If you don’t know what’s going on….
You may have heard people talking/blogging/twittering about SOPA — the Stop Online Piracy Act. The recent SOPA-related boycott of GoDaddy was all over the news, with many people expressing their outrage over the possibilities of SOPA, but when I ask people about SOPA and its sister bill in the Senate, PIPA (Protect IP Act), many don’t really know what the bills propose, or what we stand to lose. If you are not freaked out by SOPA/PIPA, please: for the next four minutes, instead of checking Facebook statuses, seeing who mentioned you on Twitter, or watching the latest episode of Sherlock*, watch this video (by Fight for the Future).
Nope. No we did not. What we did was delay things. SOPA and PIPA are still threats. So is PROTECT-IP, and so is a lot of similar legislation that will be pushed at us, willynilly, in the coming months. This doesn’t devalue the goal a lot of us have of going dark on the 18th, for at least 8 hours.
What? You didn’t hear about that either? That, going dark, is the brainchild of Reddit. Reddit is a well-known-if-you’re-a-nerd site where people talk about anything. I love it. They decided Stopped they must be; on this all depends. Which is a fancy way of saying ‘We’re going dark on the 18th for 8 hours. Join us.’ A lot of people plan to.
All Cheezburger sites will also be instituting a blackout on January 18th to protest SOPA and PIPA. Now, go ask Wikipedia to do it.
— benhuh (@benhuh) January 12, 2012
That’s right, all of the cheezeburger sites. That includes all the FAIL blogs too. Gone. BoingBoing, another nerdtopia site will be dark as well.
— Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) January 15, 2012
And as of today, the 16th, WikiPedia is in:
Student warning!Do your homework early.Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday! #sopa
— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) January 16, 2012
(I wish they’d publicize the code they’re going to use, but I’ll live without it.)
Need technical help on how to go dark? I posted some generic advice for WordPress and some generic scripts for any PHP driven site at Ipstenu on Tech: SOPA Blackout but if you need more, my home-girl Amy has her own list of how-to’s for going dark.
If you’re on WordPress.com, I took a little riff off the code blackroseheart came up with and made something that would work as a text widget on WordPress.com, Blogger, and it’s ‘somewhat’ easily put on Tumblr: http://pastebin.com/XhDhHp6q (If you’re using the 2011 theme on WordPress, put this in the FOOTER widgets).
So I’m going dark. I’m taking my sites dark. Even that one you think I wouldn’t have the balls to do. And I’m not warning anyone on that site. If you read it here, you know, otherwise Wednesday will shock you. And that is, actually, my point. Too many of you don’t know. Well, on Wednesday, you will. And if you’re worried about how this will impact your site on search engines, don’t be, just use 503 headers where you can.
Please join me. Take down the internet to show that any legislation of this type is something we the people will not stand for.