Mentioned within a public Facebook status update on his personal account, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg spoke out against both the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) Internet piracy bills. Within the post, Zuckerberg states “The Internet is the most powerful tool we have for creating a more open and connected world. We can’t let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the Internet’s development. Facebook opposes SOPA and PIPA, and we will continue to oppose any laws that will hurt the Internet.” Zuckerberg went on to encourage his 10.9 million subscribers to contact their local congressmen and advocate pro-Internet views on the subject of SOPA and PIPA.
Zuckerberg also linked to Facebook’s official Anti-Piracy Bills page that details Facebook’s stance on the issue as well as a plea to Congress not to rush the process of approving the two bills. In addition to using Facebook to spread the message about the two bill, Zuckerburg posted “Tell your congressmen you want them to be pro-Internet. My Facebook post is here,” on his dormant Twitter account @finkd. While Zuckerberg has approximately 120,000 followers on the account, he hasn’t used the social network to publish an update since March 13, 2009. In addition, today’s tweet increases his total tweets to 19 for the entire lifetime of the account.
While Facebook didn’t actively participate in the blackout protests seen on Wikipedia, Reddit and Google, Facebook users continued to post responses regarding the proposed bills and many users shared Google’s petition on the subject. However, many Twitter users found themselves at the subject of ridicule as the @herpderpedia Twitter account constantly posted retweets regarding complaints about Wikipedia. Many high school and college students constantly complained about not being able to access Wikipedia in regards to completing homework or writing a research paper.