Today, parts of the Internet have gone dark in protest of proposed SOPA and PIPA legislation. From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., many sites are showing their solidarity by blacking out their sites and redirecting users to sign online petitions or encouraging them to contact their congressperson to voice their concerns.
The #SOPAStrike gained quite a bit of momentum over the past few days and thousands of sites have joined in. The aim of the blackout has many layers. Some want to show what SOPA and PIPA could mean for the web, while others are using it to educate the masses or lend their voice to the protest.
When it comes to taking a stand, don’t underestimate geek power. Whether big companies or small businesses, many around the internet are showing their support in creative, clever ways.
Here’s a roundup of our favorites. We’ll plan to update throughout the day -- if you have any to add, please do so in the comments.
One of the first sites to commit to the protest, Wikipedia offers an educational opportunity for users, as well as a way to contact your local congressperson.
Google made a powerful statement by covering up their logo and providing links to online petitions.
Perhaps one of our favorite #SOPAStrike sites is Wired's home page which gives the most surreal view of what the internet may look like if legislation is passed.
Reddit, another early vocal supporter, provides a variety of ways to engage users about SOPA and PIPA.
The Oatmeal, as usual, took a unique approach to explaining SOPA/PIPA. Just click the photo to see the featured animated .gif
Facebook & Twitter
Missing from the list of sites protesting are Facebook and Twitter, but we give them a pass since they are mobilizing many users to spread the message about SOPA/PIPA and enabling protestors to voice their concerns. For example, there is the trending hashtag #FactsWithoutWikipedia, as well as Stop SOPA and PIPA. Perhaps by just being, Facebook and Twitter are doing more to protest than other dark sites.
Firefox took going dark to heart to provide a dramatic start page.
Thinking about buying or selling something? Think again -- Craigslist has gone black and is naming names.
Wordpress has got your back, Internet. In addition to this message, .org sites have a variety of plugins to help make them go dark. .com sites have had to get crafty to show protest, but user forums have provided some clever workarounds.
ProPublica makes it very clear which Congressional representatives are for and against SOPA/PIPA.
Before viewing any content, Vimeo reminds viewers that it might not always be so easy to view and share others' content.
Flickr is letting members darken their photos — or the photos of others — for a 24-hour period to deprive the web of the rich content that makes it thrive.
It isn't until users are logged in that Dropbox subtly reminds them to take action.
School of Information Studies -- Syracuse University
Syracuse University's School of Information Studies saw SOPAStrike has a teaching tool.
This Just In!
We're only a few hours into the Internet Blackout, but many in Congress are taking notice and changing sides on SOPA. Already Representative Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) is no longer a co-sponsor, and Representative Lee Terry (R-Neb.) is also planning to remove his name from the co-sponsor list, according to news sources. Another Congressman, Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.) has even updated his Facebook page to voice his protest. Maybe it's a good thing that Facebook didn't go dark, after all.