Down Against SOPA, part two of the SOPA blackout protest that swept the web Jan. 18, today hits scores of WordPress pages managed by bloggers that have installed a web plug-in that redirects visitors to an anti-SOPA website.
The Down Against SOPA WordPress plug-in, which many of the site's bloggers installed prior to the Jan. 18 blackout in order to send users to the sites on both days, allows users to continue on to their blogs after viewing the anti-SOPA page, which contains messages and links to information detailing opponents' critiques of the Stop Online Piracy Act.
Congress is about to vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). If passed, this bill will allow the United States government to censor the Internet, a headline on the Down Against SOPA website says in large type, while a smaller message informs viewers that, Although SOPA advocates claim it targets foreign pirates, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reports that 'broad definitions and vague language' allow the bill to shut down legitimate US websites without due process. Among these sites: Etsy, Flickr, and Vimeo.
The plug-in builds on the wildly-successful Jan. 18 SOPA blackout, which swept the web by storm when Wikipedia, Reddit and other sites went dark for the entire day while Google said millions of people signed an anti-SOPA petition it posted on its homepage that day under a censored Google logo.
The Jan. 18 SOPA blackout led a number of U.S. Congressmen to drop their support of the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. Its sister bill, PIPA, in the U.S. Senate, and the SOPA bill were officially tabled last week.
Opponents raised concerns during the lead-up to the SOPA blackout that the bill would restrict internet freedom and violate freedom of speech, and web giants from Google to Twitter to Facebook came out with critiques of the controversial legislation.
The SOPA blackout was interpreted by many observers as a kind of awakening for U.S. web advocacy, and it was even compared to the Arab Spring awakening in the Middle East and described by the San Francisco Chronicle as the web's political coming of age.
The Jan. 23 Down Against SOPA blackout plug-in campaign continues that work today via WordPress.