Web giants protest proposed legislation
Several web giants today made their feelings about proposed legislation in the Congress known to their users today by either shutting down their sites or posting messages.
Google posted a message saying “Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!” which contained a link to an information page. “Millions of Americans oppose SOPA and PIPA because these bills would censor the Internet and slow economic growth in the U.S.,” the page read as it asked users to make their feelings know to their representatives.
Wikipedia.org was shutdown (kind of) for U.S. users. The normal home page remains, but once a user searched they were taken to a page saying “Imagine a world without free knowledge”. Users could avoid the page, however, if they pressed the escape button before the page loaded, thus allowing them to continue to use the online information site.
Reddit.com went black, as well, converting their home page in the cause. The home page now gives a detailed explanation of why Reddit and other web services are against the legislation being pushed by News Corp., RIAA and others.
Today, for 12 hours, reddit.com goes dark to raise awareness of two bills in congress: H.R.3261 “Stop Online Piracy Act” and S.968 “PROTECT IP”, which could radically change the landscape of the Internet. These bills provide overly broad mechanisms for enforcement of copyright which would restrict innovation and threaten the existence of websites with user-submitted content, such as reddit.
The story of the web blackout has been the lead story on the NYT website since late last night. The Washington Post is also leading its website with the story under the headline What happens when the Internet gets mad.