SOPA Blackout… Without the Consequences

    January 17, 2012
    Mike Tuttle

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.