Have you been paying attention to all the hubbub online about the proposed U.S. legislation (SOPA/PIPA) that threatens internet freedom? I wrote about it last week over on WordPress.org, but the gist is this: there’s a bill in the U.S. Senate that if passed would put publishing freedom severely at risk, and could shut down entire sites at the whim of media companies. Fight for the Future created this nifty video to sum it up better than I can.
On January 18, 2012, sites all over the internet will be blacking out to protest and try to mobilize more people to speak out against this bill coming up in the Senate next week — S. 968: the Protect IP Act (PIPA) — in an attempt to let U.S. lawmakers know how much opposition there is. WordPress.org, Wikipedia, and even WordPress.com VIP I Can Has Cheezburger? will be participating in the blackout to raise awareness and spur you to action.
Here on WordPress.com, we want to participate as well. Freshly Pressed will be blacked out during the strike.
Sorry to take away your daily fix of yummy web content, but this bill threatens to do that on a much wider scale. You don’t want that, do you?
More importantly, we are making it possible for you to participate in the protest. There are two options: a “Stop Censorship” ribbon and a full blackout. The blackout portion will be in effect January 18 from 8am to 8pm EST, while the ribbon will be displayed until January 24. Here’s how to join in:
- Go to Settings → Protest SOPA/PIPA in your dashboard.
- Select if you want to join the blackout or show a ribbon.
- If you choose to join the blackout, you can edit the message that will be shown on your site during the blackout.
- Preview what your protest will look like.
- Click “Save Changes” button to activate your protest.
That’s it! Easy-peasy activism right at your fingertips.
The “Stop Censorship” ribbon will display in the upper corner of your site and links to americancensorship.org. It will display until January 24, 2012 (the Senate vote date).
If you choose to do the blackout in addition to the ribbon, then we will black out your site from 8am to 8pm EST along with the official strike. You can customize the message that will appear on your blacked-out site to tell people why this issue is important to you. Your site will return to just displaying the ribbon after the strike is over.
I hope that a significant number of you on WordPress.com will join in this protest. Publishing freedom is a right we must protect.
And one last pitch: whatever you decide to do about your site, please take a few minutes to head over to americancensorship.org and take action. It only takes a few moments of your time to be an agent of change!
Update, 1/18/2012: For about an hour and a half of the blackout, our blackout option was down because it was not showing the blackout screen and some sites were returning blank error pages. We disabled it until we could make it work properly, which it is now doing, so anyone who chose the blackout option should now see the correct screen.
What happened to Freedom of Speech?
Will happily join as I already had a post written and using the same video! LOL! Great minds….
Really glad to have this option.. thank you! All my blogs are blacking out.
Thank you for posting this! I was trying to figure out how to make my blog “dark” and you made it really easy!!! Thank you so much for taking part and allowing us to do it easily too!!!
Thank you! The Black Out notice looks GREAT!
I am Supporting and participating,
Rajendra Trivedi, M.D.
I’m in! Thank you!
Thank you, WP. This is what I’ve wanted all along. Now we need to spread the word — FAST!!
Is there a plugin for self-hosted WordPress blogs?
Thanks Jane. I’m in.
I’m participating … I must participate, but the timing couldn’t be WORSE!! My site and online weekly writing retreats were just mentioned in the latest issue of Oprah Magazine. UGH!!! But not adding my voice to this cry would be wrong…. so count me blacked out. But once … JUST ONCE, I wish I could time things a little better. Grumble grumble.
This is beautiful and fantastic!
All 14 WordPress.com hosted blogs in the Boles Blogs Network are going dark tomorrow and taking on the ribbon.
Thank you for making this important protest so easy and seamless to join.
Yeah, I changed my site. I always thought it was too much control to censor! It’s all about making a change. One person’s voice can make a difference!
I was only recently and vaguely aware of this protest, and not at all of WordPress’s participation. I am a blogger here and on the e-mail list for other information, so it seems you didn’t send out any notice of WordPress’s participation, or that bloggers could join in, which I would have done. You should make a better effort to communicate things like this.
Thanks for making this available to .com users!
Great job. Thank you for providing this option.
I had already designed an informative blackout blog entry of my own (up for a week now), but I added your ribbon. Congratulations on participating.
Thank you very much for providing us this option. It is very important to stop SOPA & PIPA.
Count me in! And, thank you, for making the blackout so easy on my blog.
Hats off to you for organizing us all!
Although we support “Protest SOPA/PIPA”, the WordPress banner covers the link to our “links” page. Too bad one cannot adjust the placement of the banner.
Many thanks for your great efforts!
I’m outside America but I support you :)
I am in. Please check my blog post on SOPA, no words, just a pic…
and share the pic if you are so inclined! Cheers, all!
I’m not from the US but surely, this will affect us, or everyone in the world using the internet. Thanks for this! :D I’ll spread the news!
I also wish we could choose a full blackout on a daily basis, or censorship, rather than a full week, hope that is possible. Thanks for organizing it here!
Definitely joining the protest. PIPA/SOPA is a serious threat to 21st century democracy.
This reminds me of the 2007 Writers Strike. Well I’m joining in this protest.
get the government involved and things get screwed up!!!
I have already changed my header and published a post about the fact. Thanks to WordPress for this update. I thought I wouldn’t be able to show the ribbon because of no access to core files like in WordPress.org.
I am very pleased that WordPress.com is taking such strong action on this issue. Thank you for making it possible and easy for us to join in on the protest.
Thank you for making it so easy for us to participate in this protest. Much appreciated!
Thank you for doing this! Count me in.
Thank you for making this so easy to do WP! Mob Wars Blog will be blacked out :)
I’ve done both the ribbon and black out, and put it all over my social networks as a call to action. Glad to have this option, much better than the protest post I was putting together.
ribbon on, blackout commenced. FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS!
Thank you for giving me the option to black out my site tomorrow; which I have done. And yes, it was very easy.
thank you wordpress!!
Thank you WordPress! I believe Reddit and Wikipedia are doing the same. =}
Does every websites including mine will get blackout?
Joining in! I have tweeted about it too.
Reblogged this on poppitsmum and commented:
Please don’t ignore this. It’s potentially the start of them taking away our rights completely.
Good luck guys, I’m in Australia and have opted for the ribbon….
Thanks for explaining all of this. I’m against movie piracy and infringement of photographic copyright, but some things can go too far.
Thanks, WP, for allowing us to take part in the protest!
Count me in!
Thank you for this. I’m proud to stand with my brothers and sisters in this protest.
I know that WordPress typically stays out of the political fray, so this is a bold statement — and one appreciated by many!
I’ll be tweeting and sharing this as well…
Count me in!
I am so glad for this, WordPress team, many thanks and much respect.
Thanks, WordPress, for giving us a voice.
I’m protesting not only these bills but ALL forms of big government. Like Thomas Jefferson I have pledged to rebel against all forms of tyranny!
RON PAUL REVOLUTION! RESTORE THE CONSTITUTION!
Supporting this 100%!
I opted in !
Gah, why do I not have this option in my settings? I would love to participate but I’ve already refreshed and try from another computer? Am I missing something here :/
For those of you who missed the report. It was stated yesterday that Obama wasn’t going to let this happen. Here is the link of the article. http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngaudiosi/2012/01/16/obama-says-so-long-sopa-killing-controversial-internet-piracy-legislation/
So I think that Big Brother lost in this case. Thanks to many who have written to congress regarding this issue of privacy.
Thank you. I have my site set up for the blackout + ribbons now.
I considered customizing the blackout screen message, but I realized that WordPress had already done a fantastic job. Anything I add would just detract from the message…Thank you WordPress for raising awareness about this important issue! And extra thankyous for making it so easy for us to do so as well! :D
I’ll be blacking out all three of my WordPress blogs. Thank you so much for giving us this option.
I just did! Thanks for making it so easy :)
The ribbon is ON.. d(^^)b
Never thought that I would leave you guys a comment (no offense) but thanks, very much.
Thank you for officially supporting this, WordPress.com! My blog will be completely blacked out as well.
Consider me joined…I’m going to help first thing tomorrow morning.
Jane, this is awesome! It’s not showing in my settings. Is there another way to do it or am I being impatient? :)
Thanks wordpress for doing this. I was going to try and manually black things out but this is much easier to do. Makes my life much easier.
I already had a banner up from when I first heard of this. Great idea! I’m glad WordPress cares about our freedom of expression :D
Thank You Thank You! I am going to be participating!!
All my WP blogs will black out tomorrow. This tool is immensely helpful, and much easier than the text-widget method that’s been floating around the forums.
I am joining the censorship and I think it is very important that we all get involved!!
Thank you WordPress.com for making it easy for us non-coders to join the protest!
Free Internet forever!
Internet is ours!
Internet is not the politicians and their business.
Free Internet forever!
Supporting this 100%!
I’ve already added the ribbon to my site. Thanks for letting us know about this legislation!
I was afraid I couldn’t use the blackout because free blogs can’t install widgets freely. However, this made it possible. Thanks!
Simple Pleasures Books blog is on blackout until the 24th
Thank you Worpdress and thank you to all the courageous bloggers for taking such steps on maintaining Internet Freedom and along with that individual liberty. By the way, Reddit and Wikipedia are joining. But Facebook and Twitter are not protesting. Why am I not surprised?
I dont see the blackout option on my wordpress site at paragonsings.com
Thanks Jane and WordPress for making this possible. My Stop SOPA banner is up. Our freedom of speech will not be taken away!!!
Good move WordPress. Well done. What will happen to the Statue of Liberty in US?
Count me in!
FUCK YEAH, I reserve the right to express myself FREELY SOMEWHERE IN THIS WORLD OTHER THAN YELLING AGAINST THE WALL, hopefully this protest will work!
The ribbon looks nice and makes a statement. I didn’t know this was going on until I saw the WordPress home page blacked out. It took me by surprise and I searched the net for more info on it. Thank you for caring.
I’ve got a WP site hosted through GoDaddy, and the option doesn’t show up in my settings menu. Is there a way I can participate as well, without doing a bunch of editting? My only Internet access is through my phone currently, so the easier the better.
Thanks, and even if I don’t end up being able to participate, I appreciate that WP is doing this.