Paul Ryan: No Way I'm Backing SOPA
Reddit pressure may have swayed Republican lawmaker
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2012 3:50 PM CST
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) takes questions during a news conference at the US Capitol, December 7, 2011 in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Read Paul Ryan's lips: He is clearly, absolutely, not supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act. Under intense pressure from Reddit to oppose SOPA, the congressman today called the Internet “one of the most magnificent expressions of freedom and free enterprise in history” and said “it should stay that way.” Ryan had staked a vague position on the act, which critics say would cripple websites and make search engines unfairly responsible for links to infringing sites.

Redditors had launched "Operation Pull Ryan" to prevent the House Budget Committee chairman's re-election, and also supported Ryan opponent Rob Zerban. Today Zerban credited Reddit with swaying Ryan, but Reddit's influence isn't crystal clear, Mashable notes: As a conservative Republican, Ryan would favor smaller government anyway. On the other hand, conservative Texas lawmaker Lamar Smith introduced the bill. So SOPA support doesn't fall along party lines.