Today, January 18th of 2012, the web goes dark in protest against #PIPA and #SOPA. Last time a strike happened in the internet was in 1996 when many sites went dark to protest the Communications Decency Act.
Although I didn’t blackout my blog, I decided to create this log entry to document the strike. I disagree with #PIPA and #SOPA and hope they are destroyed. During this day I was following very closely my twitter feed and actively created several tweets and RTs about the #blackout and the #sopastrike. As expected, the amplification of the protest became pretty global. This strike demonstrated the solidarity that certain causes can have around the world and how they reach public visibility in the twitersphere. The #blackout of today reminds me of the #egypt #jan25 of last year when lots of netizens helped to spread information about the situation in #tahirsquare and the North African country.
I was glad to see such amplification and such dynamism taking shape and grow through the day. The protest against a bill in the USA congress turned out to be a world wide strike, in many languages, from many countries. Several friends from Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, and France where sharing information about the protest, amplifying and making their points against #censorship. The messages anti #sopa and #pipa populated not only the twittersphere and the blogosphere but also the social networking sites. Fred Benenson created an interesting visualization of the tweets about #sopa during the day that reveals the density of participation and crosstalk in the twittersphere.
The feeling of a strike on a virtual space is pretty unique. I have to say this was really my first virtual strike. There were many signs, appropriately tagged with #hashtags, there were squares and streets blocked out, such as the English Wikipedia. There was a massive virtual mic check / megaphone that came to existence by the many re-tweets and re-sharing of messages, images, and status updates. There were also several tools that facilitated the mailing of messages to USA congressmen and representatives such as the ones created by the EFF and Google.
These are some of the sites that went really dark and captured my attention today.