Reddit and Wikipedia Plan for a Blackout to Protest SOPA

Reddit and Wikipedia Plan for a Blackout to Protest SOPA

Even with most of the people on the internet against SOPA bill in the US government, including a petition in the White House’s web site which has twice the amount of online signature needed, Reddit wanted to show how bad this bill will cause to the internet if it gets passed.

Reddit has posted on their blog stating that they will set a black out on the site on Wednesday, January 18, 2011, the same day as the SOPA hearing. On that day, Reddit will shut down its site for 12 hours, and greet its visitors with “a simple message about how the PIPA/SOPA legislation would shut down sites like reddit”. The page will also link to places where people can learn more about the SOPA bill and ways to fight against it, and a live video stream of the SOPA hearing. On their blog, Reddit has said

The freedom, innovation, and economic opportunity that the Internet enables is in jeopardy. Congress is considering legislation that will dramatically change your Internet experience and put an end to reddit and many other sites you use everyday. Internet experts, organizations, companies, entrepreneurs, legal experts, journalists, and individuals have repeatedly expressed how dangerous this bill is. If we do nothing, Congress will likely pass the Protect IP Act (in the Senate) or the Stop Online Piracy Act (in the House), and then the President will probably sign it into law.

A day or two after Reddit posted this message, Wikipedia has also stepped in with Reddit to black out their website for a day. In a CNET interview with Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Whales, he said in a post

I’m all in favor of it, and I think it would be great if we could act quickly to coordinate with Reddit. I’d like to talk to our government affairs advisor to see if they agree on this as useful timing, but assuming that’s a greenlight, I think that matching what Reddit does (but in our own way of course) per the emerging consensus on how to do it, is a good idea. But that means we need to move forward quickly on a concrete proposal and vote – we don’t have the luxury of time that we usually have, in terms of negotiating with each other for weeks about what’s exactly the best possible thing to do…. Our task is to decide to do it with a thumbs up / thumbs down vote.

Wikimedia’s head communication has said that they will temporarily shut down their English language Wikipedia pages on that day. He has said that the Wikimedia Foundation are accepting member input on the proposed action through the weekend, and will likely make a decision, based on community responce.

Also, after moving their domains from GoDaddy because GoDaddy previously supported SOPA, I Can Has Cheezburger has stated that they will also temporarily shut down their site on January 18 for a day to protest the bill. It is assumed that many more sites will follow suit to fight against the bill.

Lets also hope big sites like Google, Yahoo, Facebook will join the bandwagon and take part in the action to prevent the bill from being passed.