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SOPA Protests: The day the web went black

A number of high profile websites are going dark in protest of America’s proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and Protect IP Act (PIPA) currently going through congress. A number of web giants including Wikipedia, Reddit, Google, and WordPress are, to some degree at least, going dark in protest of the controversial bill. The protests themselves have become a globally trending topic on Twitter.

Were SOPA to pass, it would see any website deemed guilty of hosting copyrighted content having its domain name rescinded. A similar bill going through the senate called the Protect IP Act (PIPA), meanwhile, would also empower lawmakers to cut off funding, in the form of advertising from offending websites.

In recent days, the White House has publicly stated that it would not support either of the bills in their current form. This has not, however, slowed down protests taking place all over the web.

Memeburn decided to take a snapshot of some of the websites that have gone dark in protest of the two bills. Some of these sites have everything to lose, some have nothing to lose, all believe that SOPA and PIPA could compromise the flow of free knowledge across the web.

Wikipedia is one of the frontrunners in the protest and has completely blacked out its site. Interestingly, two entries aren’t blacked out — SOPA and PIPA:

Google blacked out its logo, and also put up a blog post explaining its opposition to the bill:

Reddit, which labels itself “the front page of the internet” also took an educational stance:

Image-sharing sites Twitpic and Imgur also went black, although the former was more forthright in its intent:

The world’s most popular blogging platform, WordPress, included an educational video in its protest. It also asked users to join it in blacking out their pages:

Given that the Pirate Bay’s operation pretty much involves everything SOPA opposes, it’s unsurprising that it joined in the protest:


A Softer World:

The Internet Archive:

Online gaming sensation Minecraft went red instead of black:

Humour site, the Oatmeal, included an animated .gif explaining why the legislation is targeting the wrong people:

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart is the editor-in-chief of Engage Me Online. After pursuing an MA in South African literature, he spent five years reporting on the global technology scene. Intrigued by the intersection of technology and work, he joined Engage Me as the editor-in-chief. He is a passionate runner, and recently ran... More

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