Is Operation Chokehold illegal? Or just stupid? Should we do something else?

363136975_6c8813352dAs you can imagine we’re getting loads of feedback on Chokehold. Most people are positive, but a few have suggested Chokehold could be illegal and that Dear Leader might be facing years of prison time for his role in inciting this peaceful protest.

For the record, we have received no word at all from AT&T about this. No threats. No “please don’t do this” requests. So far all they’ve said is that it’s “pointless and irresponsible,” which, honestly, it is. We presume that if AT&T believed the protest was illegal, they would have used that word in their statement about Chokehold.

Also for the record, from our point of view this is all just a joke that has spun out of control and gained a life of its own. We didn’t think anyone would actually do this. But now it’s on Twitter, and some kid has set up a Facebook group and it already has 1,600 fans. There’s even an opposition group on Facebook set up by critics of Operation Chokehold. They’ve only got 17 fans, but still.

The point is, I’m not sure we can stop this thing.

For what it’s worth, we don’t expect many people to participate in the flash mob. Even if all 1,600 fans of the Facebook group participate, that’s probably not enough people to crash a network. Is it?

Truth is, I hope not. I really don’t want to cause any actual harm to my fellow AT&T users. Quite the opposite — I feel as if we’re all caught in the same horrible prison, suffering alongside one another.

All we really want to do is to show AT&T how angry people are about their lousy service. A nice spike of traffic would be a way to make that known.

Maybe there are other, better ways of doing that. One thing that’s been suggested is that we cut the time back from one hour to just 15 minutes — so we’d all hit our iPhones at noon Pacific on Friday, and run video or whatever until 12:15. That’s not a bad idea since, honestly, who’s going to devote a full hour to this ridiculous stunt in the first place?

Another idea: We change Operation Chokehold to Operation Silent Scream — and instead of all using the network at the same time, we instead all turn off our iPhones at the same time. Drawback is, you have to stop using your iPhone, and who knows if the whole thing has any impact at all?

Another idea and perhaps the best one: Let’s form actual flash mobs outside AT&T stores and put duct tape over their mouths. Anyone up for this? Like, in San Francisco? The media is already all over this protest. They’re loving it. They know how badly AT&T sucks and apparently they want to join us in our struggle. So making this into a physical demonstration is the best way to ratchet it up another notch.

If anyone gets a physical protest organized let me know where you’re doing it and I’ll publicize it here and will also help get media coverage.

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