Earlier today WordPress.org announced its participation in the January 18th protests against the USA’s Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Earlier this evening the blackout went into effect, and will block access (initially) to all of WordPress.org including the Codex, support forums, plugin directory and theme directory. The blackout will be in effect for 24 hours.
For more about the acts and protest in question visit sopastrike.com.
But the blackout on WordPress.org is not unavoidable. Scrolling to the bottom of a page will give you a link to clear the blackout for an hour and continue on to the website. On her blog, Jane Wells explained that while she originally wanted to see the whole site blacked out, instead the WordPress.org team opted to make the blackout only partial for the sake of those who depend on WordPress.org:
The reason we did this instead of a full shut-down is that there are many businesses and people who help drive the independent web that need access to the WordPress Codex, forums, plugin/theme repos, and APIs. We wouldn’t want to penalize them in our protest, so we just made it impossible to ignore instead.
In addition to WordPress.org, Automattic’s hosted blogging service at WordPress.com has selectively blacked out its “Freshly Pressed” section, where normally visitors can find hand-picked blog posts across WordPress.com to read. WordPress.com users can also join the protest in a variety of ways by visiting the “Settings → Protest SOPA/PIPA” page on their dashboard. If you blog at WordPress.com visit their explanatory post for more about how to add it to your site.
The plugins in use on WordPress.com are also available to WordPress.org users via the WordPress.org plugin directory. If you’d like to pick a specific one up, just visit the “sopa” tag on the directory.
WordPress isn’t the only large website out there that’s protesting in this way. What others have you heard about? Will you be protesting using your blog?