Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wikipedia and Online PR

In protest of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), US bills proposing to repress foreign websites that infringe on copyright (thus, Wikipedia and others believe, "infringes free expression"), Wikipedia has shut down for the day. Clicking a Wikipedia entry or searching for something on the home page will bring you to this message:

"Learn More" 
The purpose of this "blackout" is to inform the public about SOPA and PIPA and to galvanize the public to let the representatives of the bills know what they think.

If you click "Learn More," you will read about the huge discourse and awareness about the bills shared to the representatives, on social media, etc., (See: #SOPA on Twitter) and the impact the bills may have, if passed.

This inconveniences web users who in turn, learn about SOPA and PIPA and then, it seems, speak out against it, which is kind of cool. It's also a wise move for Wikipedia, I think, because they are proving that they understand the impact disabling information sharing can have. It's also a good PR move for the online encyclopedia because it is showing the public that it strongly values the freedom and openness of the internet.

Do you think the Wikipedia blackout and online pressure from the public will influence the United States House of Representatives and the Senate's decision on the bill?


  1. I hope it does influence their decision. I really do.

  2. Oh, I do too! I love the idea of ordinary people having such a big voice and influence.

  3. i hope so as well. i do think our voices are worth hearing!!

  4. For now, the bills have been shelved. Hopefully, they won't come up for a vote in the future! I was relieved to see so many websites support the protest against SOPA and PIPA--it gives me hope for the future of the internet. Now we just have to protect net neutrality!