Wikipedia, Reddit, and I Can Has Cheezburger gave Americans a preview of what it would be like if the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s Protect IP (intellectual property) Act were sanctioned. Content of popular websites that joined the protest were either modified to express complete opposition against the bills or were totally shut down on Wednesday.
Wikipedia, Twitter, and Google used their high monthly traffic to their advantage to advocate their outcry, spread awareness, and inspire support from internet users in the US.
Wikipedia, which gets 2.7 billion US visitors monthly, released a statement signed by three administrators, stating “It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web.” Almost 2000 users were involved during the decision-making process to shut down the English version of the site.
The main directive of the proposed bills is to expose and block websites that are involved in selling pirated goods, payment processing for illegal sales, etc. However, this would mean more restrictions in the proliferation of online innovations and inflict additional regulatory costs.