Resistance movements and internet phenomena have a way of fizzling out: Kony 2012, Occupy… It doesn’t take long for dominant memes to vanish into thin air. The actions of Wikileaks and Anonymous would likely have found the same fate were the people behind those groups not relentlessly pursuing their causes over the long haul, making it impossible for us to forget about them.
The protests surrounding SOPA easily could have followed this path, too: After a day of massive coordinated protests across the internet that included blackouts from Google, Wikileaks, and especially Reddit, SOPA and its sister bill PIPA were promptly dropped—and with it the urgent need to keep the protests going.
But Reddit users are a tenacious bunch. Being that it’s an election year, they decided to organize a PAC dedicated to unseating SOPA creator Lamar Smith this November. The resulting group, TestPAC, has been raising funds and is now running ads and billboards in Smith’s district. The group’s site, UnseatLamar.com, says it has raised about $6,000 with a goal of raising $25,000.
As Mashable notes, the PAC’s 300 members make every decision, from how to spend their money to who will art-direct their ads. However, the FEC did dump a little rain on their parade:
“Elections law prohibited TestPAC from running a negative ad against Smith without being in favor of some other candidate,” writes Mashable. Apparently our election rules actually stipulate that PACs are allowed to run negative ads against someone only if they’re also dedicated to running positive ones about another candidate. Faced with this conundrum, the group came up with the billboard art above, and the ad below.
Stay tuned for more creative anti-SOPA ads from TestPAC this year—one of the group’s organizers tells BoingBoing that they currently have 300 members but “300 members is not enough,” and they’ll be looking to expand their cause as we get closer to November.