Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you know that SOPA and PIPA are all the rage. (If you don't know what they are, it's your duty as an Internet-loving citizen to read about them here.) Likewise, sites like Reddit have decided that they will black out on January 18, 2012 in protest of these two acts which would allow the U.S. to effectively censor the Internet in fairly atrocious ways. And by "black out," I mean they will cease to function as usual and instead provide educational resources about SOPA so as to create awareness.
Gaining steam is the notion that sites like Facebook and Google need to black out to create ultimate awareness/impact with the general public about these two acts, but let's not discount the smaller sites and communities around the Web! If you are one such site or community and you want to join the blackout that will occur on January 18, head on over to the main site of your Web site's platform and search for a plugin!
For example, searching the WordPress plugins page for "SOPA" yields a number of WordPress plugins like "Simple Stop SOPA". This particular plugin will black your site out and display the following message in white text:
This site has been blocked in protest of the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) two bills which will allow the government censor the intenet. Find out more at americancensorship.org or the video below. This website will return at 8pm.
Additionally, it will display the following video from fightforthefuture.org:
And for those of you looking for something more extensible and SEO-friendly, you might want to check out the "SOPA Blackout Plugin". Its offerings look even tastier than the aforementioned plugin:
This plugin allows you to set SOPA blackout dates for your WordPress website, as well as a variety of options on who the anti-SOPA is shown too. You can have it shown instead of your site for any visitor, you can only show it the first time then let your visitors continue to the site, plus a lot more. This plugin is SEO friendly with temporary redirects being used.
Overall, I fully expect these types of plugins to be created in droves as we approach January 18th (which, by the way, is the day folks like Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, will testify to congress), including more from other developers for other platforms (Blogger, Joomla, etc.), so keep your eyes peeled. Try searching Google or, as I mentioned earlier, head on over to the main site of your blog/site platform and search there.
Every little bit can potentially make a huge difference, so read up on SOPA/PIPA if you have yet to and then decide if you want to play a part in one of the most important endeavors to ever affect the security and freedom of the Internet!
- Reddit will enact ‘nuclear option’ to protest SOPA, PIPA
- Reddit’s anti-SOPA “nuclear” protest is a good start
- SOPA: Why the ‘broken web’ should stay broken
- Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider ‘nuclear’ blackout
- Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now
- Friending Facebook: Don’t expect Facebook to go dark for SOPA
- London Calling: U.S. ‘threatened to blacklist Spain’ over SOPA-style law
- CNET: How SOPA would affect you: FAQ