There have been rumours flying around the Internet that major Internet players such as Google and Facebook have been planning the “nuclear” option of blacking out their sites in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act, better known as the infamous SOPA and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Howover, so far, Reddit, the popular online news recommendation site with over 35 million visitors per month, is the only one which is putting its bandwidth where its mouth is. In a blog post, Reddit administrators said they were not taking the matter lightly.
The 12 hour blackout, which is scheduled to run from 8AM to 8PM US Eastern Time on January 18 will coincide with the congressional hearings on the two controversial bills in which Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian will be testifying. During the blackout, the site content will be replaced with a live video streaming of the live congressional hearings. This extreme measures are just a part of the measures Redditors have used to express their extreme displeasure with the two infamous acts. Redditors also engineered a staggering 90,000 calls to their congressmen as well as boycotting then SOPA supporting site GoDaddyafter the site owner publicly voiced his support for the Act.
But as though this were not enough, application developers have also jumped into the fray developing Android and Chrome applications that identify whether the site you are visiting is a SOPA supporter or not. It easy to see through all these campaigns that those supporting and sponsoring the bill simply are not listening to their millions of constituents. It would however be interesting to see what would happen if massive social media site Facebook and ubiquitous search engine Google decided to interrupt services to its global legion of over 2 billion combined users. In my book and in the books of many others I would imagine, that would be what you call a tactical nuclear strike to the heart of the SOPA and PIPA bills.