Yesterday’s internet blackout was a huge success

Thanks for your support and your patience as we, along with thousands of other sites, went dark yesterday for 12 hours to protest the PIPA/SOPA legislation pending in Congress.

In short, it worked. The legislation, once expected to breeze through, is now seriously on the ropes, with cosponsors bailing left and right. I’ll let the good folks of Fight for the Future tell the story – this release just arrived via email.  One of the most remarkable facts: on a single day (yesterday), at least 13 Senators came out against the legislation, including 5 who were formerly cosponsors.  And, as we’ve noted previously, Scott Brown came out against it the day before.

The Web went on strike en masse yesterday. 115,000+ websites and over 13 million+ internet users participated in yesterday’s online protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate. Around 50,000 websites blacked out their sites completely or most of the site, with 4 top 10 and 13 top 100 sites participated by blacking out or driving contacts to Congress. Hundreds of millions of people viewed, listened to, watched, or attended some part of the day, in anticipation of the vote on PIPA in the Senate on January 24.


Having started with just 5 senators opposed to PIPA at the start of the new year, now internet users can count the 36 senators that have come out and publicly opposed to the bill, including 5 who were formerly co-sponsors. Many offices’ phone lines were taken offline due to the call traffic and many senator webpages’ simply stopped working due to the barrage of visits and emails being sent to them.


Grassroots groups and internet users have organized over 30+ in-person meetings with senators and their staff, attendance at 30+ townhall meetings, 3 street protests, and the effort continues until the day of the vote next Tuesday. On Tuesday, when 5 senators led by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) plan to filibuster the vote on cloture, groups will be a planning a live-audience engagement with the filibuster. Audience members can submit comments, stories, and testimonials of internet-based moments in history that will be read by the senators during the filibuster. A live stream will be set up for the public to get involved and to watch the proceedings.


These bills have become a mainstream issue — because of the strike, they were a top story for most news outlets, a trending topic on social media sites, and a buzz topic in offices and homes across the country. Members of Congress are dropping their support for the bills in droves. People have a sense that yesterday’s actions had a huge impact, but here are most of the numbers to confirm (some of the largest numbers are still coming in):


For up to date information, please see: and


  • 4 top-10 US sites participated
  • 13 top-100 US sites participated
  • at least 115,000 small and medium sites participated in strike
  • 50,000 blacked out all or part of site
  • WordPress network: 27,000 blackout and 17,000 ribbons on .com



Contacts to Congress:

  • 10 million petition signers
  • 3 million emails
  • 100,000 calls + 8 million call lookup via Wikipedia call tool
  • Thousands protest in New York, San Francisco, New Jersey, 40+ in-person meetings with Senators and staff up until 1/18




  • 2.2 million tweets mentioning “SOPA”
  • 411,000 tweets mentioning “PIPA”
  • 52,000 tweets mentioning “sopastrike”
  • 9,000 tweets mentioning “blackoutSOPA”
  • 159,000 tweets mentioning “stopSOPA”



US trending tweet:

  • Wtf is SOPA



Global trending tweets:

  • “Hey Zuckerberg Take Facebook Down”



trending in various cities:









top-10 trending search terms:

  • sopa and pipa bills
  • piracy
  • censorship
  • blackout



The Senate

  • at least 13 senators backed away from the bill in one day.
  • 5 co-sponsors dropped their support of the bill: Senators Blunt, Boozman, Cardin, Hatch, and Rubio



List of Senators who came out with opposition statements/statements expressing concern on 1/18 alone (more info is here:


Hatch —


Rubio —


Risch —


Ayotte —


Inhofe —


Merkley —


DeMint —


Vitter —!/DavidVitter/status/159773979794620416


Roberts —


Begich —


Boozman —


Reed —


Sanders —


Murray —!/PattyMurray/status/159810120358961152

Recommended by edgarthearmenian, heartlanddem.


2 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. A sincere thank-you for your efforts, David.

    Maybe now some of the zealots here will see good ‘ol Chris Dodd a bit differently: now: (and I won’t even mention the interest free loans which Dodd received from his good buddy Angelo Mozilo at Countrywide. I say the above because I was mercilessly castigated for supporting Joe Lieberman here a few years back. Why do some people think that there are only good guys and bad guys in politics. There are enough crooks and idiots on both sides to keep us all awake.

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