Playground Buzz – The Most Intriguing Social Media News of the Week

By Affinitive

Happy Friday! We’ve been clutching our coffee mugs close to us for warmth and fighting off the winter blues with cute videos of baby sloths , daydreams of the other kind of sopa and lots of caffeine.

When not enthralled by a rather mesmerizing zebra dance or bemoaning the fate of the future at the mass protest of Wikipedia’s blackout by procrastinating teenagers, we’ve been keeping abuzz of the following stories. We’re logging off for the weekend with these  in mind:

SOPA / PIPA Co-Sponsors Jumps Ship
They can take our lives, but they cannot take away our freedom … to look at cat videos. The internet mobilized together in a last ditch attempt to urge Congress and the House of Representatives to stop anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA from passing, resulting in co-sponsors and legislators dropping support like flies well before the day was over.

75,000 websites and countless individuals gathered together in the largest online protest in history by gathering in the streets or gathering signatures, calling up their local representatives and overwhelming Senate’s website, and blocking off their own sites. Craigslist and Reddit shut down for the day as did Wikipedia (though the Wiki mobile version and apps did still work), leaving a short blurb about SOPA and calls to action, and Google compromised by censoring its logo and running an extensive ad campaign across various sites that urged people to sign a petition that collected 4.5 million signatures. Twitter also reported 2.4 million SOPA-related tweets between midnight and 4pm EST of January 18th, and Mozilla reported that 30 million people in the US saw its Anti-SOPA message and 1.8 million visited its info page, generating 360,000 emails to Congress .

While it seems that we’re now free to browse and share on the web at our own leisure, we are far from the clear as both SOPA and PIPA have yet to be voted on. Although the number of SOPA opponents in Congress is now 122, the number of supporters for PIPA in Senate still outnumber opposers, which means PIPA can still pass. Voting on PIPA was originally scheduled to take place on January 24th, but Senate Majority Leader Reid has stated that voting on PIPA has been delayed for the time being. If you haven’t done so, you can write to your elected officials and let them know your opposition here.

MegaUpload Gets Shut Down 
File uploading and sharing site Megaupload has been shut down by the FBI in a rather surprising show of force. The site’s been through a rather rapid chain of events, but with the site effectively shut down, countless users are unable to access and withdraw their files – some of which are original copyrighted material of their own (much akin to copyright infringement). As the founder and CEOs of MegaUpload were arrested and denied bail in New Zealand,  pictures of valuables and items being seized spread across the internet, and internet vigilante group Anonymous decided to launch a counterattack in form of a DDoS (which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison) attack by tricking users into clicking a fake MegaUpload URL.

60 Companies to Unveil Open Graph Apps
Sixty companies have unveiled their open graph applications that will be housed along the right hand side of your Facebook Timeline. The brands run the gamut from food and wine, travel, entertainment, and charity, alongside other categories. Most of the applications were already in existence, but have since been tinkered and upgraded to fit Facebook’s Timeline and will also add actions such as “spot” “love” and “want” to Facebook’s repertoire. You can see the list of brands at the link – we’ve already spotted a few of our favs!

Foursquare adds Restaurant Menus
Foursquare has rolled out a new feature in addition to its Explore section  (which factors check-ins from you and your network to deliver personalized results and recommendations), which now brings all the menus and prices of all the possible venues you could possibly check into. Foursquare announced through its blog that it had teamed up with startup SinglePlatform to share over 13,000,000 menus from 25,000 restaurants across the U.S – prices included! Nifty if you’re in a jam and need to revise dinner plans on the fly, but a nightmare for the indecisive.

Did we miss a bit o’buzz? Let us know here and join in on the conversation! 

  • Rob

    I freaking love baby sloths!