What We're Doing On This PIPA/SOPA Day Of Protest: Keeping You Involved

from the to-black-out-or-not-to-black-out dept

As more and more sites announced plans to black out their sites today in protest of Congress considering both PIPA and SOPA, a few people asked us if we would take part in the blackout as well. We definitely thought about it, but decided that was not the best use of this site. The key point behind the blackouts for most sites is to alert their users just how bad these legislative proposals are. For that purpose, Techdirt wouldn't gain very much, if anything, in going dark. If you've been reading this site at all over the past few months to a year (year plus, going back to the original COICA bill), you'd already be well aware of why these efforts are tremendously dangerous. Furthermore, we believed that we'd be able to provide even more value in covering what happens today, as these protests roll out. The fact that a couple of pro-SOPA lobbyists joked that they hoped we'd go dark (with one even asking "how much" it would take to get us to stop talking about this issue for the day), gave us even more reasons to keep publishing.

Obviously, however, we support the actions lots of other sites have taken in response to this ridiculous attempt to regulate the internet, based on fairy tales and no actual evidence from the legacy content businesses. The sites that have decided to go with a full blackout deserve the utmost respect for taking a true stand on the matter. Similarly, some other sites are adding their voice to the protest in different ways -- whether it's highlighting problems with the bills or pushing people to call Congress.

That last point seemed like a good idea to us, so with each post today, we'll also be posting a widget that will allow you to call your Senators' office, and express your displeasure with PIPA. We've also "grayed out" much of the site, and have a specific link at the top to StopTheWall.us, where you can find out more. I will actually be doing a bunch of meetings with Senate staffers later today, and I hope (and fully expect) to hear phones ringing off the hook while I'm there.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 12:36am

    Anybody else thought that the new colors for this day was some kind of error on the browser and tried more than once to reload the page to see if it turned white again?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Just John (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 12:42am

    My plan of attack

    Currently, I have been focusing on ICE, asking them what their mandate is, why they are participating in actions outside of their mandate, and making a general nuisance on their facebook page.

    I have also been stopping by a few places here and there, like Youtube, the wiki comments, and others, and disproving the shills by posting relevant links to disproved and debunked information sources, including back to Techdirt.

    Even posting information on my facebook telling all of my friends that, even though most are not American, they need to pay attention and try to get heard because it will effect them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 12:44am

    Well, I'm not american, that said, calling senators about this is definitely out of the table.

    But if there's anything a foreigner can do to help, I'm all ears.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    ArkahnX (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 12:52am

    Site Colors

    I as well thought that this was an error, then I glanced at the header and noticed it was black with emphasis on SOPA and decided it was Techdirt's look for the day

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Just John (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 12:54am

    Re:

    Well, when they asked me to sign the Google petition, they just asked for my name and zip code, no other information.

    Just go to the Google home page link, and enter your name and find a zip code.

    You can also call your government to try to get the other governments to push back. You can call the US embassy in your country to let them know how you feel.

    Just some ideas from me. If others have ideas, feel free to chime in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Cardman, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 1:02am

    Blackout Started

    I am glad they made this page. I hope people will keep it clear for people to say what they are doing today against SOPA and PIPA.

    As I said recently my UK Trader website www.cardman.com is now blacked out. Only a quickly made page to slap together whatever anti-censorship photos I found. Take a look if you want but the only other page still online is my 404 error page which is sure needed today and is a fun one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 1:19am

    Re: Blackout Started

    The Google Friendly way is to black out using the 503 error.

    Or using some plugin like the one in wordpress
    https://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/sopa-blackout/

    http://www.webmonkey.com/2012/01/p rotest-sopa-blackout-your-website-the-google-friendly-way/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 1:41am

    Re: Re:

    I've done the best thing I can, installing a Wordpress plugin on my blog to automatically display a page today, urging Americans to do what they can. I also updated my Facebook and Twitter statuses to do the same for Americans I'm in contact with.

    The best thing you can do is to do what little you can to aid what these websites are doing today - urge anyone with the power to affect this to do so.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 1:47am

    Re:

    Go to the Wordpress website and scroll down a bit, look for the Internation Action box where you can add your email address.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 1:49am

    Some good news to start off the morning with

    http://www.omaha.com/article/20120118/NEWS01/701189867

    Lee Terry a co-sponsor of SOPA, is pulling his name from the bill.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 2:40am

    In other news, to get around the wikipedia blackout, simply block mediawiki.org. Some of us need this as a work tool.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Cardman, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 2:44am

    Re: Re: Blackout Started

    A critic then. I am happy enough with my total blackout site and it will only be down for less than a day.

    Take a look at Rock, Paper, Shutgun. Replace my used photos with their video and not much different...
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com

    I am not surprised that people do not come up with very beautiful webpages when it has been quite an rush. It looks good enough and it makes the point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    FM Hilton, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 2:45am

    Another site goes on blackout

    Much to my own surprise, delight, and pleasure, Reclaim Your Game went into blackout mode today. (I'm an admin there)

    http://www.reclaimyourgame.com/content/1-Home

    When even a relatively tiny site such as ours does this, it speaks volumes.

    This protest just might work, after all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Hudders, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 2:55am

    Re: Re:

    Just go to the Google home page link, and enter your name and find a zip code


    Hm, sounds like quite a good way to render the petition illegitimate to me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Just John (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 3:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I have thought of that too, and to be completely honest, I assume Google may have thought about that and may actually do an IP filtering.

    The strange part is, keep in mind, I am an American, registered to vote in Arizona, and entered my legal name and zip code, but if they enact an IP filtering mechanism, then I will probably be blocked as a foreign national faking a petition signing, so it would be moot for me as an American. Who knows if they do this or they process on faith that the person is an American citizen.

    But, either way, we also know that online petitions are not taken seriously by congress, but if there is a large enough number, it may give them pause, so not sure if it helps or hurts honestly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    tsavory (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 3:22am

    Re:

    turn javascript off in your browser will get around it as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 3:26am

    Actually this grey background makes the site more plesant to read. Could you keep it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 3:44am

    Re:

    +1 for that.
    Makes my glossy screen less straining on the eyes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    SmokeMagnetic (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 3:51am

    Well at least you admit that if you shut down this site, no one would really give a shit..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 3:55am

    Today is the day the US government finally comprehends what a rogue elephant Google has grown to become.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 4:09am

    Re:

    hahahahaaha

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 4:40am

    Re:

    I like them a lot more, actually. I hope they're kept!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 4:51am

    Re:

    Well, I'm not american, that said, calling senators about this is definitely out of the table.

    If you have a representative government, you can contact them. Ask your government to express your concerns to the US State Department, diplomatically.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 4:53am

    Re:

    Agreed, or at least make it an option.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Planespotter (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 5:09am

    Re:

    You missing a sarcmark or just shilling for a dinosaur?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Jeff (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 5:12am

    Re:

    Today is the day Google finally comprehends what a rogue elephant the US government has grown to become.


    ** see how that works? **

    have a nice day...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 5:12am

    What is the deal with all the google hate, UMADBRO?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 5:22am

    Once you've gone gray you never go back apparently

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 5:27am

    Re: My plan of attack

    I have also been posting on my facebook and both of my domains have protest pages as front pages so my domains are DOWN !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 5:28am

    Use Firefox or Chrome + Stylish extension

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 5:41am

    Re:

    when my browser background turned gray I thought SOPA had been approved and the internet had reverted to its 90s look.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    ahow628 (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 5:50am

    Re:

    You can contact the US State Dept to protest SOPA.

    http://americancensorship.org/modal/state-dept-petition/index.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Rain Day, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 6:03am

    Re:

    Google, a rogue elephant? Hmmm, GoDaddy's probably loadin' their elephant gun right now!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 6:23am

    Makes Sense! - also it gives anyone interested in learning about it a place to go and learn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 6:44am

    After visiting Wikipedia i found their app thet gives the names and phone numbers for my state reps very helpful. I entered my zip code and was able to call the Washington offices to tell them I was against sopa/pipa.

    I was able to get through without a issue. Everyone who hasn't called should call.

    Also, after speaking with them I get the feeling the phones are very busy today with like minded people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 6:51am

    wimp.com went dark as well

    Adding to the list of dark sites for today, wimp.com has also joined the protest with a landing page similar to the rest. It does include a link to Mike's "Definitive Post on why SOPA/PIPA are bad" post though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    Dementia (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 6:54am

    Well, Wikipedia's blackout has actually made it on to FoxNews, MSNBC, and CNN, at least the websites anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 7:09am

    Hey! How many of the pirate sites blacked out in protest?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Daniel, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 7:44am

    Just use wiki and give the reps a call. The petition on Google is great, but unless you sign it with your own US IP it'll probably be pointless. Lets just hope the government doesn't get to power hungry in a few days.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 8:25am

    Reddit now have a nice censorship front page.

    Imgur have gone a different route when now every photo they provide has been censored away.

    I will look around for more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 8:29am

    Mobile Wikipedia is not blacked out, which means this all fails, SOPA automatically becomes law, and Eric Schmidt has to wash and wax Chris Dodd's BWM every day for the next nine years. </sarcasm>

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 8:30am

    Re:

    Wait, Chris Dodd has a BWM, not a BMW? PIRATE!! COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!! SUE SUE SUE!!!

    (actually a typo, my bad) :\

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 8:40am

    Re:

    Wired, Wordpress and Greenpeace are also blackedout.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    4chan is blacking out all text. Some of these are really creative. I really like Fark's anti-protest.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 8:55am

    Re:

    A large list of blackout participants can be found here...
    http://sopastrike.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re:

    This one makes me laugh...
    http://www.turkreno.com/

    So he took offline his own spell checker and now big words are too much for him. LOL. Goes to show this takes all-sorts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Sarah, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:09am

    Thank you Mike Masnick

    and the rest of you at TechDirt for keeping us informed, aware, and angry. I agree, your blog serves its purpose better by keeping us informed than by being silent. Cheers to all of your hard work and dedication to spreading the word about this silly, pointless, poisonous bill.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Michael Costanza (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:20am

    Re:

    I kinda like it too. Will keep it in mind for the next site redesign.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    Scott (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 11:25am

    Best SOPA page

    My favorite thus far

    http://theoatmeal.com/sopa

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    DH's Love Child (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Best SOPA page

    That is f***ing GREAT!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    wildcomputerwife, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

    "free and open"

    Hello, fellow internettees we're coming together to protect our "freedom of speech" ... it makes me proud to be an American. I've been roaming the websites ... emailing Congressmen, Congresswomen and Senators from all over the United States. What excitement on the internet! We'll get the OPEN Bill!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Gary, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    Forget OPEN we need nothing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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