The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been in the news a lot lately. The legislation, which is currently being debated in the US Congress, has come under fire by many fronts in the tech industry for being too broad of a law that could affect any web site operator. This week, the popular user generated news site Reddit announced that one week from today, January 18, it would go dark in protest of SOPA.
In their message announcing the black out of the web site, Reddit announced:
Instead of the normal glorious, user-curated chaos of reddit, we will be displaying a simple message about how the PIPA/SOPA legislation would shut down sites like reddit, link to resources to learn more, and suggest ways to take action. We will showcase the live video stream of the House hearing where Internet entrepreneurs and technical experts (including reddit co-founder Alexis “kn0thing” Ohanian) will be testifying. We will also spotlight community initiatives like meetups to visit Congressional offices, campaigns to contact companies supporting PIPA/SOPA, and other tactics.
The actual shut down of Reddit will happen for 12 hours on January 18, between 8 am and 8 pm Eastern time. It will certainly affect a lot of people. A few days ago, Reddit announced that in December 2011 it had over 34 million unique visitors and over 2 billion page views.