Wikipedia, Google, and Craigslist are leading today's Internet protest march by changing their home pages in defiance of the SOPA and Protect IP bills. Wikipedia and Craiglist have indeed gone through on threats to "go dark" (though there are workarounds; see below), while Google has gone with a much more understated black bar over its famous logo, and a link to a (sorta) explanation of what the issues at stake are. Reddit.com is also up for now, but has a countdown clock indicating it will go down for 12 hours, starting at 8:00 a.m. Eastern time.
While the protests haven't exactly brought the internet to a screeching halt, they are certainly the biggest and most high profile public awareness campaigns for almost any issue, ever. If there's anyone out there who hadn't heard of SOPA before Wednesday, they almost certainly will before the end of the day, and if they don't know it by then, they probably never use or care about the Internet. (Or they never leave Facebook.) Those in support of the bill seem just as determined as ever, but unlike most controversial legislation, no one will be able to say that voters weren't informed about it.
By the way, if you're a desperate student on deadline for a research paper or need to settle a bet today, Wikipedia is not totally out of commission. Going straight to an article page will redirect you to the informational image you see above, but those with quick fingers can stop the page loading (by pressing the X button or "ESC") before it redirects, allowing you to read the article you're looking for. Alternatively, the mobile version of Wikipedia is still up, meaning you can use it on your smartphone or by adding the letter m to URL, like so: en.m.wikipedia.org. (It's also still available in all non-English languages.) If you see a way to access active Craiglist listings (or any other sites taking part), let us know.
Here's the Google homepage this morning.
And here's what you see on Craigslist, after clicking from the main home page to an individual city site.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.