The protest against SOPA/PIPA #SOPAstrike

On january 18th thousands of websites went dark in protest against the SOPA and PIPA bills. As it turns out, it worked. Here's how.


  1. Twitpic - Share photos and videos on Twitter
    Twitpic - Share photos and videos on Twitter
  2. «End piracy, not liberty». This motto on the Google 'take action' page, retwitted and posted thousands of times, sums up the main concern of those who protested against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Ip Act (PIPA) on january 18th: the Congress and Senate, respectively, should not allow a restriction of Internet freedom in the name of copyright law. 
  3. Even though concerns about the bills are not new (even the White House spoke out against their DNS filtering provision), the #SOPAstrike initiative took them to a whole new level, convincing millions of people to sign a petition against SOPA and PIPA, making crucial websites like Wikipedia (but also Reddit, Boingboing and many others) go dark for 24 hours and even getting Google to censor its logo and link the reasons against the bills on its homepage. 
  4. Both Google and Wikipedia provided data that help making sense of the proportions of the protest: more than 4 million petition signatures, 8.000 links for 'SOPA blackout' search, plus the Wikipedia blackout page reached by 162 million users. 
  5. As a result, here is how the web looked like for a day:
  6. But how did it all start? The protest gained momentum as Jimmy Wales, on January 16th, announced on Twitter that, after thorough deliberation, Wikipedia decided to join the strike in full:
  7. Megan Garber, on the Atlantic, later explained how the decision came about:
  8. And Twitter? Will it join the protest in the same way as Wikipedia announced it would? Alex Howard tweeted the question:
  9. Dick Costolo, CEO at Twitter, replied:
  10. To many, this meant a direct reference (and critique) to Wikipedia. Wales asked for clarifications: 
  11. And clarifications came from Twitter:
  12. On the 17th Google too decided to join the protest, even if in a different way: