Black Is the New Black
Numerous websites participate in SOPA Blackout Day.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: January 18th, 2012
If you’re planning to do research, or settle a bar bet, or find out which episode of The Simpsons was the one where Homer goes back to college (it was season five, episode three), you won’t find the answer, or anything else, on Wikipedia today.
That site, along with many others, has gone dark in protest of the two bills (SOPA and PIPA) that purport to protect copyrights (and even more laughably to “protect jobs”) but in reality would be extremely broad and far-reaching instruments of censorship.
But only a few sites are making the all-out protest that Wikipedia is making. Many more are simply paying lip service. Google has a black bar over its logo (and has temporarily altered its webcrawling bot), as does twitpic, and many sites have splash pages informing visitors about the legislation with links to online petitions, but still let you access their content.
But aside from Wikipedia, none of the biggest players, and the ones most likely to be affected by the legislation, are doing anything meaningful. YouTube, whose URL would almost certainly be blocked if SOPA or PIPA were enacted, is doing absolutely nothing. Facebook had a small black bar over their logo for about five minutes, but that has mysteriously disappeared. And so far Twitter has done nothing.
It’s nice that sites are trying to raise awareness of this issue, but Wikipedia, reddit, and boingboing.net, and only a small handful of others, are taking meaningful action by totally going dark.
If Facebook and Twitter had gone dark, the impact would have been far more significant. Millions of pissed-off would-be posters and tweeters would have been forced to get a glimpse of what the impact of the proposed legislation could have on their lives.
Both sites have publically opposed the legislation, but without taking action and going dark today, they’re missing a golden opportunity to do something right.