The Internet has been rumbling and mobilizing in response to SOPA. One of the latest acts of protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act is a planned blackout by social website reddit on January 18.
Reddit admins announced the plan in a blog post on Tuesday. The post acknowledged the activism by redditors in the fight against “powerful forces trying to censor the Internet.” However, the admins explained that it was time for the next stage of the fight, and they’ve decided they will be blacking out reddit on January 18. The blackout will last all day from 8am to 8pm Eastern Standard Time.
Instead of the normal reddit gumbo, visitors will be treated to a message about the impact of the PIPA/SOPA legislation on sites such as reddit. Along with the message will be links to resources for visitors to research the legislation. Reddit will also be showcasing a live video stream of “Internet entrepreneurs and technical experts” testifying at the House hearing. And for those of you looking for activist activities, like meetups or campaigns against PIPA/SOPA, reddit will be spotlighting these that day.
This is a preliminary sketch for what reddit plans on showing on the website, but the community is still welcome to suggest further ideas for what the site will do with its extra cycles on January 18. Reddit has been at the frontlines for activism against SOPA. Last month, members lead a boycott to move domains from GoDaddy, which resulted in the domain registrar reversing its position on the legislation. In the fight against SOPA, Wikipedia recently considered a blackout of its site for all English-language articles.
The threat of the SOPA legislation seems to be pushing some into tight, desperate corners, but the reddit admins say, “we’re not taking this action lightly. We wouldn’t do this if we didn’t believe this legislation and the forces behind it were a serious threat to reddit and the Internet as we know it.”
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