only place where young people can have a voice and do something with their live.
Combating SOPA/PIPA was never about having the rights to steal music. It always was to ensure that never the old generations can take control over Internet. Especially politicians which are all craps.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yes, the “young un’s” really did follow SOPA and PIPA. I happened to talk with some who had strong negative views, and when I asked them why they had such views the answer was essentially “because people on the internet say so”. When I asked if any had ever read the bills…well, you can guess their answer.

Torg (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

In a classroom setting a student will almost always decline to read a book in favor of Sparknotes or a friend who has a greater tolerance for literature. They may not have read the actual text, but they know that George shoots Lennie and likely have a better idea of the symbolism and crap that’s in the story than if they read it themselves. Allowing more knowledgeable people to interpret something for you is not a bad thing. After all, they know more than you do.

kirillian (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Im waiting for the day that we start rewarding resourcefulness in school. It’s a rare skill in people, probably because we teach it out of people by rewarding rote memorization and the ability to regurgitate information rather than actual critical thinking skills and other important skills like resourcefulness, basic logic, and general common sense. We should spend more time in school teaching people how to see the signs of bias or lack of data and see through these things…teach people how to learn for themselves. Having knowledge is useless if you don’t know how to acquire more of it when necessary.

I’m actually more ashamed that we have a teacher here who is criticizing his students for what they don’t know and complaining that he doesn’t have the time to teach them. Granted, there are many situations in life where I would rather give teachers the benefit of the doubt as they are often overworked as it is; however, I feel that this AC did NOT explain himself adequately if this is one of those. I EXPECT kids to only be somewhat informed. What can you really expect from children in a society where the NORM is to just be spoonfed information. It takes them quite a while to free themselves of that mindset. That’s not something to be critical about (unless the particular student is motivated by that attitude I guess), but something that should a teacher should be trying to counter by teaching them to question their sources. Teaching is not an easy job and I don’t envy you your responsibility, but I do feel a little let down by your comments above.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

I am not a classroom instructor. I am a lawyer, though I readily admit that a significant part of practicing law involves teaching others to understand legal principles associated with specific situations.

I absolutely agree that critical thinking is the single most important skill that one can develop (with publc speaking and good writing skills not far behind). Unfortunately, whether in K-12 or post-secondary education far too many view education as the ability to regurgitate what they have heard. I have seen this far too many times in work environments. They tend to comprise the 90% whose continued employment depends upon the 10% who have mastered critical thinking and are able to think outside the box.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

In my wife’s classes they do not. They are expected to read the book/story precisely there is more to be learned from each than merely plot lines and some unknown person’s comments as are contained in Cliff Notes and the like.

What someone purportedly more knowledgeable may have to say is interesting and possible helpful, but it does nothing to teach a student how to think and formulate their own opinions, which is easily the most important skill necessary to succeed in life.

Torg (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

That’s good for education, and I wish I had been taught by your wife, but I was extending the comparison between school books and SOPA that a previous poster made. When dealing with acts of Congress you do not need to succeed in life, you need the opinions of people who know how to read acts of Congress and their ramifications. Relying on your own judgement leads to supporting bills that you don’t fully understand or haven’t fully considered, or opposing bills just because they sound similar to something you didn’t like.

The Groove Tiger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I know how you feel, AC. The other day, I was standing around, and 300 trillion people ages 0-30 just walked up to me and told me they hated ACTA, SOPA and PIPA.

When I scoffed at them and asked if they even knew what they were about, they recited flawlessly the text of all those bills from start to finish, word for word, and then showed me a very thorough analysis of how said bills would affect every single people in the planet. And I mean every single one, like, with first and last name and social security number/ID where it applied, home address, etc.

True story.

Anonymous Coward says:

"vocal minority"

“vocal minority”.. exactly what they are, it is well know that young people in the US DO NOT VOTE!!!

They may be vocal, but talk is cheap, they will not get off their ass and enroll to vote, as such politicans take little to no notice of them.

Compared to retirees, who vote is very large number, who care about actual politics and primarily healthcare, they vote is huge numbers, and pollies fall all over themselves to appeas them.

If you believe SOPA will cause a major shift in voting demographs in the US you might want to think again !!!.

ain’t gonna happen…


Anonymous Coward says:


To bad he is responding to a comment that didn’t contain a grain of truth. You sound like a preacher: “I was talking to some young people yesterday, and they asked me, what is heaven like?”

I doubt you’ve talked to anyone about ACTA in real life. Actually, I doubt your very existence. I’m convinced you are a cleverly built chatbot that does nothing but tell inane stories sprinkled with MPAA and RIAA talking points.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...