Like a lot of webheads, I’m deeply concerned by the proposed bills working their way through Congress right now. As a community and an industry, we must oppose SOPA (House) and PIPA (Senate).
This site and my main business site will go dark from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm (US Eastern time) on Wednesday January 18. Client beta sites, support, and the like will not be affected. If you own a website, consider doing the same; if you’re not in a position to go dark, please voice your opposition to SOPA/PIPA in other ways. My combined page views are nothing compared to the vast empire that is I Can Has Cheezburger, but the more sites are united against the proposed laws, the greater our impact.
If you’re not in the US, please speak up anyway. Yes, these are US laws, but they’re designed to hurt the internet outside US jurisdiction: needless to say, this is one of the really reprehensible things about these laws, but it’s not the only one.
- Get information about the bills and actions to fight them
- Support the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And not just for this. They’ve been fighting the good fight on internet freedom and censorship issues for many years.
- If you’re in the US, contact your Congresscritters
- To black out your (WordPress) site (and if you’ve seen any good tutorials or scripts/plugins for other systems, post ’em in the comments!) —
- Ipstenu has a tutorial on how to go dark using the WordPress .maintenance file. See the note at the bottom for blacking out selected sites in a multisite installation.
- Or use a plugin. This one will let you set your time zone and the blackout interval you want, as well as customizing the page that’s displayed.
- If you’re already using a scheduled maintenance plugin, keep in mind that most of them will let you customize your away page — you may already have the tools you need.
- Add a “STOP SOPA” ribbon to your site now. You can see it in action at the top of this page.
UPDATE: New resources!
- The Twitter badge thing is at blackoutsopa.org
- Blackout module for Drupal
- Not a CMS fan? Replace your index.html with this very snazzy HTML blackout!
- From the comments: redirect via .htaccess
- A note from a member of the Google Webmaster team on doing downtime right. Honestly, I’m not inclined to stress a whole lot about the SEO implications of which error code I choose for a one-time 12-hour blackout. But for high-traffic sites, or if regularly go down for maintenance windows or the like, as they say, the more you know…
UPDATE 2: For hosted sites (WordPress.com, Blogspot, Tumblr, etc.)
- http://pastebin.com/XhDhHp6q is a snippet that will work on most hosted blogs. Special hint for WordPress.com users with the 2011 theme: put this in one of the widgets in the footer, since the side widgets don’t appear on pages!
UPDATE The THIRD: It’s Tuesday Night, Time To Get Your Blackout On!
- Another WordPress plugin: Go Dark
- And a big announcement: WordPress.org is joining the protest along with big players like Wikipedia, Reddit, Mozilla, and (sorta) Google!
- WordPress.com users now have an option in their settings to add a ribbon or black out their sites. (From what I can tell, they appear to be based on the Stop-SOPA Ribbon and SOPA Blackout plugins mentioned above.)