Some of the sites U.S. Internet users rely on most plan to take part in an online protest Wednesday, Jan. 17, against SOPA — the Stop Online Piracy Act — and related bill PIPA — PROTECT IP Act — currently under consideration.
We here at 10,000 Words have covered what the act is about before and why it would matter for journalists. But this net-wide protest by some of the Internet’s biggest names is big news, and will hopefully bring attention to the masses of people who will be affected by the restrictions it would impose but haven’t yet heard of it — those people who visit these sites but don’t follow Congress or Internet/media industry news.
- Here are just some of the plans from big names (fyi, these links will probably be broken Wednesday):
- Wikipedia: Plans to black out its English site for 24 hours for the first time.
- Google: Doesn’t plan a blackout, but does plan to use its homepage to protest the law.
- Reddit: Plans to take down its site for 12 hours in protest and instead post information about the measure, including video of the house hearings/testimonies taking place.
- BoingBoing: Announced last week it will go dark for the day and has been sharing tips since on how you can join the crowd.
- WordPress.org: This blog host plans to take its main site dark in protest, and even posted instructions on how its users can take down their WordPress blog for a day as well, with links to the many SOPA-blackout plug-ins available.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but there are a few people keeping such lists, including All Things D. Politico, apparently, estimates as many as 7,000 sites will go dark. There’s also a pretty good list here of tech companies that have expressed opposition to the bill (not all are protesting, but it’s an interesting list to take into consideration).