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SOPA, PIPA defeated by netizen power; fight far from over
The Stop Online Piracy Act, the 'Internet killing' law that was making its way through Congress, had the power to block access to Web sites as powerful as Google, YouTube, Reddit, or any other site that cries wolf over copyright infringement claims. The Web took to a day of online protest action while hundreds of major Web sites -- including Google, Wikipedia, and Imgur -- blacked out their pages or went offline to 'simulate' what could happen if SOPA was passed by Congress.
Similarly, the PROTECT-IP Act (or "PIPA") and CISPA were also shelved earlier this year after Web users from all over the world threatened days of action to protest the laws that would have had a potentially devastating effect on the way the Internet works and operates.
Later in the year, a United Nations group met to discuss regulating the Internet even further. Some countries even banded together in order to redefine the Internet as 'government-controlled." Eventually, the conference concluded without forming any definitive agreement on proposals, and Web users around the world breathed a collective sign of relief once more.
Memes rocket, becomes cultural statement of the decade so far
During 2012, Reddit took back the crown as the world's favorite destination for popular Web content. Home of the memes, Digg crumbled and revamped itself as Digg 2.0, but will face an almost impossible task to get to the level Reddit currently stands at.
Of all things, while Reddit is a news-sharing site by principle, the network has been home to the creation of many memes -- cultural references modified for humorous purposes or to make a point -- such as Bear Grylls drinking his own urine, political and religions references, Neil deGrasse Tyson's "badass over there" adaptation, and -- of course -- the world-famous 'trollface' meme.
These 'memes' have sparked a whole new cultural medium over 2012 and their creators have rocketed to record creative levels.
Yahoo's revolving door of chief executives. Will it stop spinning?
Yahoo has suffered a revolving door of chief executives this year. First off, savior Scott Thompson turned out to have embellished his resume with college education he did not receive, and was subsequently (and relatively swiftly) forced to resign. Then, following his departure, Ross Levinsohn took the company reins and steered it aimlessly until someone better could come along.
It was thought he would stick on as the permanent chief executive, but Yahoo instead managed to poach -- of all people -- former Google executive Marissa Mayer. As soon as she arrived at the door, she announced she was pregnant. Great news for her and all involved, but hardly the best time to announce it.
All in all, we have seen six chief executives in as many years. Will Marissa Mayer stick around? By the looks of it, yes, but it all falls down to her to bring the company back up from its knees into a less-than-fetal position that it's been in for the last half-decade.