(photo from Mashable’s article “These Websites Are Going Dark to Protest SOPA Wednesday”)
You better answer any burning questions you might normally look to Wikipedia.org for TONIGHT. The highly used online encyclopedia is turning out its lights tomorrow to show you what the internet might look like if the Stop Online Piracy Act passes. And they aren’t the only ones. 7,000 sites say they will participate in the biggest online black out in U.S. history tomorrow. So don’t plan on updating your Word Press blog or wasting time at work scouring Reddit tomorrow.
While behemoth Google will stay up, they will provide links on their search page explaining how the act will infringe on freedom of expression. And that’s a big deal. This will be the first time Google will participate in a current political movement.
Government officials who support SOPA have lashed out against the protest. Senator Chris Dodd (Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America) has called tech businesses actions “irresponsible,” saying they are “resorting to stunts that punish users or turn them into their corporate pawns.” And some sites, like Twitter, have said they are opting out of the blackout because it is bad for business.
What the convoluted SOPA will mean for the average Internet user is kind of confusing even to those who have been following this controversy since it began. If you’re still confused about what the argument against SOPA is, Chris Heald has an article up today on Mashable breaking it down.