SOPA Blackout… Without the Consequences

    January 17, 2012
    Mike Tuttle
    Comments are off for this post.

Josh Wolford’s comprehensive rundown of the SOPA/PIPA protest blackouts slated for tomorrow mentioned how some site admins do not wish to totally black out their sites, for a variety of valid reasons (the hit to SEO alone can be crippling). Some owners want to register their disapproval, but see some wisdom in still being up and running, perhaps even to further the protest efforts (al la Twitter’s stance).

@digiphile @jayrosen_nyu that’s just silly. Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish.(image) 18 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Enter CloudFlare.

CloudFlare is a content delivery network that aims to enhance web experience and provide security for websites that subscribe to their service. For their subscribers, CloudFlare is offering access to a free app called Stop Censorship.

From the Stop Censorship page on CloudFlare:

The Stop Censorship app from CloudFlare shows your visitors that you are against SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act), the proposed censorship legislation.
On their first visit, visitors will get a censored experience.

* Words longer than five characters will be blacked out.
* A “Censored” corner badge will appear at the top of your page.


As an example of how the app looks in practice, they censor their own page. Here is a shot of Before:


And, After:


CloudFlare says this method of blackout has no negative SEO repercussions, allows users to reload your site and remove the censored parts, does not block links, but still makes your point of opposition to SOPA/PIPA.

  • Shawna

    That’s idiotic. What if we need to read something important on websites? Like Wikipedia, and what if we’re doing something really important on huge websites? We wont be able to due to this blackout nonesense.

    • Cara

      Well, you may not be able to “due” it AT ALL if SOPA passes.

    • MisMor

      clearly you don’t get the severity of SOPA

  • http://games-garden.com/ Ernesto Quezada

    Even though it’s very obtrusive, the message is clear (that’s what censorship is about), however, I believe a better solution is the piece of javascript at sopablackout.org which shows a black screen that hides when the user clicks on it allowing the content to be shown as usual.

    Shawna, Sopa is nonsense, not the blackout.

  • http://bit.ly/w0E1ar Rania

    If these bills are, in fact, enacted, users who stream copyrighted content 10 times in 6 months may face up to five years in prison. Ridiculous
    Read & Decide: Are you for or against SOPA/PIPA? http://bit.ly/w0E1ar

    • Alexander Hamilton

      and if these bills are enacted, as you say…the only people that they will hurt and everyday users… it wont stop the people form downloading anything. all we have to do is type in an IP address instead of a domain name and BOOM I has movie. you see the people who pirate movies are much better at navigating the inner most networks of the internet then congress and they know how to get around things like that! its the everyday people who cant figure out that, even though the website is black in protest, doesn’t that that website is shut down and cant be accessed!

  • John

    People, this is more then a US issue. This can easily become a Global issue overnight. What SOPA and PIPA can do it turn our internet into clones of China and South Korea. Basically mentioning an item with trademarks can get you in trouble if they want. What some of these sites are doing in losing business for a day is a small price for the freedoms we will lose overnight with SOPA and PIPA.