Join Our Censorship Protest!

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.

Blacked out Freshly Pressed screen

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:

Settings menu

  1. Go to Settings → Protest SOPA/PIPA in your dashboard.
  2. Select if you want to join the blackout or show a ribbon.
  3. If you choose to join the blackout, you can edit the message that will be shown on your site during the blackout.
  4. Preview what your protest will look like.
  5. 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. 


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Jane Wells

472 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. the777man

    I am like you a stay out of politics as much as possible (I live next door to a CA State Senator, Yes I will talk to him about this if I can catch him as he knows all the right people) Had I picked up on this a little earlier, I would have talked to Representative Herger when he was standing in my driveway a week ago, but I did not… ) I will however make sure that I re-post this on his facebook wall, and I am blacking out my site tomorrow and then the ribbon after that. I am trusting you all with that video, as my current system will not load video… So… By the way I could not see a way to improve your message on the black out. I guess I will see you all after 8pm EST. 5pm PST.

    Peace and Harmony,
    Sallyjane

    Like

  2. New Zealand Visas

    I am joining the censorship protest and I think it is very important that we all get involved!!

    Like

  3. Werner Lueftner

    Thank You Thank You! I am going to be participating!

    Like

  4. disturbinglynormal

    My blog will be blacked out.

    Like

  5. abandonculture

    Great move WP.

    And thanks for allowing us to participate, too. I’m in! :)

    Here’s the equation folks:

    A free internet = a free society.

    Nothing less is acceptable.

    End of.

    Like

  6. JacquieB

    In Sisterhood and solidarity

    Like

  7. kalafiornia

    You have my sword.
    And my bow.
    And my blackout!

    Like

  8. Jay Magidson

    Well done WordPress! If we go to sleep, Congress will lick the hand that feeds it. This time it is Hollywood, last time it was bankers and Wall Street. How’s that working out for you?

    Like

  9. SW/AWW

    My blogs are striking tomorrow with explanatory posts appearing January 19. Thank you for helping me participate.

    Like

  10. tadkershner

    I’m in! I will be blacked out tomorrow.
    As a writer, I added the following wording (feel free to grab and post):

    Intellectual Property is vital to our work as artists.
    So is free speech.
    SOPA/PIPA go too far, and are too easy to abuse.
    Don’t take your freedom for granted.
    Get educated, then take action!

    Thanks for doing this.

    Like

  11. sarsm

    I’ll be taking part. Thank you WordPress, this is an important issue to me and I’m very happy to see so many taking a stance.

    Like

  12. RWT3R

    Good on you, WordPress! Happy and proud to fully participate in this global protest.

    Like

  13. lgonse

    Thank you for making it possible to participate and for making it so easy. I am proud to stand with others in protest of SOPA and PIPA.

    Like

  14. Dreamrage

    The ribbon is in place :). Thanks for giving us this opportunity. Even if we aren’t from the U.S.

    Like

  15. pointsthruprose

    Thank you Jane and WordPress!

    Like

  16. toekneeburm

    See you all in CHICAGO in May.It cannot stop here.Were in a very dark time.Stand Now or be crushed!

    Like

  17. Diane Vacca

    Thank you, WordPress. Good job! I’ve been wanting to black out my blog but I didn’t know how to do it.

    Like

  18. Joe

    Thanks for making this painless, WP! I am participating right now!

    Like

  19. LadyT

    I support this… thank you!

    Like

  20. marksm3wide

    The fact remains that people attempt to profit alongside the mis-interpretation of things..NO–I would offer that this type of a story(or Legislation)–is just more HOO-Ha money get to the church on time–baloney.

    Like

    • Jane Wells

      Er, there’s no money involved in our end of the protest. If anything, one of the big concerns with SOPA/PIPA is that it could crush many internet businesses due to the change in how legal actions would take place, thus hurting the economy. Not sure why you bring up church. Personally, I favor separation of church and state. :)

      Like

  21. John J. Rigo, Texas' Poet

    I am on-board. My thanks and appreciation to the WordPress family for bringing this to my attention.

    Like

  22. kelseyschultz

    I just signed up! Stop SOPA! STOP PIPA!

    Like

  23. Jaguwar

    You guys ROCK! I want to hug each and every one of you, thank you thank you THANK YOU for giving us a way to voice our objections, without forcing everyone to do so or ignoring the issue altogether. Someone’s been really busy in the background… a special hug for *them*!

    Like

  24. colinwrchadwick

    I agree that freedom of speech is of some importance but I doubt that some politician is going to care that websites are blacked out.
    The blackout will most likely be a futile gesture that will only inconvenience internet users.

    Like

  25. Stephie Daniels

    I do not show the Stop SOPA thing in my settings. Is there a reason for that?

    Like

  26. bigbproducer

    Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  27. Hamid Lorette

    I applaud this effort, there must be a venue for freedom of speech online, it is already sensored, but at least there’s a semblance of freedom barely, if we lose that then might as well go back to writing diaries that we can not share with each other, how depressing would that be?

    Like

  28. Aileen

    I just heard about this today (so sorry, not updated on current news). The video clearly explained the effects of SOPA/PIPA. I joined the protest and posted the video on my blog so others can also understand it better.

    Great work WordPress! :)

    Like

  29. Laura

    Thank you! This is much simpler than what I was planning to do.

    Like

  30. Josh

    JOSHROBERTNAY.COM is now BLACKED OUT! Stop SOPA/PIPA!

    Like

  31. alirankouhi

    Great Action

    Like

  32. Pierre J. Iskandar

    I wanted to do something like that though I couldn’t, all I did was making all my posts private, and publicizing only one #SOPASTRIKE post I made earlier today. Thanks WP for giving me a chance to show more support for the anti-SOPA/PIPA movement!

    Like

  33. Chris Gladis

    Many thanks for making this available. I’ve got it set to black out my three WP.com blogs and will thus be able to send a message to tens – nay, DOZENS of people!

    Like

  34. Pingback: WordPress.org and .com join the SOPA protests with blackouts | WPCandy
  35. spirulinabenefitsyou

    I’ve Tweet’d, Facebook’d and now WordPressed my protest. Well said abandonculture “A free internet = a free society”. Let’s keep it that way for future generations as they deserve the same privileges that we have had and enjoyed.

    Like

  36. Burhan A'ank

    graet move wp. I am going to be participating!

    Like

  37. Pingback: Roadblock Ahead – Censorship « The Dark Globe
  38. psycheinhell

    Thank you for the setting, I’m in! I live in France, and this could all too easily happen here…

    Like

  39. geneghis

    I’m inSwitzerland. But I choice the black-out for my websites FAICMFSF today. We are in free countries and the censure isn’t a good thing to catch the spys. Sorry for my english.

    Like

  40. sarahjane2x"s

    Me too! I also joining the protest as well! Stop censorship in America! This not Iran or Russia as well!

    Like

  41. Paolo Belcastro

    Reblogged this on Paolo Belcastro.

    Like

  42. India Property

    We deserve the freedom to express ourselves. Government cannot tell us what to speak and what not to

    Like

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  45. ladysakai

    Thank you that is great. I just activated mine … one little thing: It would have been great if the blackout would have started right away. Some of us are non-americans and are surfing on other timezones. Wikipedia has already started theirs :)

    Other than that thank you for providing this tool for us.

    Like

  46. News Desk (@techtaffy)

    Okay, WordPress.Org folks if you were searching here are the plugins. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tags/sopa

    Like

  47. shinigamilist

    Thank you for adding you huge media to the protests! I am using the banner and will post about this too, since it is a world issue here. I hope all this makes the government see beyond their own desks and finally understand what the internet is about.

    Like

  48. elizablu

    I will be doing the same! I have been spreading the word about this bill. Hopefully people will take some time and pay attention

    Like

  49. sorrygnat

    I JUST VOTED ON ANOTHER SITE for the same thing!

    Like

  50. Pingback: The Internet is Going Dark | MacManX.com
  51. Broot

    I have joined in! :)

    Like

  52. nickdnick

    Thanks Jane. I’m in.

    Like

  53. Pingback: January 18: Blackout the Web for SOPA « The WYSIWYG* Blog
  54. oldereyes

    Older Eyes is all in! Thanks for setting this up.

    Like

  55. azdon

    I proudly stand with you concerning this vital issue – let our voices be many, and let each of them be heard!

    ~Don

    Like

  56. buylocalmarket

    I absolutely LOVE that the team at WordPress developed this to let us easily show our solidarity on this issue. Thank you!!

    Like

  57. raccontivari

    I’m italian blogger (sorry for my english … ) but i’m on your side, the freedom has no geographical boundaries.

    Like

  58. Alan

    shineonscotland.org.uk and all our blogs and sites hosted on wordpress.org will also support ! will make settings change shortly

    Like

  59. popalumi

    Thank you!

    Like

  60. jeanbaptisteonlinux

    What your are doing in America is amazing, us in France we are also “follow” and “watch” because of the “Adopi” law, that’s we also try to protest: [http://www.laquadrature.net/fr], not only against that law but also against the news ones coming soon from the UE Parliament. We do support your actions. Good luck.

    Like

  61. Pingback: Stop SOPA/PIPA – 4 Ways You Can Help
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  63. sparks559

    I was looking everywhere to help do my part in support of this. Thank you WordPress!
    WRC559.com Supports The Blackout!

    Like

  64. mundderwahrheit

    Sorry but the USA as never be a Democracy, so what do you expect?

    Like

  65. Lana

    Thanks for posting this! I am with you!!

    Like

  66. ramrock

    Me sumo, ya he puesto la cinta.

    I join because I have the ribbon.

    ¡NO A LA CENSURA!. STOP CENSORSHIP!

    Like

  67. elspethc

    Your way of asking is the right way to go – clear statement and over to all of us to act, but also making a ‘how to act’ straightforward. The value of community and thoughtfulness is so much better than the authoritarian approach, thanks for the work you put in to get to this place. We might even find a way to get through the problems, instead of just driving them underground to re-emerge some other way.

    Like

  68. Pingback: This Post Intentionally Left Blank « WPcomMaven
  69. ollieswelt

    … thanks WP for setting this up for us! Down with SOPA and PIPA!

    Like

  70. Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator

    I’m in! Blacked out all of my blogs! Thanks for making it so easy to participate, WordPress!

    Like

  71. opalkatze

    Many german bloggers are participating to fight SOPA, PIPA and ACTA (http://www.stopacta.info/).

    Like

  72. Kirk Mazzia

    Great idea for making it easy. I am joining in full protest.

    Like

  73. eof737

    Brilliant! I’ve added the ribbon to my blog. Thank you and Down with SOPA and PIPA! :-(

    Like

  74. codomdudul

    thank you…

    Like

  75. Enrico Zaffalon

    well done, i’m with you.

    Like

  76. opalkatze

    Would be nice to have the “Stop Censorship” ribbon in Germany, too.

    Like

  77. sipronunciaaigor

    On my blog it works only as ribbon :( (I’ve already written to tech support…)

    Like

  78. Pingback: Musings: On The Soul… | Mirth and Motivation
  79. The Background Story
  80. Stifler Simba

    fully behind ths

    Like

  81. theartsantenna

    Most people aren’t aware that radio started out in a similar way to the internet. Ordinary people transmitted their ‘blogs’ across the airwaves. Radio was heralded as giving ‘voice to the people’ when it first started out.

    But soon government regulation divided up the bandwidth and made it too costly for the average citizen to be their own radio station. (… that is until the internet came along and gave birth to internet radio!)

    Every new media without exception has followed the trend of being in the hands of the many and ending up in the hands of the few.

    Not this time!

    Thanks wordpress, good work :)

    Like

  82. shinigamilist

    Participating myself. I am happy I came to your dimension in such a moment when I can be of help to this protest.

    Like

  83. Gerrit Eicker

    Joined: http://Wir-sprechen-Online.com – Thanks a lot for offering these settings!

    Like

  84. kevana

    I make black background because of protest…

    Like

  85. rajbondi

    Raise your hands against SOPA/PIPA.

    Like

  86. sil

    I’m joining the protest, thanks WP for this!

    Like

  87. Gurjaspal Singh Bedi

    I am in!

    Like

  88. Croick

    Dear WordPress

    I support your right to object to changes in the law. But please recognise that you are an international companies with international customers. Whilst it is clearly a fact that changes in US law often have much wider international implications than changes in any other country’s laws the issue you are protesting is essentially a domestic US issue. Why do all your international customers (or those of Wikepedia) have to be penalised about a US domestic pursuit? Would you, for example, do the same thing if there was an equivalent issue in an EU country?

    Interested in your comments.

    Like

    • Jane Wells

      Given that the legislation is targeted at “non-domestic” websites, SOPA/PIPA would have a big effect on international sites — at least sites that want anyone from the U.S. to be able to access them.

      Like

  89. thegift73

    Awesome. Thanks for having this for the .com users. I used a piece of code that I got from the forums to create a similar effect on mine. I went dark last night (UK time) May switch to the official one.

    Like

  90. Angel

    I want to know if the full black out page feature is only for people living in US because it is not working for me even I chose it. I see only the ribbon. My time is GMT +4. Help me, I want to display the full black out page. Thank.

    Like

  91. walkingthepattern

    What a strange system, in which there is a risk of a bill being passed that everyone seems opposed to, apart from the corporations backing it.

    My blog will be blacked out.

    Like

  92. xxxDarkSunshinexxx

    DONE

    Like

  93. Pingback: Stoppa SOPA och PIPA « Mitt liv som Miimz
  94. theturingcentenary

    This is a critical cause — thanks for making it easy to have my blogs participate. All four will be blacked out.

    Like

  95. Claude Cote'

    I don’t understand how doing exactly what they are proposing will do anything to stop the potential threat. Yeah I get the point, censorship is a bad thing and it sucks that they want to take away even more of our freedoms, but look at it from their point of view. Do you think that by self-censoring they (the lawmakers) are going to change their minds? No! They are going to laugh at all of you! the idiocy of the people they are already controlling.

    You can’t be treated like an adult by acting like a little kid. Temper tantrums are treated with time-outs. If you want real change, you have to think like your enemy. If you want to sit at the “big kid’s table”, act like one.

    This is no different than protesters who bang on drums and wear scarves over their faces. This has NEVER changed anything for the good!!!

    This is being exactly what is called a “Useful Idiot.” I tried to look up who came up with that term so that you could look it up and see what I’m talking about but the information has been self-censored…

    So how is that helpful?

    Think about it. Then put your efforts into some much more useful tactics, like educating instead of propagandizing.

    -C

    Like

    • Jane Wells

      The blacking out is not what we hope will convince legislators. The blacking out is intended to get web users who don’t usually bother with things like contacting their representatives to realize the potential effects of these bills, then take action as suggested on our blackout pages, where forms are provided to send emails to Congress, make calls, or sign petitions, based on where you live. It is a deluge of emails and phone calls that is intended to change legislator minds.

      Like

  96. aRVee

    Thanks very much. I have now joined the blackout.

    Like

  97. aRVee

    Reblogged this on aRVee and commented:
    If you’d like to join the protest, join now by following the instructions below.

    Like

  98. Pingback: STOP INTERNET CENSORSHIP: Protesting SOPA/PIPA bills currently before the U.S. Congress | A Tunanina…
  99. pirano

    Thanks for this!

    Like

  100. John Dennis Müllertz

    I have put all my wordpress sites black to protest

    Like

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