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.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:08pm

    The Internet has become

    our lives. Those is the 10-30 age group depend on the Internet in much greater numbers than the other groups. So they don't want it messed with. Period.

     

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      Gwiz (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:08pm

      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.

       

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        GMacGuffin (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:24pm

        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.)

         

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    Jeremy, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:50pm

    Count me in the 30-40 group...

    that has had nothing but contempt for big media since Napster. I've been wanting to see this kind of overturning of the old big media control since then and it's wonderful to finally see actual movement on the issue in the right direction.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    That's because young people don't vote. They steal music.

     

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    sehlat (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:01pm

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

    I made a point of repeatedly contacting my senators (Boxer, Feinstein) and my representative (Miller) to remind them that if they so much as voted for SOPA/PIPA, whether it passed or not, I would be both donating to and working for their opponent in the next election.

     

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    Trails (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:14pm

    Also probably because

    There is no election yet? The "election news" is really "predictable jockeying within GOP".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:15pm

    Well I'm over 50 and I say - Networks? Network news? News and phone directories stamped on dead trees? I didn't know they still did any of that :)

     

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    DCX2, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:15pm

    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.

     

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    BraindeadBZH (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    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.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    Sounds like they should of thought about the children.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    You forgot about Obama's coming ability to disappear citizens into secret concentration camps without rights to things like trials, lawyers, under secret laws that you have no right to know.

    Isn't that how the Soviet Union did it?

     

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    simple_simon, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:20pm

    You Have It All Wrong

    No,no,no. I have the statistics right here, next to my type writer. The only thing people do on the Internet is e-mail each other on their AOL accounts.
    Sincerely,
    Hollywood

     

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      Marcel de Jong (profile), Feb 4th, 2012 @ 5:35pm

      Re: You Have It All Wrong

      Yes, and we do understand the innernet, just watch "You've got mail" And that's even got T.Hanks in it. Everyone loves Tom! Or how about Sneakers? Or Hackers. See? We are with it, we are like totally radical, yo!

      -- random Hollywood exec.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:57pm

    Sarcam

    "Young People Followed SOPA News More Than Election News"

    That's because all the young people were hoping the bill will pass, but the noisy minority wouldn't let it pass and everyone who didn't speak up wanted it to pass.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:57pm

    That's because the young-ins have already figured out that elections don't matter. Same shadow government in control, slightly different techniques. Meh, is it 12/21 yet?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 3:08pm

    "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"

    That's right, because elections don't determine what policies get pushed.

    AAargh, bloody young people.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 3:39pm

      Re:

      In many regards, it doesn't determine it in the slightest. You have your top 5 platform topics that might be followed through on, and everything else is dependent on what lobbyists and grandstanders start pushing forward.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    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.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 4:06pm

      Re:

      I wonder if it's the same percentage of political representatives who read the bill too?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 4:25pm

      Re:

      Did you at least bother to explain the bills to them?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 5:39pm

        Re: Re:

        Only if they asked (after all, there is only so much time in a day). One who did ask was an attorney, and he was quite surprised to discover that most of what he had heard was not correct.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 6:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So you don't have the time to explain it buy they have the time to read it. Makes sense.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 8:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            In a classroom setting a student is expected to read a book before the lesson begins. I see no reason to apply a different standard outside the classroom.

             

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              Torg (profile), Feb 4th, 2012 @ 8:30am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

               

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                kirillian (profile), Feb 4th, 2012 @ 9:09am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 9:58am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

                   

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 9:48am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

                 

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                  Torg (profile), Feb 4th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

                   

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      The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 7:43pm

      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.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 8:34pm

        Re: Re:

        Nice story. If only it had a grain of truth to it thoughtful and meaningful discussion could ensue. Unfortunately, it is easier to simply repeat memes heard from others than to try and educate oneself by doing some modicum of independent research.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 6:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          research and facts have NO place in Techdirt, you should know that by now...!!!!!! D

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 7:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          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.

           

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            The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            My point exactly. Too bad the previous AC didn't have a real brain to notice that my comment was in fact tailored to get a response that would as easily apply to his own comment. "Y'all are wrong, because of (insert personal anecdote)."

             

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              doughless (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Not only that, but to me, your comment also clearly shows that those of that haven't read the bill or don't have the legal training to truly understand it, actually do need to rely on experts we do trust that are trained to understand this stuff, have read the text of the bill, and given a thorough analysis about what is wrong with it.

               

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 6:44am

        Re: Re:

        i am sure it is a true story, and I am equally sure they ALL had their voting enrollment forms all filled out and ready to go !!!

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 4:09pm

    Duh, of course!

    The young ones are worried about someone taking their binky away. They aren't concerned which older man gets elected to office.

    Now, of course, you might want to reconsider that when we get closer to an actual election rather than some nearly meaningless primary bs.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 6:37pm

    When your choices are always between a douche and a turd sandwich, why the hell would any young person care about elections?

     

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    GamerLEN, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 7:33pm

    It also helps that the election news really isn't worth watching unless you need a good laugh at Rick Santorum's latest screw up.

    Spoiler Alert: Obama is 99% likely to win.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 11:24pm

    This is really inspiring.

    Thanks in part to you, techdirt.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 6:40am

    "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...

    D

     

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    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Feb 4th, 2012 @ 11:30am

    Young people follow SOPA

    VERY encouraging - but "follow the money". With most of the money supply tied up by the wealthy, there is less and less for what used to be middle-class occupations; if we don't reverse that trend (NO to "no new taxes" idiocy), there will be no middle class; only the very wealthy and the very poor.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2012 @ 5:49am

    We care about SOPA because we care about things that will actually affect us, as opposed to whoever becomes the next lobbyist ass kisser.

     

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    ranma, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    the percent of the bill passing is 60%.......but they cant let the bill pass or shut it down or so i heard...there will chaos

     

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