A Gallery Of The SOPA Blackout Protest Screens.

from the mr-smith-takes-over-the-internet dept

Needless to say, there’s a pretty big protest going on right now against SOPA, with many sites either shuttering fully or making obvious changes in support of the protests. Leading the charge are Wikipedia, Reddit and Google. Sites like SOPA STRIKE and SOPA Blackout disseminated code to allow sites to easily join the blackout, but many sites have actually decided to take the time to tailor their protests for their own sites, which is amazing to see. It is this creative energy that drives the Internet and makes it what it is (for better or worse), and it is this very energy that legislation like SOPA and PIPA threaten to extinguish.

I’ve created a gallery of SOPA blackout screencaps, but here are some of my favorite takes on the protest today:

Reddit’s blackout is probably the most complete; all URLs, including deep links, on Reddit lead to the blackout page, which is very impressive for such a largely trafficked site. For Redditor’s going through Reddit-withdrawal today, they feature a handy countdown timer on their blackout page.
Reddit's SOPA Blackout

Wikipedia’s blackout encompasses all of the English site, and as evidenced by @herpderpedia (who is collecting various angry Tweets about the Wikipedia blackout), it is certainly causing some frustration (and hopefully some awareness). That said, Wikipedia’s blackout is very, very, very easy to thwart (just hit the ESC key before the page fully loads), so there’s an easy escape valve for those that are in dire need of its content. In that same vein, Craigslist’s full blackout also has a release valve that gracefully loads after a few seconds.

Google promised that it would do “something,” and followed suit with a Google Doodle, essentially blacking out its logo in protest. Several sites followed suit, including Hacker News, 4chan’s /b/ (link to a SFW screenshot), and TwitPic.

Taking the “censor-style” protest to the next level are Wired’s blackout and Daily Kos’ blackout. Wired’s coders decided to mark up the page itself with black censor boxes, so that the page looks like it’s been through the hands of some very aggressive government censors. Very clever from the design-minded folks over at Wired.
Wired's SOPA Blackout

Elegant as always, xkcd’s blackout offers the simple message, “[don’t censor the web]”. xkcd's SOPA blackout

And, the most amusing blackout of the day comes from McSweeney’s (of course), who has handily replaced its site today with “A DAY’S WORTH OF FACTS TO GET YOU THROUGH WIKIPEDIA’S 24-HOUR BLACKOUT.”
McSweeney's SOPA Blackout

Check out the full gallery here, and let me know if there are any awesome blackout implementations that I’ve missed.

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Comments on “A Gallery Of The SOPA Blackout Protest Screens.”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Last night after the Wikipedia blackout started I found this Twitter search…


Much of it is both sad and funny at the same time. It’s amazing how clueless many of the kids are these days, but anyways, it started out with a bunch of kids bitching about essays they had due today and they couldn’t copy and paste their homework now because of the blackout (many of them still seem think it’s gone forever) amongst them was a teacher who Tweeted that he was watching to see if any of his students would be among them.

Yoshord says:


http://thedailywtf.com/ had a satirical “Support The Daily WTF in Supporting the Support SOPA Movement” post that I found funny. They also whited out their site if you went there via the DNS (http://thedailywtf.com/), but allowed normal operation if you went via IP address (, since the point of the post was about how SOPA and PIPA aren’t about infringement, they are about helping dismantle the dnagerous and confusing Domain Name System.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You’re asking me to prove a negative?

There’s nothing in either one of those bills that could cause a court to declare wikipedia a “rogue site”.

That’s absurd.

Taking such an intellectually dishonest approach when debating piracy legislation only guarantees defeat for your position as the ultimate outcome.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Now it is my turn to say it.

Of course these people can’t point to text in the law that would protect free speech or Wikipedia because it is not there, it was purposely worded to make room so these unscrupulous people can get to any website on the internet in one way or another.

That is why nobody wants to clarify the language in those bills, that is why every amendment trying to do so was rejected.

This is a fight against evil(copyright) vs good(freedom).

That monopoly is threatening democracy now, it is time to end it.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You’re asking me to prove a negative?

No, I’m not asking you to prove a negative. I’m asking you to point out the specific language in the bill that clearly defines what a rogue site is, and as long as the sites above do not meet the definition, your point would be valid. For example, there could be a part that says any site that responds to legal DMCA notices are exempt from all of the actions in the bill, and therefore, a site such as Wikipedia that does could not be targeted.

One of us is being intellectually dishonest. News flash: It isn’t me.

ashridah says:

Co-ordinated webcomic sopa protests

Questionable Content, Girls With Slingshots and Something*Positive all did a co-ordinated anti-SOPA awareness comic today as well, although not a complete blackout:


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Co-ordinated webcomic sopa protests

I preferred the approach taken by dominic-deegan, xkcd, and to a lesser extent Garfield minus Garfield, even if they did deprive me of my comics for the day. I have to say the red anti-SOPA on the majority of the web comics was… disconcerting considering most went with blacks and grays, even TGWTG went with dark colors.

fairuse (profile) says:

DarkWikipedia - iMac's Dictionary Action

I leave the iMac’s dictionary open because it is so handy, it has; Wikipedia, Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus, New Oxford Dictionary, and Apple Dictionary. Earlier in the day on January 18, 2012, I wondered how not-internet-browser utilities (app) handled Wikipedia gone dark. The answer in this case is quite well.

I typed in a few words and sure as hell the dictionary had no Wikipedia results. What started out as a quick look-see turned into an eleven minute video. At this time it has a silence audio track — waiting on me or someone to fit a mashup to it. The video and a note about it is here.


Watch the first 2:30 minutes and skip to 9:20 minute mark if in a hurry. You should notice Wikipedia has something to say even when it has gone dark.

The Luke Witnesser says:

Here lies the truth about SOPA/PIPA that even TechDirt has yet to report: what MPAA, RIAA, and Hollywood execs do not want you to see.


The truth behind why these big companies responsible for SOPA and PIPA are also responsible for piracy itself is far more insidious than even their outmoded business model.

Hint: can you say, do as I say so I can crush you under heel?

guna says:

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