Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

Summary: Reddit's upcoming blackout is a good start, but misses the mark. Here's how you can help: by directly contacting Facebook and Google, two key opponents to the SOPA and PIPA bills.

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Enough talk. Let's try and do something incredible.

It is clear that Reddit's efforts to black out its website in protest of the SOPA and PIPA (also known as the "PROTECT-IP Act), while commendable and brave, the news-sharing collective represents only a fraction of the U.S. population.

Seeing as the U.S. is a world leader in spearheading democracy, an over 50 percent majority is needed to legitimately oppose these two laws.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last year, both SOPA and PIPA will enable the U.S. government and the courts to almost indiscriminately censor the web. Sister site CNET helpfully has a handy guide as to how the laws will affect you.

Looking into the data further, it is clear that Reddit has a diverse range of nationalities. Run with me on this one.

The U.S. population currently stands at nearly 313 million people. Reddit is ranked the 55th most popular website in the U.S., with an estimated 46 percent of U.S. Reddit users. Combine that data with the 35 million unique users figure in December 2011, equates to around 16.1 million Americans.

Therefore, only 5.1 percent of Americans are on Reddit.

The figures alone only show the maximum impact that Reddit's blackout will have on the web. Just over 5 percent of Reddit's total U.S. population, at most, opposes the SOPA or PIPA draft legislation. The figure is likely to be less than that, but not significantly.

It's a good start, but far more is needed.

Facebook has nearly 900 million users, though 75 percent of its users are outside the United States. If therefore 25 percent of its users are within the U.S., this figure equates to roughly 225 million American users.

Google has a marketshare an estimated 66 percent of the U.S. market. The CIA estimates that 279 million Americans are online in 2010; a figure probably slightly higher two years on. An estimated 180 million American users search with Google regularly.

Facebook may officially oppose SOPA, but ZDNet's Emil Protalinski made his case that the world's social network would not participate in an online blackout, similar to that of Reddit's upcoming 12-hour shutdown. Google however, as reported by sister site CBS News, "cannot support the bill as written". But the company has not officially confirmed or denied its stance on a blackout.

What is clear is that the two combined, or even alone for that matter, could raise enough awareness about the bill to have the bill thrown out of Washington.

So let's make this happen.

Both Google and Facebook have contact forms users can access, hidden away in their help and contact pages, to share thoughts, suggestions or features.

  • To contact Google, click here, select ‘Other' and fill out the form.
  • To contact Facebook, click here and sign-in, and fill in the form.

Feel free to copy-and-paste the following:

As a user of your service, I thank you for your continued opposition of H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and S. 968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PROTECT-IP). I implore you to consider one-half or full-day of restricted site access to your global services in protest of the aforementioned bills in the way that news-sharing site Reddit plans for January 18th between 8am--8pm U.S. Eastern Time.

Both Facebook and Google have everything to lose should these bills pass through Congress.

But users of the free and open web, as we live and breathe it, have the most to lose. Not only are services crucial to our every day lives under threat, our freedom quite literally hangs in the balance.

Related:

Topics: Social Enterprise, Google

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Talkback

45 comments
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  • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

    Done and done.

    I hope they follow through.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

      @Cylon Centurion Done... and done.

      I support a concerted effort to prevent SOPA from ever becoming a reality. A system blackout may catch the attention of lawmakers that hopefully might learn that the majority of US citizens are opposed to this debilitating proposal. SOPA is just plain not OK. Big company greed is what this is all about and Joe Public gets screwed once again!
      nixknutz
    • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

      @Cylon Centurion
      I suggest (if the law gets passed) we all state a claim that email providers like GMail and Hotmail have illegal files on their servers (in their users inboxes). This is off course true so by their own stupid law they are forced to shut them down. Let's see how long it will stand...
      belli_bettens@...
  • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

    The U.S. cannot possibly be ranked 55th with a 46% market share on Reddit. That means that 54 other countries have a higher market share, which means that the total would be at least 2530%.
    richard.azajud@...
    • You read it wrong.

      @richard.azajud@...

      Reddit is the ranked 55th most popular website in the USA. That means there are 54 other websites (not countries) that are more popular in the USA. 46% of Reddit users are from the USA. That means that the other 54% of Reddit users are from outside the USA.

      Click the link that is in the sentence about this to get more info.
      CPPCrispy
      • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

        @CPav My apologies -- you're right. Fixed!
        zwhittaker
  • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

    I don't think anybody will care much if google is out for a day or two, can be easlily replaced by bing, (which is better BTW). But Facebook can make a real impact because it a social thing.
    owlnet
    • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

      @owlnet

      Please, for one moment, stop the cheerleading. Contact Bing and tell them to join in.
      Bozzer
    • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

      @owlnet

      [i]"I don't think anybody will care much if google is out for a day or two"[/i]

      LOL. You have as much understanding of the internets as our esteemed Congressmen.

      Yes, it will be very easy to replace Google's tie ins to apps, search, GPS, tailored websites, etc., etc., etc., etc.,... /sarcasm
      UrNotPayingAttention
      • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

        @UrNotPayingAttention: OpenStreetMaps. Bing, and Yacy to go to the extreme. Getjar.com for apps. Everything can be replaced, it just takes some effort.
        Natanael_L
    • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

      @owlnet It's true - MS needs to blackout Bing, too.
      Cagny
  • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

    "Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed"

    Nah, I think it's on its way out now, we just have to hold the line.

    That being said, getting the attention of people on Google and Facebook is still a good idea.
    CobraA1
  • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

    Typically, for those not in government, get charged with bribery if they take money for making influenced choices on something and go to jail. Now a days, you can be in cabinet and take a bribe. It's called donations. Here is a list of who supports SOPA and how much money they were given to support the choice by the industry.
    www.sopaopera.org
    From what I also understand is a few major supporters have even been caught pirating as well.. I say go with the blackout, I could go without email, facebook and a few other things they use most. Give them a taste of what they would be doing. Why not ban their IP's, blackhole them while they try to re-write this bill, show the effect they would have.

    "I'm sorry Sir, I tried to Google it and the computer started laughing at me"!
    Nate_K
  • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

    Done. I hope they hear us.
    cameigons
  • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

    Done.
    Bozzer
  • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

    good luck, Google's revenue is about 98 million a day, and I'm sure facebook is a bunch too (don't have their financials). I can't imagine they would shut down and take that kind of loss a day, just to "give" it too their competition.

    I guess if I had that kind of revenue generation I would lose track of my principles too.
    TGGR
    • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

      @TardHugger@... Is that total revenue or their revenue from their search engine?
      Cagny
    • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

      @TardHugger@... <br><br>The revenue lost from a half day shut down would be puny compared to the hundreds of millions they will lose from lawsuits that would result if these bills pass.
      Belligerent Nerd
  • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

    "Seeing as [u]the U.S. is a world leader in spearheading democracy[/u], an over 50 percent majority is needed to legitimately oppose these two laws."

    Is that ironic?
    Elgordo1337
  • RE: Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here's what you can do

    Done, but I think a far more effective act would be for Google, Facebook, Twitter, Bing, etc. to firewall off the offices of the U.S. Senate and Congress. Sure, they can get around it if they're smart enough, but are they really smart enough?
    karl@...