SOPA Protest: Wikipedia Traffic Up, Congressional Support Down

Yesterday’s mass protests about the SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills have yielded some positive results: At least 18 members of Congress — including several PIPA co-sponsors — have withdrawn their support for the legislation. And Wikipedia, which went dark for the day, saw its traffic go up, as visitors used the site’s SOPA page as a resource for information about the issue.

Wikipedia reported that more than 162 million people saw its anti-SOPA message:

More than 162 million people saw our message asking if you could imagine a world without free knowledge. You said no. You shut down Congress’s switchboards. You melted their servers. From all around the world your messages dominated social media and the news. Millions of people have spoken in defense of a free and open Internet.

For us, this is not about money. It’s about knowledge. As a community of authors, editors, photographers, and programmers, we invite everyone to share and build upon our work.

Our mission is to empower and engage people to document the sum of all human knowledge, and to make it available to all humanity, in perpetuity. We care passionately about the rights of authors, because we are authors.

Google, which blanked out its logo, brought in 4.5 million signatures on an anti-SOPA petition it posted, according to the Los Angeles Times. A similar petition from Fight for the Future brought in 1.5 million signatures, and at least 350,000 people have emailed members of Congress about SOPA.

The lawmakers who withdrew their support include Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Ben Cardin of Maryland, who were co-sponsors of PIPA. House members who dropped support for SOPA include Lee Terry of Nebraska, Ben Quayle of Arizona and Dennis Ross of Florida. In a statement, Hatch called PIPA “not ready for prime time.”

After listening to the concerns on both sides of the debate over the PROTECT IP Act, it is simply not ready for prime time and both sides must continue working together to find a better path forward. Despite the concerns about the unintended consequences of this legislation, the Senate remains on a path to consider this bill next week. Rushing something with such potential for far-reaching consequences is something I cannot support and that’s why I will not only vote against moving the bill forward next week but also remove my cosponsorship of the bill. Given the legitimate vocal concerns, it is imperative that we take a step back to allow everyone to come together and find a reasonable solution.

Despite the success of the protest, Wikipedia points out that “SOPA and PIPA are not dead: they are waiting in the shadows.” You can still contact your representatives to let them know how you feel about the bills by using this form provided by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Thank you [Wikimedia Foundation]
Google says 4.5 million people signed anti-SOPA petition today []
PIPA support collapses, with 13 new Senators opposed [Ars Technica]
SOPA Protest: Wikipedia Traffic Trend [Zscaler Research]
Hatch Statement on the PROTECT IP Act [Press Release]

Two Senators Change Tune On Online Piracy Legislation
Google’s Matt Cutts On Why SOPA Is Bad For Everyone
Google Breaks Down SOPA Opposition By The Numbers
Consumerist Is Against SOPA/PIPA And That’s All We’re Writing About Today


Edit Your Comment

  1. penuspenuspenus says:

    Or they had to try a few times to get the escape button timing down. I know I hit up Wikipedia a few times due to that.

    • Ed says:

      Exactly. I had to hit refresh/Stop at the right time to get the article I needed at least 2 times every time and one took me about 5 tries.

      • SabreDC says:

        Or you could have just added ?banner=none to the end of the URL without having to refresh/stop/escape. But it’s all moot now.

  2. pop top says:

    I signed the Google petition as well as contacted both my senators (the useless Levin and Stabenow) and my representative (Mike Rogers, who looks like the monster from Creepers when he smiles).

  3. Tim says:

    I would have contacted my congressmen, but I have no senators and my “representative” (delegate, technically) can’t vote.

    • Starfury says:

      I emailed my congressman (Pete Stark) and received a reply…I’m sure it was a form letter but it basically said he’s anti-piracy but that the SOPA/PIPA laws were not the way to take care of it and he didn’t support them.

  4. Kuri says:

    I signed a few petitions, including Google’s.

    These, reps, seem to forget that when they say nasty things about their constituents, it’s up on the internet permanently.

  5. milty45654 says:

    I love how the masses come out the cry about sopa but the bill that was passed on Dec 31 that essentially took away your 4th amendment rights has gone virtually unseen and unheard….you can be locked up by the military with no due process and everyone is crying about SOPA…get your priorities straight people.

    • Kuri says:

      Because letting them silence our means of talking about it is SO much better.

      • milty45654 says:

        Yeah, before the internet, there was no form of alternative communication…doesn’t matter if you still have the ability to communicate over the internet if they can lock everyone up without letting them talk to anyone.

        • Kuri says:

          Yeah? So basically it’d be better to be arrested and have no idea why when peopel can spread the word anonymously.

    • dolemite says:

      I recall telling my wife about it, and she shrugged. Most people take the attitude of “I’m not a terrorist, why do I care?” Yet if they knew anything about history they’d know the government has a way of getting their foot in the door, then cracking it wide. 10 years from now, a terrorist might include anyone spreading anti-government propaganda on an internet forum.

      • daynight says:

        After 9/11 anyone who was ready to push the big red button to start the bombing was considered tantamount to being a terrorist. The government had been doing extraordinary rendition for some time before it became public. The only real change is that now it is legal to do it.
        Frightening times all around!

    • Hi_Hello says:

      it’s weird how certain things spread while other don’t.

      I heard about it through a friend who has a friend who knows someone who is missing. They are afraid to speak up about it because they might go missing…

      it’s crazy. AT the same time, I never understood why sooo many people heard about y2k 0-o…

  6. ovalseven says:

    There’s also the people who went to Wikipedia and didn’t bother with the message:

    • pop top says:

      Good lord. Talk about not wanting to live on this planet anymore.

    • Kuri says:

      This reminds me of those Facebook updates I saw of kids losing their shit over not getting the latest Iphone or a car for Christmas.

      It made me want to track each one of them down and take a piece of re-bar to their fancy toys.

      People like that make me kind of want SOPA to pass so their rage MIGHT be directed at the right location, then again I’m giving said people too much credit.

  7. Sean says:

    What Hatch was really saying: I was just voting for it because of the large check that showed up from the RIAA. Now it looks like I may not get re-elected so I gotta kiss some voter ass.

    • LabGnome says:

      This is pretty much what I took away from this. Kids got caught with their hands in the cookie jar and now they are saying they weren’t really going to eat the cookie.

  8. Telekinesis123 says:

    Thank you for taking part I’m proud of you guys.

  9. TasteyCat says:

    Massive shift, most notably in the House. Senate keeps going, though, and Reid will not be stopped. Typical.

  10. Cat says:

    I’m not liking the Democrats for their crap shit.

    “Far and away, the top beneficiary in the Senate from interest groups that support PIPA is Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who‚Äôs taken in just short of a million dollars from those groups, according to data from She‚Äôs also the most recent Senator to co-sponsor PIPA, adding her name to the list on Dec. 12. The runner-up is Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who‚Äôs taken $777,383 from PIPA-supporting interest groups, and has co-sponsored the bill since May 2011.

    In fact, a list of the top 20 beneficiaries of special interest money in favor of PIPA reads like a list of the Senate‚Äôs most influential Democrats: Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) in third; Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in fourth; Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in fifth; Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the bill‚Äôs primary sponsor, in sixth; Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in seventh; Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in eighth; Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in ninth; and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) in tenth. The list goes on like that until Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who places 15th with $274,600 in special interest money promoting PIPA.”

    Al Franken, shame on you.

  11. maruawe says:

    DO NOT THINK that this is over –once these idiots get something on their mind they will try subterfuge to pass this or will do it in the middle of the night — Keep your eyes and ears open to their regular undermining of the American public