As promised earlier, Google has voiced its opposition to two bills currently being discussed in Congress that the company says — and countless critics around the world agree — would censor the web and hurt U.S. businesses.
While some sites like Wikipedia are going black for the day on Wednesday, Google has instead chosen to cover its logo in black and add a short message on its home page: Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!
The message links to a new End Piracy, Not Liberty page where Google is encouraging visitors to sign a petition against the legislation and sharing this message:
Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.
The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.
The page also includes a PDF/infographic detailing the groundswell of opposition to SOPA and PIPA.
If you’re not familiar with SOPA (and its Senate counterpart, PIPA), see Chris Sherman’s article on Marketing Land, What All Marketers Need To Know About SOPA – The Stop Online Piracy Act.
What About Bing, Yahoo & Other Search Engines
Meanwhile, as of this moment, both Bing and Yahoo are carrying on in a business-as-usual mode.
Microsoft issued a statement today saying that it does oppose “the SOPA bill as currently drafted,” but neither Microsoft.com nor Bing.com make any mention right now of that opposition. Here’s the current Bing home page, which has a scenic photo of Norway.
Likewise, neither Yahoo.com nor its search-only home page at search.yahoo.com are showing anything related to the legislation or protests, unless you count the appearance of “PIPA” as No. 9 on Yahoo’s “Trending Now” topics.
There’s also nothing currently showing on Ask.com’s home page, but a PR rep for IAC notified us earlier tonight that Ask will “donate” ad space on its home page to voice its opposition to the legislation. The ad space, we’re told, will link to this OpenCongress.org page with details about SOPA and tools for people to contact their representatives.
Postscript: Although Yahoo.com isn’t showing anything related to SOPA/PIPA, Yahoo’s Flickr photo sharing site has gotten involved by letting users darken any photo on the site — their own or anyone else’s. (Photo owners can opt out of having their photos darkened.) Here’s one of my recent photos that I’ve darkened:
Postscript #2: Duck Duck Go has joined the ranks of search engines that are protesting SOPA/PIPA. Here’s what its homepage looks like today.
- Big List Of SOPA Links
- What All Marketers Need To Know About SOPA – The Stop Online Piracy Act
- The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) Stalls In Congress
- #BlackoutSOPA: A Look At The Social Media Movement That Helped Stall The SOPA Legislation
- How To Blackout Your Site (For SOPA/PIPA) Without Hurting SEO
- Google Blackens Its Logo To Protest SOPA/PIPA, While Bing & Yahoo Carry On As Usual
- Why The Web Is Going Dark Over SOPA & PIPA