Wikipedia, along with several other major websites shutdown today in what many believe to be the largest online protest in history to combat proposed anti-piracy bills that could amount to censorship currently pending before the full Senate.
Instead of the normal Wiki search-bar that millions of visitors have come accustomed to using every single day, visitors to Wikipedia found a single stark message.
A poignant title in bold white letters on a sullen black background reads, “Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge.”
“For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.”
The protest page concludes with a “Learn More” link and search bar where visitors can enter a zip code to get direct links to contact US Representatives.
Even search engine behemoth and most popular website in the World, Google joined the protest by blacking out its famous logo, with statement and link “Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!”
Major search engines and Websites are not the only ones coming out agianst SOPA and PIPA. Many Musicians, artists, and everyday citizens are standing up to the proposed censhorsip.
Renowned musician, singer, and songwriter, Peter Gabriel joined the portest by blacking out his website and issuing the following statement:
“This year is going to be a very crucial year for the fate of digital rights and freedoms on the internet. We strongly support the campaign against both the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act. For that reason our websites will be down from 05.00 GMT for 24 hours in support of the campaign.
Please check out http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet/ if you want to read more/sign the petition.
Thank you.” – Peter Gabriel
There is a ton of information online and many ways to voice your opposition to these proposed censorship bills.
We at BTS found that the following video put together by americancensorship.org does a good job of summerizing the implications of these proposed bills that will be voted on by the Senate on Jan 24, 2012.
PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.