The Web to “Go Dark” January 18th to Protest Censorship Bills

George Washington's picture

By Washington’s Blog


Less than 24 hours after I noted that we’ve won a brief respite from SOPA, the bill’s chief sponsor said it’s back on track for mark up in February.

But a number of the world’s most popular websites – including Wikipedia, Twitpic, Reddit, Imgur, Mozilla and WordPress – are “going dark” on Wednesday January 18th to protest the censorship bills (SOPA and PIPA).

In addition, Google and other web titans will place prominent messages on their front pages urging their readers to oppose the draconian bills.

For example, Google has replaced its normal logo with this image (which links to an anti-SOPA page):

(Some popular porn sites like are doing the same.) has the following list:

Confirmed Participants:

Not all of SopaStrike’s information has been confirmed, and we know of at least a couple of these which are incorrect. On other other hands, I predict that thousands of sites will go dark tomorrow which aren’t on this list.

It’s easy for webmasters to join in the campaign. As SopaStrike notes:

Put this on your site or automate it by putting this [javascript] into your header, which will start the blackout at 8AM EST and end at 8PM EST.

You can use this alternative code from Zachary Johnson. Get a sense of what sites will look like before and after you insert the code. (Here’s more on Johnson’s code.)

WordPress – which hosts 60 millions blogs, and is the 18th most popular site on the web, and host of some blogs – sent the following message to its users:

We are making it possible for you to participate in the protest. There are two options: a “Stop Censorship” ribbon and a full blackout. The blackout portion will be in effect January 18 from 8am to 8pm EST, while the ribbon will be displayed until January 24. Here’s how to join in:

  1. Go to Settings ? Protest SOPA/PIPA in your dashboard.
  2. Select if you want to join the blackout or show a ribbon.
  3. If you choose to join the blackout, you can edit the message that will be shown on your site during the blackout.
  4. Preview what your protest will look like.
  5. Click “Save Changes” button to activate your protest.

That’s it! Easy-peasy activism right at your fingertips.

The “Stop Censorship” ribbon will display in the upper corner of your site and links to It will display until January 24, 2012 (the Senate vote date).

If you choose to do the blackout in addition to the ribbon, then we will black out your site from 8am to 8pm EST along with the official strike. You can customize the message that will appear on your blacked-out site to tell people why this issue is important to you. Your site will return to just displaying the ribbon after the strike is over.

I hope that a significant number of you on will join in this protest. Publishing freedom is a right we must protect.

And one last pitch: whatever you decide to do about your site, please take a few minutes to head over to and take action. It only takes a few moments of your time to be an agent of change!

BloggerMint created a similar SOPA ribbon for websites hosted by, the other 800-pound giant website platform (hosting at least 50 million sites).

Here's a crash course to bring you up to speed on the issue.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Careless Whisper's picture

why isn't zerohedge on that list?

a growing concern's picture

ZHers are already aware of this issue.

koaj's picture

wish we could get the whole world to protest in unison about the Fed


Heaven forbid Youporn goes dark

Shizzmoney's picture

I wish Google went black completely.  That would really fuck with the TPTB; Google/Amazon is bascially the nation's #1 retailer due to the consumers' "Search-n-shop" methods today.

If SOPA/PIPA passes, I tell you now, it's gonna kill the economy.  I am faithful, granted I shouldnt be b/c it is the American population, that the biggest boycott in the history of forever would begin.

People outside movie theaters (expensive enough already, and ppl not going b/c of so much crap out there) handing out fliers.

Video gamers (like me) who will take the entertainment hit and not buy ANY games or new systems who supported SOPA.

People cancelling Netflix/Hulu/etc. subscriptions.

And of course, thanks to government regulations, these internet companies (mostly small businesses targeted by legislation - SHOCKER!) will flee to Canada/Costa Rica/Antigua/Aruba - along with their tech-savvy talent (like me....I'm already considering moving to Montreal).

I mean, I dont have much faith in the American people, but some of the young generation (alot of you on here) are waking up.  Look at OWS.  Look at the blackout here.  People are starting to get it; and let's hope its not too late that we have to rise up, bear arms, etc. 

That's why they want to block the internet.  The TPTB want us to worship the corporate-controlled state, and only get our earn from them.  Part of the reason they blocked online poker; people were making a living from it and paying taxes (like me) w/o contributing to some corporation. 

And I say to them: Fuck you.  Fuck you, Chris Dodd, and the god damned hypocritical horse you rode in on.  How's that refinanced mortgage you got from Countrywide while you were in office (Google: Friends of Angelo) working for you, you piece of shit?

LFMayor's picture

Hey George, I heard that radiation levels at Fukushima spiked overnight!

111!!!! eleventy!!

RichardENixon's picture

They're going to have to borrow some gauges from Spinal Tap.

haskelslocal's picture

Where's Your Black Ribbon Tyler?

Feeling pressure from the advertisers are you?

antisepticWipe's picture

sure would piss off a lot of people if ZH went dark for a day.

YBNguy's picture

Add Godlikeproductions to the list of downed sites...


And you can still access wiki, just hit X after  a few seconds of the page loading before it redirects. Ive been surfing it all morning ;P

americanspirit's picture

It's old technology but a linked network of community-based two-way hand-held radios and base station shortwaves could function in the event of an internet shutdown, at least to get basic information out. SOPA demonstrates, whether passed or not, that there is a determined assault on freedom of communication being orchestrated by world governments and unless millions of people prepare in advance with an effective alternative means of communication we will find ourselves isolated and under such tight control that we will be easily dominated, guns or no guns. At this moment there is no restriction on buying and operating two-way or shortwave equipment but you can bet those restrictions are coming, so let's not get so fixated on defending the internet that we fail to prepare to lose it.

Endurus's picture

Not to be rude Americanspirit... but I feel you've missed the point completely.

Yes... SOPA would allow the government the internet 'kill switch' they've been after. Yes... in a dramatic situation where the government cut off all communication... we would have to default to slower communications altogether.... IE radios, couriers... etc.

However the real danger of SOPA lies in it's dormancy, giving them the ability to turn off single websites at will... with basically no rationale.

It's the old addage.. a frog dropped into boiling water quickly jumps out... but boil the water slowly and you cook the frog to death.
At first it's little...One website drops out... one blogger get imprisoned, next thing you know we have a significant portion of the internet that can't be accessed by the ley person....

The bills initiated by the shadow government have LONG TERM intentions... they always try to justify them with short term rationale.

SmokeyTheBear's picture

They already have the ability to shut off the internet at will.  Don't forget our first national test of the emergency alert system.  Gubermint basically has the power to do anything in a state of emergency. The only reason they don't have full control of the internet is becauses of the opposition they face.  Taking our internet will be the final straw.  Why do you think the Arab spring got so intense all at once.

americanspirit's picture

No offense taken Endurus - but I have to say that I don't miss the point, I am merely jumping to the logical endgame. Yes the likely scenario is a point-by-point takedown rather than a sweeping shutdown, but at any point that game could change at then it would be too late to rush out and buy lower tech communications equipment. I would prefer to have a low tech system up and operating, and relatively invulnerable, before it is needed. In our small community ( @ 50,000 in the county) we already have such a network, and we are linking to other communities all the time. The would-be masters in the shadows aren't the only ones capable of long-range planning.

LouisDega's picture

No web? I guess that leaves plan B.. Stare at the kitchen clock at two in the morning and eat a cookie

Cole Younger's picture

I guess the web corporation don't have enough money to buy Congress.

Harbanger's picture

I think Hollywood and drug corps are the biggest proponents of sopa. Sopa actually just builds on a Senate bill, called the Protect-IP Act. 

Widowmaker's picture

This behavior and protest will only encourage the fraud-making lawless motherfuckers in DC.

They only respond to money, everything else is a threat and therefore demands their control on your non-incorporated "behalf."

This ain't about terrorism, it's about power of the people being assaulted by Congress Inc. proactively.

All the lawless shit that's broke and the only thing they work on is assaulting liberty?



hbjork1's picture

Sorry Widomaker, most of them are the wrong sex for me.

But "Whatever floats your boat,", I say/. 

SamAdams1234's picture

Take out the offending Congressmen. Target thier major contributors with economic action. If they're not in the Congress, or are a risk to thier master's bottomline, they can't keep proposing the same censorship legislation under different names.


LawsofPhysics's picture

Whoops, sorry I got something completely different out of your "take out the offending congressmen" comment.  - Nevermind.

SamAdams1234's picture

Take out the offending Congressmen. Target thier major contributors with economic action. If they're not in the Congress, or are a risk to thier master's bottomline, they can't keep proposing the same censorship legislation under different names.


blindman's picture
War - Part Seven: Goodbye War (6 of 6)

Tuesday January 17 1:01pm
58 min
Public Affairs
Click the black triangle to hear the show. HELP
Gary Null - The Natural Living Show
Tuesday January 17 12:00pm
starts here on the 12:00 hour
gwynne dyer at minute 42 or so.
interview concerning war with iran
and who loses (everyone).

Gully Foyle's picture

OOOOOOHHHHHHH, Reddit and Boing Boing are dark today.

But the same assholes will vote for the same old politicos.

Wake me when there is a REAL protest, you know something that draws blood and has REAL consequences.

Anyone notice what an ongoing blowjob Doonesbury is giving Obama? What is Trudeau on the payroll?

hbjork1's picture

Thanks for the post on Doonesbury.  I was wondering why the local paper wasn't posting Doonsbury lately.

FairyTale's picture

Didn't the US help the 'revolutionaries' in North Africa to set up an alternative internet to get around the blocks the dictators put on it?

How did they do that?  Technology is available so how do we get it?

There's always proxy servers I guess, but I think this SOPA crap is going to affect the entire world.  Who gave the US authority over internet access in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia? 

Element's picture

oh, its one world ... it's all connected ... and it makes more sense to have one central authority ... one supra-sovereign... so we act like school of fish flashing and darting away from supra-predators.

zhandax's picture

Makes more 'sense'; whose fed do you work for?

Element's picture

The one that pays the best, enough is never enough, what's my money doing in your bank account? ... a little bit of skimming here ... a little co-mingling there ... a few accounting errors and a couple of gimmicks later ... and ... PRESTO! ... I gots me dah world.

Want a place to rent?

zhandax's picture

My preferred rental units are blonde and 20ish

zhandax's picture

They had an interest in 'helping' the revolutionaries.  That interest does not exist here.

zhandax's picture

The hams already have such an alternative system in existence.  Only problems is,  FEMA is who is paying to update their infrastructure.  Trying to speak evil of FEMA with these guys is like trying to get a bone away from a hungry dog.

honestann's picture

A bunch of hackers should get together and create an alternate internet, because eventually the predators-that-be will destroy the internet (unless Ron Paul is elected and the tide starts turning back).  To create an alternate internet is not a huge effort, technologically.  In fact, it is much, much, much less work than creating something like Linux and keeping it up-to-date.  The difficult part isn't making it work.  The difficult part is making it "bomb-proof" - which means, not subject to predator control or extinction.  Therefore, a great part of it would probably have to depend on some form of wireless communications, because anything that depends upon cables owned by a large cable company is easily subject to government and corporate subversion.  I'm afraid in the long run the non-braindead people on this planet need to create these alternate government-independent systems, or fight an all out open shooting war against the predators-that-be and predator-class.  The later is the best and easiest solution, because the predators continue to go increasingly over the top wacko.

Sean7k's picture

You would still need power and lots of it.

Funny that the internet would be the reason people might get riled up. 

The solution has always existed and always will. Learn to live without central government. Centralized power creates tyranny- without exception. Organize locally, decentralize federally. Diffuse the access to power by keeping it localized. Small town tyrants (and large ones) can only impact the town. This is the concept  found in the Constituion as competing minorities coming together and falling apart to create necessary legislation.

We have allowed a monster to grow from convenience and entitlements. Clothed in concern for the downtrodden and lifting up of society. We must kill the beast.

honestann's picture

I completely agree.

Here's the problem.

If you've noticed my posts in ZH over the past months, you've noticed that I've identified one very serious problem that others have overlooked.  That is... human beings NEED a frontier... especially now that the predators-that-be and predator-class have developed ways to turn entire populations into overtly brain-dead sheep.

If a frontier exists, the best, brightest and bravest WILL LEAVE every authoritarian slime hole and head for the frontier where their life depends on their own actions, not the promises of the predators-that-be and predator-class who have taken over their domain.

This is why the space program has gone virtually NOWHERE in the 40 years since man landed on the moon, immediately after it went from zero to landing on the moon in only 9 years.  The predators-that-be and predator-class UNDERSTAND they are predators, and they do not want even a tiny fraction leaving the domain they control... which today is the entire planet.

We must KILL THE BEAST as you say, or we need a frontier.  One or the other must occur, or humans are toast.  And that's no exaggeration.

i-dog's picture


Preach it, brother!!

AnAnonymous's picture

But the best places to establish a world wide network are already occupied by US citizens.

So what?

Funniest is the masquerade played by all those US citizens corporations.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Wake the fuck up, there are NO U.S. citizens, only "tenants" of the United States Corporation.

zhandax's picture

What a fuckin joke; is participating!  Don't that give you the warm and fuzzies?  SOPA and it's ilk need to be purged from our system, but to have these hooligans participate shows what a counterintelligence farce the 'protest effort' is.

Element's picture

As long as jerk-off dot com doesn't 'participate' ... we should still be ok

pakled's picture

Thank you for this post GW.

El Gordo's picture

Keep the gubment's grubby paws off my internet.

Lord Koos's picture

ZH  is too hip for the room, and so will not be honoring the blackout.

euphoria's picture

As long as Zerohedge is not protesting.... Maybe banner only?

AldousHuxley's picture

Zerohedge may be shut down using SOPA for posting screenshots of bloomberg charts.

i-dog's picture

SOPA can't touch ZeroHedge (or any other site located in the free world). The Criminal Junta in DC can only [attempt to] restrict access to ZH by sheep inside the Occupied Zone (ie. the lower 48).

There are plenty of ZH'ers in China who get through the Chinese Junta's censorship attempts.