Some people asked what SOPA is via Twitter when sites like Wikipedia staged mass, one-day blackouts of service in protest.
Some people asked what SOPA is via Twitter when sites like Wikipedia staged mass, one-day blackouts of service in protest.

Story highlights

After Bin Laden was killed, people tweeted, "Who is Osama Bin Laden?"

After Arcade Fire's Grammy win, people took to the Web to cry: "Who is Arcade Fire?"

Apparently, no one was looking up "SOPA" on Wikipedia. Or, you know, on CNN

Editor’s Note: Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz are the sarcastic brains behind humor blog and book “Stuff Hipsters Hate.” Got a question about etiquette in the digital world? Contact them at

CNN —  

The online realm is replete with a vast cornucopia of information, just waiting to provide the hungry masses with nourishing nuggets of knowledge – or (as in “The Hunger Games”) scary-ass weapons of mass destruction.

So it baffles us to no end that instead of delving deep into said cornucopia and feasting on the kernels so lavished there when faced with a quandary, folks instead click on over to Twitter or Facebook and type missives akin to: “Der, der, der what day is Christmas this year?”

We understand the urge to crowdsource when, say, you want to decide whether to cut off all your hair/paint your bedroom blue/get a full-body tattoo so as to resemble a Care Bear. All of those questions are open-ended, subjective and worthy of a response (such as, “Hell no! Go for Pedo Bear instead!).

But asking the masses something that you could have easily looked up yourself is just plain lazy, especially when said query makes you look like a full-on idiot.

Moreover, your idiocy – since it has been showcased in a public place – does not just serve to amuse and horrify your friends. No! With the advent of such tools as Open Book and resources like Lamebook and Buzzfeed, your utter mouth-breathing-ness has the ability to get the entire world wondering: How the hell do we continue to exist on this Earth when such stunning displays of dullness walk freely among us?

Read on for three examples of when people should have just Googled it.

Who is Osama Bin Laden?

After al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in May 2011, confused folks started flooding Twitter and other social sites, posing such queries as: “Who is Osama Bin Laden and why should I care?” For some reason, we don’t think 140 characters is going to be enough to suss out that question.

To their credit, the most perplexed parties (younger folks who were barely cognizant beings on 9/11) took to search engines as well, according to Yahoo News. Still, the parade of blithe tweets (“Is he in a band?”) are now forever stowed away in the Library of Congress like oh-so-embarrassing yearbook pictures – only much, much worse.

Who is Arcade Fire?

The music world thrives and subsists on snobbery, you guys. The ability to sneer, snort and say, “Ha, yeah, you wouldn’t have heard of this band. They only have, like, one EP and it’s not even on Spotify.”

Sadly, you all provided this symposium of snobs with even more grist for the you’re-an-idiot mill when, following the Arcade Fire’s Grammy win last year, you took to the Web to cry: “Who is Arcade Fire?” Or worse yet: “Who are the Suburbs?” There’s now an entire Tumblr – and T-shirts! – documenting your utter lack of musical knowledge. A Tumblr AND T-Shirts, you guys…

We’re not saying you have to listen to Arcade Fire – I mean, “The Suburbs” was sooooo 2010, anyway. Just … you know … a little knowledge of their influences, coupled with some light delving into their back catalog would have really lent credence to your assertion that: “JUSTIN BIEBER – MY SWEET, SWEET LOVE – WAS ROBBED! WHO DA HELL IS THE ARCADE FLAMMEMMEM?”

What is SOAP?

Last week, Wikipedia went dark for one day in protest of SOPA (The Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act), two (now tabled) bills in Congress designed to stop illegal copying and sharing of intellectual property online.

Sites like Wikipedia see such acts as restrictive of online freedom, and in protest, staged mass, one-day blackouts of service. Wikipedia blacked out everything but the articles on SOPA and PIPA.

Enter: The enraged masses. As documented by the genius Twitter aggregation account, @herpderpedia, folks fell to their knees and cried to the heavens (metaphorically – we hope), bemoaning the loss of that, their own source of news and information (sarcasm). They beat their chests (again, we hope metaphorically) wondering why, oh why “Soap” (“WTF is SOAP?!”) would take away their beloved friend.

Apparently, no one was looking up “SOPA” on Wikipedia. Or, you know, on CNN.