In conjunction with next week's House Oversight Committee hearing
on the technical impact of DNS blocking in bills like SOPA/PIPA, Reddit has taken the huge
step of deciding to black out its entire site for a 12 hour period
-- from 8am to 8pm ET. The guys behind the site admit that this is not a decision they take lightly, and that many in the community disagree with it -- but it's something they feel needs to be done:
The freedom, innovation, and economic opportunity that the Internet enables is in jeopardy. Congress is considering legislation that will dramatically change your Internet experience and put an end to reddit and many other sites you use everyday. Internet experts, organizations, companies, entrepreneurs, legal experts, journalists, and individuals have repeatedly expressed how dangerous this bill is. If we do nothing, Congress will likely pass the Protect IP Act (in the Senate) or the Stop Online Piracy Act (in the House), and then the President will probably sign it into law. There are powerful forces trying to censor the Internet, and a few months ago many people thought this legislation would surely pass. However, there’s a new hope that we can defeat this dangerous legislation.
We’ve seen some amazing activism organized by redditors at /r/sopa and across the reddit community at large. You have made a difference in this fight; and as we near the next stage, and after much thought, talking with experts, and hearing the overwhelming voices from the reddit community, we have decided that we will be blacking out reddit on January 18th from 8am–8pm EST (1300–0100 UTC).
This is the same Reddit that got over 2 billion pageviews last month
. Taking down the site for an entire 12 hours is a huge, huge deal. But, according to Lamar Smith, they're nobody...