On Wednesday Jan. 18 much of the internet went dark. In an organized blackout. Web sites like Wikipedia, Reddit, Boing Boing, Wordpress and thousands more joined in a pact of solidarity to combat the SOPA and PIPA legislations.
This is going to be wow, Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, said on Twitter. I hope Wikipedia will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday. Tell everyone you know!
Art Brodsky, communications director of PublicKnowledge.org, thinks therein lies the problem. The way the story has been written up until now has been Silicon Valley versusHollywood, Google versus Rupert, Brodsky told International Business Times.
There are people all over the country fighting for this, tens of thousands of people. Brodsky noted that between 7,000 and 10,000 sites have committed to a blackout Wednesday, in a sign of solidarity against the SOPA and PIPA legislations... It's little companies, it's start-ups.
Brodsky said one particular problem is how the music and movie industries cite job and revenue losses in their defense of anti-piracy acts, but there has been no concrete evidence. I was reading a study last week that said the people who download the most stuff, buy the most stuff. They're fans. People who download are more likely to go out and buy CDs and movies, he told IBTimes.
So, since users did not have Wikipedia to turn to for fun facts or Reddit for worldwide banter, they had to think of other things to do. Here is a compilation of the funniest SOPA blackout-themed media for your viewing pleasure.
Wikipedia/SOPA Survival Kit
Those over at Jest.com know what Wikipedia is used most for - learning knowledge about random facts (or finishing your homework)! Even Wales noted how useful his site is for students in the twenty-first century. Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed, MLK on Wednesday, Wikipedia demands, Wales said via Twitter Monday, on Martin Luther King Day. He told students: Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday! #sopa. So Jest decided to amass all of the questions you might very likely have today and put it all into one video.
7 Fun Activities for the SOPA Internet Blackout
Since the SOPA blackout has halted a host of sites, Funny or Die decided to compile a list of what you can do during the protest. You do not need to succumb to a boring afternoon. Some activities they suggest? Ride a bike. Write a friend a letter. Read a book without a shit on. Click here to view Funny or Die's slideshow. WARNING: Some content might be deemed graphic.
The Day LOLcats Died
An Internet favorite for many is LOLcats, adorable photos of cats and kittens with hilarious captions written under them like I want ur luv naw!! [sic] and I is crying [sic]. LOLcats, brought to you by Cheezburger,could be gone if the SOPA/PIPA acts pass. Some cannot imagine life without these funny little kitties. LaughPong dedicated a song on its YouTube channel, sang to the tune of American Pie by Don McLean, entitled The Day LOLcats Died.
The Oatmeal Anti-SOPA Video
Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal decided to shut down his site today, theoatmeal.com, in a move against anti-piracy legislation. For the next 24 hours I am blacking out TheOatmeal.com in protest of SOPA and PIPA. If one of these bills were to pass, this page is what many sites on the internet would look like, wrote The Oatmeal. As someone who creates content for the web, earns a living from it, and has had his content pirated, I do feel that we need better legislation against online piracy. I do not, however, think that SOPA or PIPA are the legislation we need.
Want to help in the fight against SOPA / PIPA? First, go learn about the bills. After that go contact your elected officials. Wikipedia has a handy-dandy page set up which allows you to locate your state representative.
25 Angry Kids Who Cannot Do Their Homework
BuzzFeed featured an article 25 Angry Kids Who Can't Do Their Homework Because Of The Wikipedia Blackout. The article includes tweets from individuals who took to Twitter to voice their aggravation over the SOPA blackout.
Here are some of the best:
@SusieDeeEff OMG I'm doing homework and Wikipedia is blacked out wtf !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
@Maddison Daw WIKIPEDIA DISAPPEARED! WTF IS GOING ON! NOBODY WILL BE ABLE TO DO THEIR HOMEWORK! #fml
@Annika_Hoy Dear Wikipedia, I get where you're coming from but this blackout business is bull. I have homework to do.
Click here to read all 25 tweets.