Taking a Stand

I heard on the way in to work this morning that Google was blacking out today in sympathy with Wikipedia, over the legislation currently working its way through the Democratic controlled Senate that supposedly will censor the internet. I haven’t had the time or energy to read what the actual legislation says, so I really don’t have a comment on that.

I checked over at Wikipedia and they are indeed blacked out.

So I went over to Google and as of this writing, their NAME is blacked out, but the search engine functionality is working the same as always. Oh huge stand Google.

I have been using Bing for a while now and it works just fine.

14 thoughts on “Taking a Stand”

  1. SOPA and PIPA would give the government the ability to shut down sites as they see fit with no due process. If you like the internet policies of the Chineese Government, then you agree with what SOPA and PIPA are all about.

  2. It would still have to get though the House.

    But I view this issue as the camel getting its head into yet another of our tents.

    Bill (incognito)

  3. Ah, Bing … yeah. Not even a teeny-tiny little NOTE on that home page about SOPA or PIPA.

    Yup, you picked a great replacement search site. Not.

  4. SOPA is Crony capitalism at its worst, and it is by no means dead yet.

    Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have said they will remove the most noxious DNS filtering provisions from the bill (at the request of the MPAA, in case you had any doubts as to who really runs Congress).

    However, the bill is still very much alive, and the MPAA has said it will continue pushing for more power to sensor sites in the future.

  5. Dan,

    Oh huge stand Google.

    Although I think Google consistently fails their own “don’t be evil” directive, I’ll cut them a break on this one.

    They are a de-facto part of the economic infrastructure. Deliberately shutting themselves down would be akin to setting up road blocks on major highways.

  6. Setbit – I just thought it a bit ironic that their huge stand was to put up a few black pixels on their home page. I disagree with your highway analogy btw. There are options to search terms, not so much with major highways.

  7. Dan,

    While granting that there is more competition among search engines than there is for roads, I still think the analogy stands. If Google shut down all their servers for all their products, a lot of stuff would stop working.

    Even something as simple as a click-through message to get to the search box would break a lot of scripts and tools, which would instantly make the story about Google, and not about SOPA.

    I agree that their “protest” is pretty weak sauce, but I honestly don’t know what more they could do without harming their message more than helping it.

  8. I think I am with Setbit here – they do say to contact your congressman – now how many eyes do you think are seeing that today?

    The number must be boggling.

    Bill (incognito)

  9. “SOPA is Crony capitalism at its worst”

    Hollywood studio chiefs individually and as a group are drawing a line in the sand on the piracy issue with the Obama re-election campaign and refusing to give any more donations. The blowup came after President Obama on Saturday dashed moguls’ hopes that he would remain on the sidelines in the dispute over the U.S. House Of Representatives’ Stop Online Piracy Act and the U.S. Senate’s Protect IP Act.


  10. Yeah, kinda weak. But if Google shut down for a day, what would happen? All their customers (i.e., everyone) would just bounce to Bing for the rest of the day. If just 1% were to stay there tomorrow, Big G would have royally shot themselves in the foot.

    “In order to protest this bill, we’re going to donate some market share to our competition.”

    I don’t see it happening.

  11. I wrote my Texas congresspeople about 6 months ago to oppose these ugly bills (and encouraged them to repeal the DMCA too) – no one replied. Was glad to see that finally some influential voices got up a bandwagon. I guess it took them this long to coordinate their protest-marketing campaign against SOPAPIPA.

    I stopped using Google and switched to Yahoo Search when Google disabled my default “safe search”. I had been complaining to them about irrelevant results for a while anyway. It took it a little bit for Yahoo Search to get “smart” but it’s good. Every bit as good as Google in their heyday.

  12. I can’t watch them here, but I guess hipster heroes Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert wouldn’t touch this subject with a ten-foot-pole either.

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