To bring awareness to this the popular community reddit is planning to go “dark” from 8am-8pm EST on January 18, 2012. According to their offical blog they will display a message about how SOPA/PIPA would shut down reddit, and similar user content driven sites. They also plan on giving links on where you can learn more and giving readers some ways they can get involved.
They also plan to stream the video where many internet entrepreneurs and other experts including one of their founders Alexis “kn0thing” Ohanian will be testifying to Congress.
This blackout and other potential ones are really the best way show the public what SOPA/PIPA has the ability to do. The national media hasn’t really done a very good job at covering it. While these blackouts might annoy some users, it’s for the better good.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who introduced the bill, has basically said he refuses to listen to any opposition. He is quoted as saying “It’s a vocal minority. Because they’re strident doesn’t mean they’re either legitimate or large in number. One, they need to read the language. Show me the language. There’s nothing they can point to that does what they say it does do. I think their fears are unfounded.”
This blackout is a starting point for Internet users to show they aren’t a minority and that collectively we know what this bill is going to do. Let’s see if other internet giants like Google, Facebook or MySpace *giggle* get on board as well.