Mr. Wyden goes to Washington

Have you ever dreamt of having your name read out loud on the U.S. Senate floor in opposition to a bill?

Thanks to Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon democrat, that dream could become a reality—with a little help from Reddit.

Wyden is the latest in a long line of people, and organizations, raising their voice in protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, two bills that threaten freedom of speech on the Internet. He’s doing his part by promising to filibuster a Senate vote on both of these bills by reading the names of anyone who signs up on his site,

“Bills like SOPA and PIPA will do lasting damage to one of the fastest growing job creating sector of our economy, the Internet,” Wyden says in a video posted on the site. “The end all cost approach these bills take to protecting intellectual property sacrifices cyber security while restricting free speech [and] innovation.”

On Reddit, Wyden’s filibuster was the topic of two front-page posts. More than 900 people combined commented on the threads, sharing their support for Wyden and their disdain for SOPA.

“Senator Wyden consistently provides me with reasons to be proud to be his constituent,” wrote SpencerDub. “He’s one of the best defenders of the Internet in Congress today.”

“Fuck everything about SOPA and our government and it’s sad that we the people no longer have a real say in what goes on in this country,” ImHamm wrote. “Paying lobbyist’s are the reason why we can’t have nice things anymore.”

Reddit has been one of the most vocal websites against SOPA, since Congress held its first hearing on the bill. Just last week, Reddit helped a White House petition against SOPA collect more than 37,000 signatures.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Wyden’s office to find out how many signatures have been collected. According to Reddit, Wyden has already gathered more than 20,000 in the last 16 hours.

And with two front page posts picking up steam, Wyden’s stand could become a modern version of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Washington Goes to Washington.

Photo by piratejoe

Fernando Alfonso III

Fernando Alfonso III

Fernando Alfonso III served as an early Reddit and 4chan reporter and the Daily Dot’s first art director until 2016. He’s gone on to report at Lexington’s Herald-Leader and at the Houston Chronicle.