Also on Wednesday, Wikipedia and Redditt will go dark to protest anti-piracy legislation.
[Updated with screenshots]
Google has joined the multitude of web companies and other organizations that are planning to speak out against anti-piracy legislation on Wednesday. Throughout the day, the company's homepage will bear a link lambasting the SOPA and PIPA bills on grounds of censorship, even as one of those bills has apparently run aground. But as rare and powerful as Google homepage links are, the gesture pales in comparison to Wikipedia's plan to go completely dark on the same day.
CNET was first to report on Google's plan, which the company has since confirmed to ClickZ.
"Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet," Google said in a statement. "So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page."
Meanwhile Wikipedia made the decision to black out the English version of its site for 24 hours after a three-day online discussion among Wikipedia writers and editors. "This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation," the company said.
Dramatic as they are, the actions by Google and Wikipedia are just two among hundreds of organizations to have issued attacks dating back to November. Among those to have interrupted acess to their homepages are Tumblr, Mozilla, and Craigslist.
But tomorrow's synchronized actions are likely to be the most visible day to date for SOPA/PIPA opposition, and not only because of Google and Wikipedia. Redditt also is planning a blackout tomorrow, and NY Tech Meetup has asked members to congregate outside the offices of Senator Schumer and Gillibrand on Third Avenue to protest their sponsorship of the bills. Clay Shirky and Meetup founder Scott Heiferman are scheduled to speak at that event.
PIPA is expected to go to a full Senate vote on January 24.
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Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
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