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Are Net-Neutrality-Advocating Redditors About to Start a PAC?

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, November 9 2010

Can users of a social bookmarking service transfer their online common interests into a mix of online/offline political activism?

The Daily Beast's Brian Ries chronicles the initial rumblings of a group that's organizing online around net neutrality:

Eddie Geller, a 26-year-old comedian and aspiring actor living in Los Angeles, grew frustrated Sunday evening over a news article detailing how the GOP wins in Congress signaled the impending death of “net neutrality”—the principle, favored by Democrats, that all web users should have equal access to broadband content.

But Geller wasn't ready to accept defeat and make it just another punch line in his stand-up routine. While the Republicans may have an army of deregulation activists and the deep pockets of telecoms, who oppose the idea, this comedian had Reddit—the popular social news website with a fervent community of users that sees itself as "the voice of the internet."

Since the progress noted in Ries' article — his story is timestamped today — "RPAC" has a website, a placeholder wiki page, and a scheduled IRC chat tonight at 9PM EST to hash out next steps.

Of note is that while the Daily Beast mentions Geller's interest in net neutrality as a motivating factor to organize this group, reading the Reddit and RPAC subreddit for this group yields no inkling that people on the social bookmarking site are coalescing around any policy idea other than the one where they organize themselves into a political entity of some kind. In fact, the top policy-rated suggestions are as diverse as alternative energy tax credits and corporate personhood.

The consensus in our office is that it's easy to start something on the Internet and even easier to never finish it, so we're all curious and interested but not particularly excited about this nascent network.

That said, Reddit makes perfect sense as a platform for people to collectively select policy goals, prioritize tasks, and launch initiatives:

The GOP's America Speaking Out, running on Microsoft Townhall