Sites Protest SOPA, See Some Blowback

Some users employ colorful language to protest the protest.

By RJ Middleton
|  Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012  |  Updated 8:54 AM PDT
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Sites Protest SOPA, See Some Blowback

Wikipedia and other sites are today protesting the proposed internet piracy legislation known as SOPA and PIPA.

While raising awareness about the apparent dangers of pending internet-piracy legislation, some big sites -- Wikipedia, Craigslist, Reddit, etc. -- have gone dark. Google has employed its rather popular home page to share the message, as well.

Wikipedia takes English language users to a black screen with a note urging people to contact their Congressional representatives. (There is a workaround, though: press escape while the page initially loads. It's also available on mobile devices.)

With such large sites opposing the internet piracy legislation being proposed, there's still some, well, confusion among users (and some anger), shown most explicitly on Twitter.

Some of the tweets go like this: "...how the (redacted) am I gonna pass school now #ohgod" or "Anyone else see this blacked out Wikipedia? That some (redacted)."

Twitter handle @herperpedia has compiled a long list of people protesting the protest (warning: extreme language follows this link). Paul Carr at PandoDaily.com popped his article this morning that highlights the coarse language tweets.

Some other reactions are supportive: "Being without #Wikipedia for a day, made me realize how valuable it is. It's like being crippled online, something's missing."

And a great deal of "WTF?" is popping up in Twitter searches, too. (Here's a smaller site with an animated GIF that helps explain just what SOPA is for creative types on the internet.)

Confusion may be reining -- with people not exactly reading that stark, black screen on Wikipedia -- but the internet community has been able to flip the policital script around these proposed laws in little more than a month.

Some Senators are asking for a re-write, and President Obama has said he cannot suppport the legislation in its current form.

NBC Universal's Rick Cotton supports the legislation and spoke with Ray Suarez at the PBS News Hour.

(Disclosure: NBCUniversal supports the SOPA legislation.)

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