SOPA, PIPA debate ranks higher than most big events in 2011

Summary:The online fervor about SOPA and PIPA was discussed more than the 2011 Super Bowl and the Oprah finale.

As the debate over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) reached a breaking point this week, a new report found this topic was discussed more online than most other big events in 2011.

That's according to research analysis firm General Sentiment with a new report on the SOPA/PIPA protest and its impact in the social media world.

According to the report, the SOPA/PIPA Protest ranked third in overall social media volume with 8.6 million mentions -- higher than the 2011 Super Bowl, the Oscars, the Oprah Finale, and the American Idol finale and premiere.

Only the death of Osama Bin Laden (15.3 million mentions) and the Royal Wedding (14.3 million) attracted more social media attention.

Here are some of the highlights from the report:

  • While many sites supported the SOPA/PIPA Protest and initiated blackouts, Wikipedia proved to be the top influencer, generating over 4.1 million mentions on January 18 alone.
  • Wikipedia actually gained something from the blackout besides awareness for an issue it was concerned about as site traffic increased to 75 times its 3-month average.
  • 99.1 percent of mentions about the SOPA and PIPA Protest came from Twitter and other social media sites.
  • Common themes for SOPA on January 18 included "protests" and "protecting internet freedom."
  • The hashtags that people most frequently used were #wikipediablackout, #StopSOPA and #FactsWithoutWikipedia.

To review the report in full, it is available to download from General Sentiment now.


Topics: Security, Legal


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.