Reddit is taking a big step against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) next week when the site will official close down for 12 hours in protest of the bill. As Reddit’s co-founder Alexis Ohanian recently noted on Bloomberg TV, if SOPA had existed when Reddit began operating the site would like not exist today.
The blackout is meant to raise awareness of the issue and get people angry enough at Congress to pound the pavement in support of shutting down the bill.
The site will officially go dark on January 18 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at which point millions of websites will lose valuable traffic that is often sent out to all corners of the web by the social links sharing behemoth. Reddit currently receives nearly 2 billion pageviews per month and sends much of that traffic back to sites in the form of outgoing links directed at stories Reddit users deem worthy for top page displays via up and down votes and a unique commenting system that also incorporates a voting system.
Reddit writes of its decision:
“We’re not taking this action lightly. We wouldn’t do this if we didn’t believe this legislation and the forces behind it were a serious threat to reddit and the Internet as we know it. Blacking out reddit is a hard choice, but we feel focusing on a day of action is the best way we can amplify the voice of the community.”
During the blackout a message will be displayed on the site explaining Reddit’s SOPA blackout and what the ridiculously awful bill will mean if passed by Congress.
Will you be supporting Reddit by spreading the word about SOPA and what it could mean for many of our favorite websites? Not to mention the complete destruction of basic freedom of speech and censorship rules.