If you’ve been on the internet at all today, you may have noticed that many websites are on strike.
According to SOPAStrike.com, today marks the largest online protest in history. Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, the Cheezburger network, Mozilla, WordPress, and thousands of other lesser known websites are blacking out part or all of their sites today in protest of web censorship.
We wrote a few weeks ago on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and what it means for the future of digital media, technical innovation, and user-generated content on the web.
A major component of the original bills was known as “DNS blocking.” This was meant to force the domain name service (DNS) to block foreign websites that have been accused of hosting or sharing illegal or pirated content. The people who run the internet came out in full force stating that disrupting the DNS in that manner could break the web as we know it and create national security issues.
As the shouts of protest increased, the bill sponsors stepped back from that particular provision. Last week, the White House came out in full opposition of any bill that contains DNS blocking, effectively killing that component of the bills.
Many think the fight ends there – but the web strike today demonstrates that the long term effects of SOPA and PIPA will still be detrimental to the web as we know it.
Wikipedia has no financial self-interest at play here: we do not benefit from copyright infringement, nor are we trying to monetize traffic or sell ads. We are protesting to raise awareness about SOPA and PIPA solely because we think they will hurt the Internet, and your ability to access information online. We are doing this for you, because we’re on your side. – Wikipedia’s stance on SOPA/PIPA
In Louisiana, Senator Mary Landrieu and Senator David Vitter are supporting the legislation. I personally encourage you to reach out to them through AmericanCensorship.org or through any website participating in the strike today.
Tell them that, while Louisiana may be “Hollywood South,” our digital media and web innovation should not be stifled by SOPA and PIPA. Use your voice.
Category: Editor Musings