How did the SOPA web blackout protest affect you?

How did the SOPA web blackout protest affect you?

Summary: Did the blackout spur you to take any action?

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TOPICS: Browser
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So, yesterday a number of high-traffic websites such as Wikipedia went dark to notify users of its opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). I'm interested in hearing how this blackout affected you and did it spur you to take any action?

I was struck by a number of things:

  • How much I use Wikipedia in a day, both casually and professionally. I link expensively to Wikipedia in my articles to make the reader's life easier, and the blackout made this trickier than usual.
  • I was amazed how many websites took part in the blackout in one way or another.
  • I was fascinated by the different techniques that websites used to black out content. If you're interested in how it was done, I recommend you read this excellent piece by Scott Hanselman.
  • I was expecting that the blackout would do more to annoy people than inform, but judging by what I came across on the web and via the social media channels, overall people supported the blackout.
  • Yes, there were ways and means to get around the blacked out pages (just like there would ways and means of getting around sites blocked by SOPA is it became law), but the point of the protest was to inform people, not blackout everything completely (if websites had wanted to do that, they could have done so).
  • I'm a firm believer in respecting copyright, but I am firmly opposed to such heavy-handed Draconian powered being handed out in order to protect intellectual property. Not only do I see the laws as disproportionate, I find them particularly chilling because they could be the beginning of censorship by the back door.
  • Without a doubt, the funniest SOPA blackout was on The Oatmeal (NSFW).

So, what did you do during the blackout?

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14 comments
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  • Made me happy

    As I truly detest wikipedia I was elated to hear they disappeared for a while. You would think some bright lad would find a way to block them entirely. They have a right (shudder) to exist but stay out of MY face!
    photomstr@...
    • Here's a thought

      @photomstr@...
      Don't go to the site, and then it won't be "in your face". Simple solution.

      If individuals are sending you there, then you need to talk to the individuals.
      use_what_works_4_U
  • RE: How did the SOPA web blackout protest affect you?

    I called my represenatives, asked my friends on Facebook and Twitter to do the same, and promptly went outside for the day.

    I think we won the battle. Over 4.3 million people signed Google's petition, and at least 10 people in Washington back out of supporting these bills.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: How did the SOPA web blackout protest affect you?

      @Cylon Centurion

      And how did your pale skin do when hit by natural sunlight?
      B.O.F.H.
  • Yeah, I actually read SOPA

    And found out that PIPA is where all the problems are.
    baggins_z
    • Please elaborate

      @baggins_z
      And don't just say that SOPA must be all right because it was introduced by a Republican.
      John L. Ries
  • RE: How did the SOPA web blackout protest affect you?

    Didn't affect me that much, I don't regularly visit most of the sites that decided to protest.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • RE: How did the SOPA web blackout protest affect you?

    I went on living life as usual.
    aep528
  • RE: How did the SOPA web blackout protest affect you?

    Speel cheek 1
    Grammer check 0

    [q]I link expensively to Wikipedia[/q] - Really? Does it cost much? :)

    I've been following this for quite a long time now thanks to the efforts of EFF. It was nice to see so many large sites being active in stating their positions.
    tschuh
  • RE: How did the SOPA web blackout protest affect you?

    Last night, I had to remind myself of a property of logrithms to help my son study for his pre-calculus class. I just had to use the cached version of the Wikipedia page rather than the live page. That's it--was not affected otherwise. The politicos will do whatever the people paying the most (in cash or in votes) want.
    brentgee
  • RE: How did the SOPA web blackout protest affect you?

    zdnet, your talkback system sucks. in case you hadn't heard
    UrNotPayingAttention
  • Even if PIPA and SOPA fail...

    I will bet large chunks of cash that the entertainment industry will pay their lobbyist lackeys and yank the chains of their pet politicos to get the exact verbage of SOPA attached to the upcoming anti-child-pr0n bill. Why? Because no one in Washington has enough spine to stand up against a bill that protects children, even if there is a pro-terrorist rider along with it. I suspect that is what they've been planning all along.
    Zorched
    • That and...

      @Zorched
      ...opponents of those who backed out will be getting some extra campaign dollars.
      John L. Ries
  • Did the blackout spur you to take any action? YES

    I e-mailed my extreme displeasure with SOPA and PIPA, and why, to my representative and both senators. Interestingly enough, Frank Guinta, Jeanne Shaheen, and Kelly Ayotte all wrote me back telling me they were going to fight SOPA and PIPA.
    Dr_Zinj