The black that covered so many sites yesterday spoke well. I think there were four messages.
First, This is our Internet. We built it. We built it for us, not for you. We get to turn off the lights, not you.
Second, we are better custodians of culture than are culture’s merchants because we understand that culture is what we have in common. We feel pain every time something is held back from this Commons.
Third, just as we can make someone famous rather than having to passively accept the celebrities you foist upon us, we can make an idea politically potent. Going dark was the self-assertion with which political engagement begins.
Fourth, there’s a growing “we” on the Internet. It is not as inclusive as we think, it’s far more diverse than we imagine, and it’s far less egalitarian than we should demand. But so was the “we” in “We the People.” The individual acts of darkness are the start of the We we need to nurture.