The Wikipedia website blackout that occurred on Wednesday to protest SOPA/PIPA drew a tremendous amount of traffic to the website, and informed millions of people about the proposed legislation regarding copyrights and internet content.
Throughout the 24 hour self-imposed blackout of the English content on Wikipedia, there were over 162 views of the homepage alone. In excess of 8 million people used that page to look up the contact information of their elected representatives from that page, using a tool that was provided.
This brought about a swamping of the websites of congresses and state representatives, to the point that several were temporarily shut down. However, the point was made. By the end of the blackout protest, 18 senators changed sides, removing their support of PIPA.
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The protest is against the proposed legislation that is currently in Congress that is geared toward putting online piracy to a stop so that its harm to intellectual property in the United States will be lessened. However, the opposition is arguing that it threatens a large number of internet-based businesses and risks infringing on the freedom of speech.
The Obama Administration has been stating since the day before the protest occurred that the anti-piracy legislation will only have their support if it can be implemented without infringing on the First Amendment rights of citizens (and American-based internet businesses).
Tweets, blog posts, and online comments abounded throughout the day about the blackout and the protest itself. According to Wikipedia, “At one point,#wikipediablackout constituted 1% of all tweets.”