Alexis Ohanian, Reddit Co-Founder, Talks SOPA/PIPA And Internet Freedom At Aspen Ideas Festival

Jul 11, 2013

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all links are created equal.

Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of the social media website Reddit, joined HuffPost Live at the Aspen Ideas Festival where he discussed the importance of uncensored Internet, space where ideas can be shared and accessed equally. He argued that attempts to censor online content -- such as the rejected Protect Intellectual Property (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy (SOPA) Acts -- would only hinder innovation.

"SOPA/PIPA was an example of the entertainment industry trying to curb piracy in a very stupid way," Ohanian told Ahmed Shibab-Eldin of HuffPost Live. "It was written by lobbyists not technologists and so it threatened to disrupt a ton of innovation. I mean, it would have made starting Reddit, or Facebook, or Twitter impossible.”

Ohanian also discussed part of his upcoming book, "Without Their Permission," in which he argues that the Internet has flattened certain social hierarchies, giving people from a diverse range of backgrounds an equal chance to access impacting ideas.

"Whether it’s your blog post, whether it’s my twitter account, whether it’s the CNN
front page, every one of these links can be accessed equally," he said. "And that’s a really really powerful idea, but it’s one that not everyone is excited about. It’s one that clearly the people who have power have a lot to lose by."

This video is part of a series of interviews with speakers, attendees and panelists at The Aspen Ideas Festival, produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with The Aspen Institute. For more videos from the series, click here. For more information about The Aspen Institute, click here.

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>br>Check out real-time tweets from the Aspen Ideas Festival here: