Wellington/Amsterdam digital agency Resn is renowned for pushing the envelope online, with the likes of Face Arcade, Rhizopods or the world’s first crowd-sourced feed. But it’s not all fun, games and weirdness. There are some serious issues currently bubbling away in the halls of power around internet freedom, so, along with a couple of its fellow digital dab hands rehabstudio and Stinkdigital, it has created a site that aims to get the internet to stand up for itself by threatening to take away the thing it loves most: a kitten.
Cats are an immensely powerful internet force these days. But, as the Resn video below shows, the great tool—and therefore the freedomz—that allow the widespread dissemination of their cuteness, as well as increases in the number of feedz and rubz, is in danger. So, with an ironic tip of the hat to some of the world’s more jarring websites, the site aims to raise awareness of the issues through levity, with a 24 hour long internet telethon called www.savethekitten.com ”that puts the fate of a live-streamed kitten named Webster directly into viewers’ hands”.
Almost like a much larger, and more important version of Save Toby, or a feline version of the Good Energy Taxi, when users do something positive to create awareness, like sign the petition for the Declaration of Internet Freedom, good things happen to Webster. When users do nothing, unspecified ‘bad’ things happen (Resn’s Kris Hermanson says: “All I can say at this moment is ‘playfully bad things’. What does that mean? Even Resn doesn’t know”).
The site will feature an array of original content, including a special appearance from the internet’s other most famous cat, Lil Bub.
According to a release, in early 2012, strong public opposition forced the cancellation of votes on two potentially dangerous bills, SOPA and PIPA.
“This victory for the internet was led by the Internet Blackout on January 18, 2012 by Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, and hundreds more. Today, broad language in security bills like CISPA continue to threaten an open and free internet domestically. And yet, globally, the state of the issue is more dire. In a few weeks, leaders from various countries will participate in a closed door meeting to decide whether to expand the mandate of The International Telecommunications Union. Up until now, it’s been dealt with in a characteristically stuffy tone that’s at odds with the ordinary user. By turning kittens into a metaphor for internet freedom and using humour to tell a story, ‘Save the Kitten’ hopes to open the discussion up to a whole new audience. The production companies and partners behind this project depend on policies that support an open and free internet. The same is true for the agencies, brands, and people that we serve.”
So will you let Webster die?