Harsh criticisms of the Stop Online Piracy Act by Internet companies and organizations turned to a form of direct action today, with high-profile Web sites blacking out portions of--or, in the case of Wikipedia--entire pages. The goal is to underline the message from those companies that SOPA poses a very real threat of Web censorship. (For more details on the pending legislation, see "How SOPA would affect you: FAQ.")
Google's home page, for instance, this morning features a big, black block over the colorful "Google" logo that dominates the page, and a stark message under the search window urges: "Tell Congress: Please don't censor the web!" Both the blacked-out logo and the "Tell Congress" line linked out to a page entitled "End Piracy, Not Liberty" with an option for users to sign a petition to Congress.