Code is becoming the new lingua franca of Web activists around the nation, powering Anonymous-style movements against politicians and the status quo. In the process, programmers and coders are helping to create a new power base within the electorate. If you can code, you can launch new movements, upend traditional campaign dynamics and pressure candidates in a low-cost, high-tech and highly effective way.
Does this mean computer programmers and coding experts are the new political elite?
Take, for example, the pending SOPA legislation in the U.S. Congress, which has ignited a firestorm of protest across the Web. The grassroots anti-SOPA online campaign, which includes bare-bones sites such as#BlackoutSOPA and new apps that help you boycott SOPA supporters, is built, in large part, around people who can harness either their own coding skills, or the skills of others. The Internet “hive-mind” is suddenly everywhere in cyberspace, putting pressure on companies like GoDaddy.com to pull their support for SOPA, launching attack campaigns against pro-SOPA legislators like Congressman Paul Ryan, and ruthlessly forcing individuals and organizations to take a stand when it comes to supporting free speech on the Internet.
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