College kids around the United States will be in a panicked state tomorrow: Wikipedia will be joining many folks including Reddit, WordPress, and Mozilla in going black tomorrow to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, also known as SOPA.
If you aren’t familiar with SOPA, you must be living under an internet rock. We’ve written about it here, here, and here. The issues will SOPA are clear, and while President Obama has indicated that he won’t sign SOPA into law as it stands, there is still a fair amount of concern that the bill will return in a different form.
While large sites such as Yahoo and Twitter will NOT be blacking out tomorrow, Google is taking a big step to weigh in on the issue.
Tomorrow Google’s homepage the internet’s most popular page, at 180 million page views in November will feature some discussion about SOPA and a link with a great explanation. In a statement sent by email to Business Insider, Google said the following:
Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet. So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page.
Lynette Young, founder of the Women of Google+ and the brains behind Lynette Radio, pointed out something very interesting, however: what kind of impact will these blackouts really have?
The true test of the Reddit, Wikipedia, & Google etc. blackouts (or similar) will be if my MOM tells me about it…
If the anti-SOPA messages get to her, and makes her aware of the problem, then it’s worked. I am not exactly sure the message will get in front of her, or if she will realize the severity of what can will happen if SOPA is passed and enforced.
Very good point, Lynette. It will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings.