Time to put up or shut up. On Wednesday, January 18th of 2012, thousands of web sites around the world voluntarily went dark to protest two bills, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy) and PIPA (Protect IP). Below I have collected screenshots of the big players in this blackout. Click on any of the thumbnails for the fullscreen images. Please note, that I have intentionally not reduced the size of fullscreen images, and you may have to increase the size of your browser window to see them.
Reddit lead the charge in this monumental internet protest against SOPA. Announced on January 10th in a blog post, Reddit was effectively the catalyst for every other major site that participated. Their site-wide blackout lasted from 8AM to 8PM EST.
Wikipedia’s announcement came just two days before the blackout on January 16th. On that day Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia tweeted “This is going to be wow. I hope Wikipedia will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday. Tell everyone you know!”
In December, Reddit users urged Wikipedia to participate in the internet boycott against GoDaddy.com (a SOPA supporter) known as “domain transfer day” that took place 12/29/11. On 12/23/11, Jimmy announced that he would move all of Wikipedia’s domains away from GoDaddy.
A day before the protest, Google surprised many when it announced that they would be joining the movement. Unlike many other sites, they could not realistically have a full blackout. But their censored logo certainly got a lot of attention. Google stated that 4.5 million people signed their anti-sopa petition on the day of the protest.
Like Google, the Mozilla organization pledged to back the anti-sopa movement on Tuesday, the 17th. The day after the protest on Thursday, Mozilla announced that their message reached over 40 million people.
Mozilla is a non-profit organization that develops the popular Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client.
The popular free photo sharing site imgur committed to join the SOPA blackout on January 16th.
Imgur is widely used by the Reddit and Digg communities to easily share images. Because of this strong correlation, they set their 12 hour blackout period to correspond with Reddit’s: 8AM to 8PM EST.
The popular blogging platform WordPress joined the protest on January 17th. They even provided plugins to enable any WordPress powered site to easily participate in the SOPA blackout if the administrator of that site wanted. WordPress empowers bloggers small to large to get out on the internet and write about any topic of their choosing.
Even gaming communities like Destructiod participated in the blackout. Destructiod joined the SOPA protest on the 12th, receiving much praise from its user base.
Started in 2006, Destructiod is an independent video game blog that reaches over 3 million unique visitors a month. Aside from video game reviews, the site also features community blogs, videos, forums, a trading portal, and more.
The popular indie game Minecraft and their publisher Mojang took a stance against SOPA. On the 17th, Mojang announced that it would participate in the blackout the following day. The creator of Minecraft Markus Persson (aka Notch) tweeted this on the day of the blackout: “I’m getting tweets asking what I think of SOPA. Uh. I’m against it.”
It should be noted that even though Mojang is based out of Sweden, they still stood up for internet rights in America. Kudos to them.
Anti SOPA/PIPA Video
This video was featured on both reddit.com and wordpress.org during the SOPA blackout — you can actually see it on the respective screenshots. For the sake of completeness, I figured I would add it here for anyone that wanted to watch. Enjoy!
Want More Screenshots?
On the day of the blackout, I could only think to screencap some of the big players in the movement and visit a few other sites I knew that were participating. But there were thousands more that joined the rally against SOPA that I don’t have here. More screenshots are available in this imgur gallery. While I personally screencapped the ones on this page, I take no responsibility for the imgur gallery.
What do you think about SOPA and the anti-SOPA movement? Post your reaction in the comments below and let your opinion be heard.