SOPA Blackout: The Aftermath
In the wake of SOPA Blackout Day, we’ve seen once again the dangers of angering the interwebz. We’ve also sent a very loud message that those of of who grew up in the age of computers and social media will not stand by and let clueless politicians destroy what we’ve had a hand in building.
Around 8:00am EST Jan. 18, 2012 (and in some cases even earlier) sites all over the internet went dark. Some shut down completely, displaying only a page explaining why. Some intercepted their visiters, hitting them with a popup or splash page before letting them access content. Regardless of the method, the message was the same. The internet will not tolerate the passage of that SOPA and PIPA legislation.
Some of the biggest sites on the internet joined in, including the likes of Wikipedia, Reddit, Craigslist, and Mozilla. Even Google censored their logo in protest.
On Twitter, many users pledged not to tweet during the 12-hour blackout. Other users chose instead to tweet updates about the protest. And @herpderpedia retweeted the more clueless Twitter user’s reactions to Wikipedia being down.
Around 10am, news hit the web that SOPA and PIPA had lost three of their co-sponsors in Congress.
A little before 1pm TheVerge.com reported that U.S. Senate websites were experienceing technical difficulties… Webpages for Representatives crashed as well. The issues were due to a flood of traffic to their contact pages, courtesy of Google.
SOPA opponents in San Fransisco gathered for a demonstration at Civic Center Plaza. Protesters also gathered outside of the offices of Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on 3rd Avenue in New York.
Senator Orrin Hatch, who voted to bring PIPA to the Senate floor, backtracked his position, saying “it is imperative that we take a step back to allow everyone to come together and find a reasonable solution”. Arkansas Congressman Tim Griffin, a SOPA co-sponsor issued a statement that he would take a second look at the bill. In all, at least 10 Congressmen changed their position on SOPA/PIPA.
At 4pm, it was reported that 4.5 million people had signed Google’s anti-SOPA petition. Additionally, 103,785 people signed a petition asking the Obama Administration to protect an open and innovative internet at whitehouse.gov.
CEO of Red 5 Studios (makers of the MMO Firefall), Mark Kern created the League for Gamers in response to the ESA siding with SOPA and PIPA sponsors. First order of business? Asking the ESA to oppose the legislation.
Late Wednesday, Rep. Darrell Issa offically introduced the OPEN Act in the House. And alternative to SOPA, OPEN, while far from perfect, is noted as a significant imporvment.
I think it’s safe to say we’ve won the battle. The war continues.