For those of you who do not know, yesterday a noticeable portion of the Internet went black in a grand-opposition to the SOPA and PIPA bills. (Check out ClayMeow’s editorial on the proposed legislation for more information.) Google, Mozilla, Reddit, Wikipedia, Wired, and Wordpress to name only a few sites joined in the blackout. With such popular websites very publicly voicing their opinions, just how many people were touched by this effort?
Google is reporting 4.5 million people signed its anti-SOPA petition.
Wikipedia states in a Thank You message that over 162 million people saw their blackout message. On its information page it says over 12,000 people commented on its blog post about the blackout, over 8 million visitors learned who their representatives are via the message’s tool, and #wikipediablackout reached 0.93% of all tweets at 4 AM.
At 1 PM #SOPA reached its peak of 3.5% of all tweets, and for the entire 24 hour period, from 12 AM Wednesday morning (EST) to 12 AM Thursday morning, it was above 1%. #PIPA reached a high of 1.01% at Noon on Wednesday.
Of course, Internet activity does not guarantee results in Congress, but it definitely helps. Starting with Senator Marco Rubio on Facebook, members of the United States Congress started publically declaring their opposition to the bills. Rubio had originally co-sponsored the bill, by the way. Many of these announcements were made on social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, probably to let the people know quickly, and not because Internet traffic crippled and brought down Congressional websites. For a time, the official Senate website was actually offline. All told, a minimum of 10 senators and almost twice as many representatives declared their opposition during the blackout.
PIPA comes to a vote on the 24th.