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Internet going on strike

Many websites are using the day to send a message about pending Internet regulation legislation.


Kevin Collier

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 17, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 10:35 pm CDT

Don’t expect to see much of your favorite websites tomorrow. The Internet’s going on strike.

The widely-despised Stop Online Privacy Act has been delayed, but on Wednesday websites large and small plan to either post banners against the legislation on their sites or black them out entirely.

SOPA and a related bill called the Protect IP Act, are widely seen as threats to free speech on the Internet. PIPA is scheduled to be voted on in the Senate on January 24th, and SOPA is scheduled for a House vote in February.

Reddit was among the first to announce a blackout. “Instead of the normal glorious, user-curated chaos of reddit, we will be displaying a simple message about how the PIPA/SOPA legislation would shut down sites like reddit, link to resources to learn more, and suggest ways to take action,” reads the site’s official blog.


Yesterday, Wikipedia also agreed to a blackout, and Craigslist installed an anti-SOPA and PIPA message on all its listings for US Cities.

The activist website has compiled an list of well over 3,000 websites said to participate in some form of protest. Some are as small as personal Tumblrs. Others are as large as Google, WordPress, Failblog, Mozilla and TwitPic. Many are taking SopaStrike’s offer and copying HTML or Javascript from that site to replace any site’s content with an anti-SOPA message.

Tiffiny Cheng, a spokesperson for SopaStrike, told the Daily Dot she expects “hundreds of millions” of hits on that site Wednesday. It “will be the biggest Web blackout that has happened in US history.”

Even individuals on Twitter are participating. The website, which makes it easy for individuals to modify their Twitter avatars to be anti-SOPA, now counts over 31,000 users.

Photo by kodomut and modified by Kevin Collier


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*First Published: Jan 17, 2012, 9:31 pm CST