According to Alexa.com a universal ranking engine that reveals what websites are most popular in the world and the United States, Wikipedia is the most trafficked website in the World & the US. Wikipedia’s website is displaying a large black banner warning users that the site will be blacked out globally to protest SOPA and PIPA.
Currently the Wikipedia site says it be go into a full blackout in less than 3 hours. A learn more badge is offered to give users more insight into the damaging circumstances behind the SOPA legislation.
Wikipedia’s anti-SOPA blackout letter says, “The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States – the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate – that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia. This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made.” You can read more from Wikipedia administrators and statements for people in the organization at the statement link here.
The hope is that people that are not aware of the damaging online piracy bill that is trying to be pushed into law in the US Congress will become aware of what is going on. Considering Wikipedia is the 6th most visited website on the Internet it is clear that many people will start to learn about SOPA & PIPA legislation.
Other major websites are participating in full blackouts as well like Reddit.com. The LA Times interviewed the general manager of Reddit, Erik Martin who said the bills were, “an existential threat to our company and the industry we work in. We try to be pretty agnostic when it comes to content, news, politics,” Martin said. “This is the first time we’ve really stepped out and made a strong statement as a company. We feel we don’t have a choice.” The Reddit Blackout will go for 12 hours on Wednesday January 18th, 2011.
Another popular destination for users that is taking a stand is Boing Boing. Boing Boing makes a statement on their website that they’ll be doing their black out, “On January 18, Boing Boing will join Reddit and other sites around the Internet in “going dark” to oppose SOPA and PIPA, the pending US legislation that creates a punishing Internet censorship regime and exports it to the rest of the world. Boing Boing could never co-exist with a SOPA world: we could not ever link to another website unless we were sure that no links to anything that infringes copyright appeared on that site. So in order to link to a URL on LiveJournal or WordPress or Twitter or Blogspot, we’d have to first confirm that no one had ever made an infringing link, anywhere on that site. Making one link would require checking millions (even tens of millions) of pages, just to be sure that we weren’t in some way impinging on the ability of five Hollywood studios, four multinational record labels, and six global publishers to maximize their profits.”
According to Alexa.com in the United States Craigslist.org is the 9th most visited website in the US. Craigslist.org has decided to put up a warning message on all of it’s pages making people aware of the SOPA anti-piracy bill. Their message says, “STOP PIPA & SOPA S968 & HR3261 are threatening CL and the rest of your Internet. Most of the web sites you use strongly oppose these bills. Find out why, and how you can help put a stop to this madness before it’s too late!” Craigslist provides a link to more information which you can read here as well.
A Google Blackout is not imminent at this point but Google will be particpating in the United States Internet blackout in protest of SOPA. Google said, “”Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet,” a Google spokeswoman said. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page.”
Twitter users have stood up in protest against the SOPA movement and are changing their Twitter profile pics to STOP SOPA. You can learn more about the movement taking place on Twitter here. If you’d like to support the movement yourself and change your Twitter profile picture go to: http://bit.ly/stop-SOPA