The latest company to join the anti-SOPA movement is Scribd, the web’s largest publishing and reading site that claims tens of millions of available documents. If you went to their site yesterday to peruse a document, you would’ve found that the words literally began to vanish from the page as you read. Once the document was SOPA’ed and thus unreadable, visitors were presented with the following message:
And there you have it: the future of the Internet in the SOPA era.
The self-censoring act was a pretty poignant example of what people can expect the Internet to become if SOPA should become a reality. Michelle Laird, Director of Communications with Scribd, provided WebProNews with the press release that explained Scribd’s reasoning behind the demonstration:
Today, users of Scribd must watch as the words they read are being taken away, as Scribd demonstrates to its millions of users what the SOPA & Protect IP Act (PIPA) would do every day if they pass.
“With this legislation in place, entire domains like Scribd could simply vanish from the web,” said Jared Friedman, CTO & co-founder, Scribd. “That’s why we’re showing our users just what SOPA and PIPA could do to Scribd and other sites. These bills aren’t just dry acronyms; they’re a direct attack on the underpinnings of the web.”
To demonstrate what could happen if either bill passes in Congress readers visiting Scribd will see documents vanish word for word right before their eyes. A light box will appear to alert users to what’s going on, provide a call to action and links to more information including a collection of SOPA-related documents uploaded to Scribd like the Tribe Legis memo read over 125K times. In all, over a billion pages and nearly half a trillion words could disappear.
Scribd, the world’s largest publishing and reading site with tens of millions of documents, is joining other technology giants like Google and Mozilla in opposing this legislation. Together, these companies, along with hundreds of thousands of people and tech visionaries like Vint Cerf, popularly known as one of the “fathers of the Internet”, have vigorously stated their opposition to SOPA and PIPA.
Laird says that no further acts of protest were currently planned although this should adequately illuminate what users of the Internet (i.e., anybody) can look forward to in the age of SOPA.