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How best to go dark for SOPA protest?

  1. Thanks for the information answers folks - I will have to read tonight as you were all posting while I was alseep!

  2. Thanks Macmanx, for now I stuck my ribbon up, will try to figure out what to do more by the 18th. The ribbon actually stands out surprisingly well once a reader scrolls at all. Before that it's a little subtle. I hear SOPA has been beaten back or delayed, but I think it's really good to keep hitting it / spreading the word while it's down, or they're bound to try to resurrect it in some form.

  3. SOPA has not been beaten back: the White House has said they won't support it, but my sources hint that this may be a cosmetic measure, and that Congress will ram it through anyway, as the White House well knows.

    By the way, an Anti-SOPA Manifesto is here:

  4. @justjennifer That works, but it throws in some extraneous stuff that I think will confuse a lot of people. I just want the plain, straightforward block of code that shows in my earlier comment.

  5. @justjennifer Thanks. Tried that and several other options and so far nothing's working. I may just have to settle for a link back to this discussion.

  6. Simple solution: you can change your theme to Monotone and put up an Anti-SOPA dark banner, and POOF, blackout. No widgets either. Disable comments if you want to be hardass.

  7. @windwhistle - I linked to this discussion on a FB writing group, where several people have blogs, and allI got was confusion. To many, this thread looks hopelessly technical and arcane.

  8. Why protest against it? Is it really that bad? What is the fear? In the UK we already have the Communications Act 2003 and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, and they are never used.

    Moreoever, the internet is essential to the American economy. The government would never take it down; it would be economic suicide.

  9. @neilfein Precisely why I wanted to post it as just a simple copy-and-paste paragraph for my readers to put in a widget.

  10. @mbukee452 - Yes, it's that bad. The bill is being driven by big content providers that see their profit as more important that free expression. Even if it were almost never used, it would have a chilling effect on free speech on the net.

    But it will be used. Keep in mind that the companies who <strike>bought the representatives who</strike> are pushing the legislation have sued college students and the elderly for ludicrous sums of money because they downloading MP3s. Yes, that's piracy, but this demonstration of out-of-proportion thinking paints a clear picture.

    In addition, the acts put power in the hands of parties who merely accuse people of infringement. In other words, guilty before proven innocent.

    I understand there are changes made to these bills in the last few days, though. Perhaps someone more up on recent developments with SOPS/PIPA could clarify my points, and indicate if I'm being accurate?

  11. Also, as with most things of this nature, it's not about whether it will or won't be used. It's that it can be used. It puts the wrong power in the hands of the wrong people, and that's never a good thing.

  12. @mbukee452 Yes, it is that bad. As for those statues you reference, you can see on the Guido Fawkes website here at that they HAVE been used: that news was, however, suppressed.

  13. Yes, you are correct. It has been used. But the government wouldn't just execute an internet blackout because the economy depends upon the internet.

  14. They WILL, however, attempt to charge individuals more to post to their blogs than major corporations. It's not fair to charge us major dollars and CNN, for example, nothing.

    It's an attempt to turn a generation of writers and artists into a generation of consumers. Or rather, turn them back.

  15. @mbukee452 Yes, it's that bad. The mere accusation of copyright infringement will be enough to shut down a website (read "competitor") or even an entire provider. Besides, we already have the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DCMA) in effect. SOPA and PIPA are just efforts to put more power into the hands of, among others, the entertainment and pharmaceutical industries.

  16. @windwhistle: To display the code in your blog, you can convert it here:

  17. @windwhistle

    just efforts to put more power into the hands of, among others, the entertainment and pharmaceutical industries.

    Well said. :)

  18. Thank you for the ribbon. I've put it up. Now if only WordPress would provide something just as simple for those of us who want to go dark on the 18th.

  19. The best thing to do is to put an auto redirect on your front page that sends folks to SOPA information alerting them what's going on. I'm planning to make a little flash animation.. or maybe just a webcomic for my front page.

    Lights out folks, 2-3 days left to total blackout.

  20. @hugclub, can't use an auto redirect here on since we don't have access to the htacess file and/or the underlying code on our pages.

    In case you overlooked it, blacking out your page is as simple as copying/pasting into a text widget the code that windwhistle posted here

  21. brainwreckedtech

    The code in this discussion didn't quite work on my blog which uses the P2 theme. The DIV that contained all the posts seemed to take precedence. I had to add z-index:1 to the string of CSS parameters for style.

    <div align="center" style="position:fixed;width:100%;height:100%;top:0;right:0;background-color:#000;-moz-opacity:0.8;opacity:.80;filter:alpha(opacity=80);text-align:center;font-size:800%;font-weight:bold;padding-top:300px;z-index:1;"><a href="//"">Stop SOPA</a></div>

  22. brainwreckedtech

    Didn't see that coming. Even though I had used HTML entities instead of all the special characters, the A tags were still interpreted. Trying back tick instead of code.

    <div align="center" style="position:fixed;width:100%;height:100%;top:0;right:0;background-color:#000;-moz-opacity:0.8;opacity:.80;filter:alpha(opacity=80);text-align:center;font-size:800%;font-weight:bold;padding-top:300px;z-index:1;"><a style="color:#fff;" href="" target="_blank">Stop SOPA</a></div>

  23. brainwreckedtech

    FWIW, this isn't the first time that I found a way to break Automatic's stuff.

  24. blackroseheart

    I wish WordPress would give us an option similar to how they give one for the snowflakes. Something that regular users could use.

    But seeing as how that isn't currently an option, I've blogged instructions for how to do your own version, thanks to the responses I read here, and with help from my Son.

  25. Thanks windwhistle and Panos! I tried what you guys worked out in a text widget on my private blog and it looks great. The whole screen is totally covered 'black' but transparent enough that the reader can just see my blog underneath, enough to know they came to the right place. And the giant "Stop SOPA" is unignorable--is that a word?? Oughta be, but it looks really weird!
    Now I have to get my nerve up to actually do it on the 18th! (OMG! my stats! I bet if I'm even thinking about it a lot of other people are too!) I'm thinking I'll post a short notice tonight or tomorrow warning my (few) subscribers.

  26. Trust me, your stats will go UP. Your bounce rate will go up, but expect a lot of people to be drawn to the drama and curious.

  27. @Ingridcc I put one of the new Milestone widgets on my home page counting down to blackout day. Afterwards, I'll change it to count down to the day the Senate votes.

    @Panos Thanks for the conversion tip, but it looks like a bit more than I can deal with at this late hour. I finally just put the code in an uploaded pdf file and linked to it. People can copy it from there.

  28. Everyone can change their Twitter pic to one of three Stop SOPA banners (at ), then download the avatar and use it for your gravatar, your IM avatar, and your Facebook picture. If I remember to do it, on Wednesay I may change my current banner design to the all black one, appropriate for blackout day.

  29. We put together a snippet of JS that I posted on Github. You have 2 choices: Hide the content and show text (stop sopa) or actually remove all the content with JS and show it, with a link to mozilla (you can change where it points to).

    The code is on github at, and the article is at You can change the date on your computer to the 18th to see the JS snippet in action.

    Hope that helps

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