Reddit announced today that it plans to blackout the site on January 18th in order to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).
Next Wednesday, Reddit.com will go dark from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Reddit also announced that co-founder, Alexis “kn0thing” Ohanian, will be testifying in front of congress on behalf of the tech community.
Reddit writes in a blog post:
“The freedom, innovation, and economic opportunity that the Internet enables is in jeopardy. Congress is considering legislation that will dramatically change your Internet experience and put an end to reddit and many other sites you use everyday.”
Reddit currently brings in more than 2 billion page views a month. It also sends out a constant stream of web traffic to all corners of the internet.
Unfortunately, a Reddit blackout may fall on deaf ears. Paul Tassi at Forbes writes that the Reddit community as already well-aware of the dangers of SOPA. And even though a blackout on the site will effect traffic around the web, it won’t be enough to draw attention to the majority of internet users in America.
“Even though Reddit is a massive site, the industry needs a nuclear option to truly decimate SOPA once and for all. Titans like Google and Facebook need to have a similar blackout, which would reach an audience far, far wider than Reddit’s.”
Google, Facebook, and Twitter have all said that SOPA and PIPA could alter the landscape of the internet but none of the sites have planned anything as drastic as a blackout.
Do you think Reddit’s protest will have an effect on SOPA and PIPA? Will congress only listen to the internet community if giants like Google or Facebook use their influential voices?
“We’re not taking this action lightly. We wouldn’t do this if we didn’t believe this legislation and the forces behind it were a serious threat to reddit and the Internet as we know it. Blacking out reddit is a hard choice, but we feel focusing on a day of action is the best way we can amplify the voice of the community.”
Do you think that SOPA will be good or bad for the internet?