Go to Google.com today and instead of seeing the familiar “Google” type in the middle of the page, you’ll see Google has a large obstructing black rectangle over it’s name. For Google, going “black” is to protest the #Pipa and #Sopa bills going through congress right now. They both could inflict serious blows to internet freedom and have been likened to a crippling form of censorship that’s sure to adversely affect America’s open society and economy. For those who’ll miss it (though how anyone can not use Google everyday is beyond us :), then here’s a screenshot of Google wearing black today:
Of course, Google presents a call to action, which takes searchers to an info. page on Pipa and Sopa, and gives them a way to express disapproval for the two bills. Google has been in the middle of a censor ring match a few times in the past, most notably with China Censors V. Google, but one has to ask, Is Google black enough today? Look at others strong in the cause, like Wikipedia, who totally went offline today to protest Pipa and Sopa. Totally offline. How many of Google’s searches end up at Wikipedia anyway? And, how much more powerful would Google’s message be if they did shut down their search? But alas, here lies the difference between “for-profits,” like Google, and “non-profits” like Wikipedia.
The story doesn’t end there: We can’t just watch the larger interests rally for our freedom (what kind of freedom is that?!)–What are individuals doing to protest? Signing the petition? Going offline today? Writing a blog? Ignoring it? Taking the Sopa-Pipa side?