Boing Boing has added its name to the list of sites that will go dark on Wednesday January 18th as part of a coordinated protest against the SOPA / PIPA legislation. But all attention is on Facebook, Google, Twitter and Wikipedia to see if they’ll join the protest.
With Reddit having also confirmed it’s blacking itself out in protest, it’s clear that there’s momentum gathering behind a real day of action. The problem is that visitors to sites like Reddit and Boing Boing are likely to already know about SOPA / PIPA. It’s the wider public – the people who live on Facebook and Google – who need to be reached.
At 100gf | Politics and Computers, we were planning a black-out until we realised that WordPress doesn’t provide a switch that would do the job. We’d have to manually remove nearly 10,000 posts, ten at a time. So we’ve got another plan for January 18th. While we only get a fraction of the daily visitors that a site like Boing Boing gets, we do sometimes appeal to people outside the traditional tech world (e.g. Justin Bieber fans, people looking for celebrity news) so even if we only influence one person, it’ll be worth doing.
It’s unlikely that any of the big internet companies will go black entirely. They’d likely be accused of being unduly political, an accusation that would be pretty false but would nevertheless likely stick. But imagine if Facebook had a black-out day in protest against SOPA. Would that kill the bill? It’d certainly go a long way towards winning the battle…