Internet 2012: Reddit leaders campaign for Open Internet


Reddit’s cofounder Alexis Ohanian and general manager Erik Martin are plotting a 10-day bus tour across middle America, and they need your help. 

The Internet’s hitting the campaign trail—sort of.

Reddit’s cofounder Alexis Ohanian and general manager Erik Martin announced Thursday that they plan a 10-day bus tour of middle America, from Denver, Colo. to Danville, Ky.—the respective host cities of the presidential and vice presidential debates. Along the way, they plan to highlight how the Internet’s made big impacts in their lives.

“We want to find the top Etsy seller in Kansas or the farmers who are using their smartphones to check the crop reports,” Ohanian told the Washington Post. “The tech sector has done a great job telling this story from the coasts, but these will show the true impact the Internet will have on American politics.”

Like any good politician, they revealed a multi-pronged campaign with the announcement.  including a dedicated new subreddit (r/internet2012), an active twitter hashtag (#internet2012), and an IndieGoGo fundraiser to help with event costs. The bus, paid for by Reddit, will be red, white, and blue, with the word “Internet” scrawled on the side in place of a political candidate’s name.

“Democrats and Republicans can’t seem to agree on anything. But there’s one thing no one’s really talking about that both sides should be championing: The Open Internet,” the fundraiser page reads. “But what’s at stake here impacts every single American, and goes far deeper than any one region or industry.”

Within the first two hours of its existence, the fundraiser had already raised more than $1,000 of its $40,000 goal.

“This is going to be the most epic campaign bus ever!” wrote Jeremy, who pledged an undisclosed amount to the campaign.

Per the campaign’s fundraising goals, if some generous user gives $36,000, the campaign organizers promise to drive to a location of that person’s choosing, throw them a parade, and let them be a drum major.

As of this writing, no one has publicly given more than user Sean, who donated $404. “Good idea guys. Important stuff. Thanks for doing this,” he wrote.

See you on tour.

Photo via IndieGoGo

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