Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia "nuke" the Web to stop SOPA?

Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia "nuke" the Web to stop SOPA?

Summary: Maybe blacking out their Web sites would be over-kill, but the Internet giants could use other joint tactics to kill Stop Online Piracy Act off.

SHARE:

Should the Internet powers nuke the Web to stop SOPA?

Should the Internet powers nuke the Web to stop SOPA?

With the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Congress, at the request of big media, is still considering trying to censor the global Internet in the name of preventing media piracy The major Internet companies, who don't like the idea of being forced to monitor customers' traffic and block Web sites suspected or accused of copyright infringement. They don't want any part of being in the Big Brother business. So it is that Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia appear to all be considering the 'nuclear' option.

According to multiple sources, the nuclear option would mean many major sites would simply and simultaneously go dark. Were you to go to any of them, you'd either find a 404 error page not available message or a page explaining why the site's currently unavailable. The most popular Internet sites would simply go dark.

This is pretty drastic, but then so is SOPA. SOPA, while a proposed American law, attempts to censor sites throughout the world. In effect, as it's currently written, SOPA would try to impose global censorship almost as bad as the Chinese firewall.

But, would simply shutting down major sites that hundreds of millions of users rely on every day actually get the message across? Or, would it simply tick off 99% of the Web using population who couldn't even spell SOPA much less know what it's about? Even today, I find otherwise intelligent Internet professionals who think that SOPA is a good idea. They simply can't see that stopping Internet music and video piracy with SOPA is like burning down a house to get rid of mice.

So, I have a suggestion for the NetCoalition, the lobbying group representing leading global Internet and technology companies, including Google, Yahoo!, Amazon.com, eBay, Bloomberg, and Wikipedia, and which is also a major organizer of the Internet powers' SOPA opposition. Instead of blacking out the Internet, educate it.

Pick a day, a week, when all participating sites will show their visitors a page about what SOPA is, why they're against it, and then list by name the Congressmen and women who are supporting this law and urging everyone to vote against them in the 2012 election. After that, let the visitors go about searching for the latest football scores, a cheap copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, whatever.

Even that will annoy most users, but it will get the message across to everyone. What's more important though is that it will deliver the message that we will not stand for SOPA to the people who need to hear the most: the law-makers who've been bought and paid for by big media. If Internet registry Go Daddy can change its spots when it comes to supporting SOPA after it became clear that its customers wouldn't stand for it, I know Congressmen faced with losing their comfy jobs will listen.

Nuclear explosion image by The Official CTBTO Photostream, CC 2.0.

Related Stories:

Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

Google's SOPA press stunt: Can we truly hold them liable?

SOPA: Could the bill harm entrepreneurship?

Would a Wikipedia blackout be such a bad thing?

Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

Topics: Collaboration, Amazon, Browser, Google

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

Talkback

42 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • No it's a stupid idea...

    Google wouldn't be nearly moronic enough to pull that mistake, this when the questions of Google already holding to much power.<br><br>Doing this would show clear intent by Google to push their own agenda only weakening there position in this argument. Don't misunderstand however I hope to god SOPA doesn't pass and am prepared to take action if it does. <br><br>But this kind of rash movement wouldn't do Google any favours, and would just make them out to be a power hungry business pushing their own interests. <br><br>It's what everyone backing SOPA is doing, you dont win an argument by lowering yourself to you're opponents level... You rise above them and be the bigger man.
    Moonking
    • Okay....

      @Moonking
      Explain the "rise above" solution for us......

      :|
      rhonin
      • As you begin to rise above them...

        @rhonin ...they will punch you in the nuts.
        doctordawg
    • RE: Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia 'nuke' the Web to stop SOPA?

      @Moonking "But this kind of rash movement wouldn't do Google any favours, and would just make them out to be a power hungry business pushing their own interests. "

      No, it would be your own preconceived biases that would cause you to characterize this as "a power-hungry business pushing their own interests".
      jgm@...
    • RE: Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia 'nuke' the Web to stop SOPA?

      @Moonking

      "It is a stupid idea that will at best do far more damage than to just follow up with a continuing road map; like any other form of legislation." __ Seriouly No Surprises!
      Zurk_Orkin
    • RE: Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia 'nuke' the Web to stop SOPA?

      @Moonking "Tick off" is the same as getting the message across. People will not pay attention unless you put a big honking sign in front of them. Maybe that 404 page should "honk", literally. If the law passes that will harm Google & friends even more as they will have to spend more money to police global traffic.

      I'm NOT FOR piracy but you can see why folks do it. Aside from the ne'er-do-wells who get their thrills this way, big media overcharges for their product. A movie is released then makes back it's money with ticket sales. It requires little for them to duplicate so the profits always surpass the cost of production. Way after the film has paid for itself two or more times over the consumer still has to pay $10 plus dollars for a $1.25 [non-green] package. The RIAA thinks it's fine to sell 10 MP3 files for the same price as a CD (containing uncompressed high-fidelity music). Even with streaming services the MPAA and RIAA want you to buy their DVDs and CDs. SOPA simply allows them to continue this uneven business practice.
      myangeldust
    • I agree that Google's interests are their own, moreso at our expense

      @Moonking
      as we mean nothing to Google beyond what they can earn from us.

      Google will only do what is in their best inetrest, not ours or the internet's best interest.

      The best way to stop this is for us, the people purchasing media online to quit doing so for a week or two, make it not in the media companies best interest to pursue this legislation
      :|
      Tim Cook
    • RE: Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia 'nuke' the Web to stop SOPA?

      @Moonking

      It wouldn't just be Google doing it. That's the thing. If a group of companies did it, it would fine.

      As for rising above it. That's not an option. Sitting back and doing nothing because you somehow believe you're "rising above it" often means you end up getting the rawest of deals, as it looks like your "can't be bothered".
      Bozzer
  • Wikipedia going dark would be a net benefit to humankind

    The day Wikipedia goes dark will be the day people rediscover journal articles, newspapers, magazines, investigative reporting, and books. That would be a bad thing, why?
    thekohser
    • These exist?

      @thekohser
      Almost all the local libraries o longer carry anything other than electronic.....
      rhonin
      • RE: Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia 'nuke' the Web to stop SOPA?

        @rhonin That's a false statement.
        myangeldust
    • RE: Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia 'nuke' the Web to stop SOPA?

      @thekohser It's inefficient.

      Why go buy butter when you can rediscover how good churning it is.
      Aerowind
  • RE: Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia 'nuke' the Web to stop SOPA?

    Repeating my comment in a similar post..


    Sky is not going to fall down if the so called 'Giants' go for the nuke option. Google can be easly replaced by Bing ( Which btw is way better the google). Few marriages will be saved if facebook is out for a while and for twitter , saves people from somebodyelse's bit*hing.
    owlnet
    • RE: Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia 'nuke' the Web to stop SOPA?

      @owlnet
      Yeah but I don't wanna use Bing since I think Bing blows.
      ScorpioBlue
    • RE: Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia 'nuke' the Web to stop SOPA?

      @owlnet
      Sorry but bing doesn't do it for me.. Plus i don't know of anyone that uses bing.. Yahoo yes but not bing directly.. When i tried bing it never found what i was looking for..
      Anthony E
    • RE: Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia 'nuke' the Web to stop SOPA?

      @owlnet

      "oogle can be easly replaced by Bing ( Which btw is way better the google)."

      What? I do the same search for some obscure issue we have at work on Bing and on Google. Google give me a working resolution within its top five returns. Bing? Well, I give up after the first three pages of returns with no workable resolution.
      benched42
    • RE: Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia 'nuke' the Web to stop SOPA?

      @owlnet How will Bing learn good search results if Google is not available? The good results from bing were stolen by IE and bing tool bars.
      normcf
  • The missiles are flying! Hallelujah, hallelujah!

    Nothing less will wake an ignorant, apathetic population.

    Moderate action will not stop the bill passing.

    The media companies have declared war on the world and already launched.

    [b] The missiles are flying! Hallelujah, hallelujah! [/b]
    jacksonjohn
    • RE: Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia 'nuke' the Web to stop SOPA?

      @johnfenjackson@... You're like Slim Pickens riding a nuclear missile to its final destination! Yee-haw!
      myangeldust
  • RE: Should Amazon, Google & Wikipedia 'nuke' the Web to stop SOPA?

    Taking no action or acting better than Congress (don't most of us do that every day?) won't work.

    I think the education idea combined with an easy opportunity for readers to write their erring Congressmen might help.

    Why not just publish all those names supporting SOPA now and get started?
    amywohl