SOPA blackout: 5 reasons why it worked


A man holds a sign at a protest by the technology organization New York Tech Meetup against proposed laws to curb Internet piracy outside the offices of US Democratic Senators from New York Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand January 18, 2012 on Third Avenue in New York. Schumer and Gillibrand are co-sponsors of the Senate bill PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act). SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is the US House version.



The 24-hour Internet protest of current anti-piracy legislation (SOPA and IPIA) was swift and astoundingly successful. 

More from GlobalPost: What is SOPA?

Here are five notable reasons why:

1: According to data gathered by, it was the largest Internet protest in history. Google collected 4.5 million signatures by 4:30 p.m. EST and over 2 million e-mails opposing the bills were sent to public officials.

2: Wikipedia raised public awareness on the issue. MSNBC's Technolog posted a salient graph illustrating this point - the site's home page received over 162 million views - more traffic than it normally receives. 

3. Looking at an article published by The Verge, it appears as if US senator websites received an unusually high number of visitors, presumably from people who wanted to voice their concern.   

4. At least 19 senators, some who supported both bills, and some coauthors like Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), announced their opposition to SOPA and IPIA. Many did so on Wednesday, Ars Technica reported. 

5. 2 million websites signed up to strike

Everything you want to know about the blackout is up on Wikipedia, which of course, lists even more reasons for the protest's triumph.  

More from GlobalPost: SOPA: Has the Internet won?