Forum:Stop SOPA

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Forums: Yew Grove > Stop SOPA
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This thread was archived on 18 January 2012 by Suppa chuppa.

Alright. I'm not sure how aware you guys are of SOPA (and PIPA), but there are a lot of protests against the bill in the US happening on the 18th of this month (when a committee hearing is planned in congress). I simply propose that we take part in this.

Please note that we need to get this thread done quickly - the blackout should happen on the 18th.


If you already know what SOPA/PIPA is, feel free to skip this explanation.

SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act, is a bill being debated in congress at the moment. PIPA (PROTECT IP, or in full, Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act), is a similar act also in debate. These are designed to prevent online piracy. Sounds good? Its not.

The bills are far too wide ranging. They give companies the power to take down a website via DNS blocking if it has the 'potential to enable copyright infringement'. This makes sites with user-generated content liable for takedown due to actions by its users - places like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, imgur, Megaupload, Wikipedia and us.

Other (larger) sites are taking similar measures too, including but certainly not limited to:

Its a stand of solidarity by the internet against these bills. I don't see why we shouldn't take part, at least in some way.

There are a lot of other wide-ranging consequences of the bill that aren't really needed here, but are explained elsewhere if you're not already convinced. My preferred video is Totalbiscuit's (it does help that he's a law graduate), but feel free to provide links to others below. Also Wikipedia has some useful articles on them: SOPA, PIPA.


My suggestion is that we use javascript to cover the wiki with a black box that covers the screen, giving information about SOPA and links to useful websites, with a dismiss button which hides it - and also a box that allows it to be re-summoned if someone wants to see it again. I'll get behind any better suggestions though. (Also, we would need someone to actually make the script...)

In addition I don't see harm in blacking out the logo like many other sites have done (example: [1]).

Discuss. Quest.png Gaz Lloyd 7:^]Events!99s 19:54, January 13, 2012 (UTC)


Oppose anything more significant than a logo change - Sure, it's a terrible bill, and if it passes it could make life very difficult for us. However, there are lots of things we need to think about before taking a major step like this.

  • How would we create this black box? Would it violate Wikia's terms of usage?
  • What effect would doing this for a day have on our long-term success as a RuneScape fansite? I'm pretty sure none of the other sites (especially are doing this, and it could put us at a major disadvantage.
  • Are we really going to have any positive effect by doing this? Do we actually expect to make a difference? We're a small fish in a very big pond here, and no one will really care if we take a stand on this.

The other problem is that people on the internet get angry very easily. You guys have probably seen the little brown bubble in the bottom left corner of the screen advertising an event or something else. Did you know that lots of people hate those? If we take the ridiculous step of requiring a clickthrough to access our pages, you had better believe people are going to get pissed off and leave in droves.

I'm all for doing something non-obtrusive, whether that's changing the logo for the day, adding a module on the main page, or something else. But it's just absurd to cover up the content with a black box.

(Also, can we try and make this thread be about our response to SOPA, and not have it turn into a debate about the faults of the bill? We're not going to get anything done if we have that conversation.) ʞooɔ 20:03, January 13, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose black box, support something much less intrusive - A full-screen black popup that locks you from viewing a page and will piss off thousands upon thousands of readers that don't particularly care and can't do much about it anyway? Temporary or not, nty. I'd much prefer if we were to refrain from becoming a mob/group of wild protesters, tbh. I have no problem with adding an awareness message to the sitenotice, creating a header similar to Wikipedia's 2011 fundraising banner, or whatever. I'm not going to bother writing anything about how much I disagree with the bill itself, as I presume that's a given for nearly all of us, but becoming as invasive as this would be a sad day for the wiki. I put emphasis on this word to sum up what we are: an encyclopedia; not a radical aggregation of rioters. A fansite; not a throng of dissidents. Bring it to people's attention if we must, but do so as unostentatiously as our standards of professionalism detail. Ronan Talk 20:16, January 13, 2012 (UTC)

Actions by users - I'm not going to pretend I have any knowledge in foreign law practices, but does this actually affect us or is just part of a movement against the law?--cqm talk 20:46, January 13, 2012 (UTC)

SOPA will (and PIPA) affect this site as Wikia Inc. is in California. That's one reason why they are currently moving more than 500 domains from GoDaddy and are against it. Ryan PM 21:10, January 13, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - I cannot begin my rant on SOPA or the house version, PIPA, but I think that a black overlay will do any good. I am all for a similar script that places that "stop censorship" message over the logo like Pastebin, but we don't need to do something as drastic as the overlay, not to mention that Wikia will probably de-sysop the corresponding admin that does the work by hiding the adverts. If SOPA or PIPA passes, we are (or rather Wikia Inc.) will be at fault for the most benign upload or it will go through an approval process. This would mean we go at a snail's pace to add new content to the wiki versus other fansites. Unless those respective members of this wiki contact their congressmen in the US, nothing here would change a thing. Ryan PM 21:10, January 13, 2012 (UTC)

Strong oppose - I could write a one or two paragraph rant on this, but I'm not really in the mood for ranting, so I'm just going to say per all. Matt 21:17, January 13, 2012 (UTC)

Just to clarify, I'm fine with changing the logo. Matt 01:11, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Strong support - If Wikipedia can do it, so can we. We have a lot at risk with SOPA, as the legalty of some of our media can be questioned, and whether we believe it's fair use or not, SOPA is far, far too broad to not be at least a risk to this wiki. Thus, I strongly support the concept of a blackout (they only see it once and it can be dismissed with a single click, after all). At the very least, surely we could pursue a non-obtrusive method like this beautiful logo:
Again, I think SOPA presents a possible threat to this wiki, and we should show a stance against it. The proposed blackout is quite intrusive, for sure, but SOPA and PIPA are even more obtrusive. Hofmic Talk 00:11, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose box, support logo change - Whilst this is a major issue and will heavily affect the wiki if it passes, I don't think we're really that big enough to influence the bill, so to protest in a way that is highly obtrusive and possibly Wikia term breaking is a step too far. We could create a page showing what the wiki would look like if SOPA or PIPA pass, but beyond that I don't really see what we can do. Really it should be Wikia doing this, as they are the ones who would really be affected What I've done Ciphrius Kane Talk 00:53, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - I really think it would be horrible to blackout our wiki, even if it can be dismissed. As Cook said, people get pissed very quickly and I don't think it's worth it. I am open to changing the logo though. ɳex undique 01:01, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Support Logo Change - I agree that the logo change would be fine but overlaying with a box wouldn't be that good. --Touhou FTW Zaros symbol.png 03:49, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - I don't like the bills, but the wiki is not the forum for political discussions. --LiquidTalk 03:52, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Clarification that I oppose the black box. I wouldn't mind a logo change to something like what Hofmic made. --LiquidTalk 05:22, January 14, 2012 (UTC)
What do you do here if not constantly proclaim your republican beliefs? Do I really need to find examples of this? ajr 01:21, January 17, 2012 (UTC)
I love you. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 09:14, January 17, 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you directed that at the first part of my statement or the second. As for the first half (that I don't like the bills), I'd point out that the bills have bipartisan sponsors, and bipartisan opposers, so I really don't see what being a Republican has anything to do with that.
As for the second half (about the wiki not being a forum for political discussion), I am referring to officially sanctioned action. My userpage is my business, and is an expression of my beliefs, which is not discussion. (I might add that many users have engaged in similar actions by spamming my talk page with gay marriage statements.) As for actual political discussion, I generally keep that to the User talk namespace, unless a wiki discussion (like this one) specifically references real-life politics.
Furthermore, there is a distinction between officially sanctioned actions (for which a wiki-wide blackout would fall under) and user sanctioned actions, which only reflect the opinions of the user. This would also be why I dislike using things like the IRC topic to advertise political events, though I don't mind users advertising it via normal speech.
Anyways, this forum is about SOPA, not what I do or don't do on the wiki. Take it to my talk page if you want to discuss this more. --LiquidTalk 09:37, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Strong support logo change - I think the box will be too intrusive, and anger many users, like Cook said. But I believe the logo will actually have a positive effect. Our users will probably stand by us taking a stand, and be proud of our diligence to this issue. I personally knew nothing of this issue until I saw it being promoted on another site's logo. I had more respect for that site after I saw what they were standing for. The logo change is not intrusive at all. Chicken7 >talk 04:00, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Support logo change for one day - Don't see what the problem is. SOPA affects us in a terrible way, we should let our viewers know that, at least for the 18th only. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 05:03, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Support logo change - Per others. A one day logo change couldn't do any harm whatsoever. Mining cape.png The Last Pun Talk Aberrant Spectre Champion.png 05:16, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Support logo change blackout - svco4bY.png3Gf5N2F.png 05:40, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Support logo change and blackout A black out is less intrusive then censorship. Floppyc5 05:47, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Whatever - Those people appear to be idiots and going by the fact that I'm tired, I won't RAEG at them now. Anyway, change the logo for a day if that is really necessary. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 07:14, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Support any - This needs to be done RSN: Warthog Rhys Talk Completionist's cape... Coming soon. 12:04, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Support logo; Oppose box - Hofmic's logo is fine, though there should be an explanation of it on the main page. If blacking out is symbolically important, for some reason, we could also change the background map image to black. I don't like having a box on the main page, though; it would just upset our users. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 12:55, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

Support - Although I can't help but wonder what good blacking out a wiki about an MMORPG will do... Andrew talk 00:54, January 15, 2012 (UTC)

Support Logo change I see no harm in doing so. And it will raise awareness. i dont live in the states, but i can certainly say that i wasnt aware of this issue before looking at this thread. 🌈  4🧚‍♂am KING 👑  01:23, January 15, 2012 (UTC)

Support blackout/logo change - I think the blackout would be the best option, being that it will have the biggest impact, however it does raise the slight risk of alienating visitors who way support the bill. In any case, I strongly oppose the bill and believe that we should be doing something to show our disagreement. At very least change the logo, maybe change the background image slightly as well. --Aburnett(Talk) 01:25, January 15, 2012 (UTC)

It doesn't just alienate visitors who support the bill, it alienates viewers, period. ʞooɔ 01:33, January 15, 2012 (UTC)
Untrue. I would have no problem if I visited a site such as Facebook and experienced a minor inconvenience in support of a cause that I am also behind. I'm sure many others would feel the same. Also, keep in mind it's only for 24 hours. (right?) --Aburnett(Talk)
I would be severely pissed if Facebook did that. Granted, I probably would stay with Facebook since it's so big, but if it was a smaller site, I'm less inclined to visit it again. To me, such an action is a sign of instability. --LiquidTalk 01:55, January 15, 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure there are many more people who are indifferent to the bill than are opposed to it. Those are the people that I don't want to piss off, and there are a lot of them. Besides, even though I am strongly opposed to the bill, I would find it an unnecessary bother if Facebook or Google or someone else did something like this that makes it harder to get the information that I want. It really doesn't matter if some people wouldn't be okay with doing that; there are plenty of people who care more about reading about RuneScape than they do about the flaws of this bill, and it's completely foolish to aggravate them, even if it's only 24 hours. We're also forgetting about how this will make non-US visitors feel, because it's not like we can tell them to call their Senator. ʞooɔ 01:56, January 15, 2012 (UTC)
A very valid point about international users. I still support a change in our logo however so we at least show some response to the bill. --Aburnett(Talk) 02:01, January 15, 2012 (UTC)

Support logo change - Good way to show people where the wiki stands without being an annoyance.  Tien  02:17, January 15, 2012 (UTC)

Support Blackout - Isn't the whole thing on the 18th to show people what would happen to the internet if SOPA/PIPA passes? Chaning the logo does next to nothing... Talk 14:46, January 15, 2012 (UTC)

Support either - I won't even be on the computer on the 18th so will I be affected by that? No. But I do agree with N7's comment above. I also like the idea of changing the logo, and I like the above-posted logo. But I do think that the blackout will be acceptable, so long as it only appears once, before it is disabled. I find it perfectly reasonable. -- Cycloneblaze (user - talk - contribs) 16:13, January 15, 2012 (UTC)

Lol I tried to use BBcode. -- Cycloneblaze (user - talk - contribs) 16:14, January 15, 2012 (UTC)
fial bad_fetustalk 19:46, January 15, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - I would like to point out that SOPA does affect international users, not just Americans (why would I care otherwise, I'm Canadian). SOPA can cut off the advertising funds of victim sites, which can be enough to take the site down entirely. For everyone, regardless of their country. And sites that don't use American advertisers are still affected if a large percentage of their audience is American (as I'm sure is likely the case here), as cutting out a large percentage of the site's audience can also cripple a site.

And to prevent their sites from being victims of this act, you can expect that sites would become more strict in their methods. Imagine a wiki where all edits must be screened before they appear. So, yes, it's an American bill, but it does affect all of us. Hofmic Talk 21:17, January 15, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - What do you mean it doesn't affect everyone? This wiki is hosted on US servers, and thus anyone that visits this wiki will be affected. The whole point of doing this is to show people what happens when SOPA is applied, and this will happen if SOPA passes. That said, while I do not particularly care, I suppose covering the whole page could be a little bit overkill. Thus, my vote is a slight support. bad_fetustalk 17:09, January 16, 2012 (UTC)

Support blackout - Drastic times call for drastic measures, a 12/24 hour long blackout should raise awareness more than anything. Besides, CoDWiki is doing it also. (No quoting RS:NOT pl0x) Smuff [kthnxbai] 17:19, January 16, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - Unnnecessary. --クールネシトーク 17:24, January 16, 2012 (UTC)

By unnecessary, I mean that we as a website are very small and really won't make that much of a difference. --クールネシトーク 22:09, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Go big or shut up - We may be the biggest RuneScape fansite by far, but we're still an ant compared to other websites like google and wikipedia. So us participating in even a full blackout would make a really small impact overall. Just changing the logo is almost embarrassing. Its like we want to oppose censorship, but not enough to actually do anything. That sends a worse message than no message at all. So don't just change the logo. Its pathetic. Blackout or nothing. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 21:56, January 16, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - If we decide to, our corporate overlords will allow us to break the Terms of Use in protest of these bills. I'm still opposed to blacking out for a day, but repercussions from Wikia should no longer be a factor in the discussion. ʞooɔ 00:07, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose, per Coolnesse essentially. I really don't see benefit from protesting, especially on a relatively small website like ours. ajr 01:21, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - Whilst this may affect us eventually, remember that we enjoy the position of being a RuneScape affiliated fansite and possibly the most comprehensive one at that. Ignoring Jagex's attempts to undercut that, that position is unlikely to change any time soon.

A blackout achieves very little. The bulk of a fansite is used for guides and calculators - both of which can e found to a degree elsewhere. If someone really wants to know they know where to find it, or at least have the ability to use Google (or other search engine) to do it for them. The logo is even more pointless. Considering how little the no plagiarism notice was looked at, putting a notice of some law that very few people are going to look at in any detail doesn't serve any real purpose.

And then there's the community we serve - impatient, impulsive and quick to judge. We risk shooting ourselves in the foot with this regardless of personal opinions among editors. --cqm talk 01:26, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - Many people above are saying the logo change would be completely pointless, useless, embarrassing, unnecessary and an assortment of other words. As I stated above, I personally found out about internet censorship awhile ago through my own random internet browsing. I came across a site that had blacked out their logo, and was intrigued to find out more. It was only then that I looked it up on Wikipedia, learn about the Italian Wikipedia's blackout due to a similar bill in Italy, and about SOPA. It is true that we are a small site and that not many senators are going to see our small protest. But this logo change would be about user awareness. Think of all the users who view our site; all those users who will be affected. That small logo change could educate thousands of people about SOPA, and internet censorship. If they're not interested, so be it; they don't have to take any further action or learn about the issue. NO ONE will be affected negatively by a one-day logo modification; only positive change can come from this. Chicken7 >talk 05:41, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia is going dark on the 18th. I'm proud of the Wikipedian community for recognizing the threat that SOPA presents and deciding to take a big step in raising awareness. I am much less proud of those of you who have failed to understand the importance of the situation, and dismissed the proposal as "unnecessary". Support blackout. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 09:12, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

This ^ Talk 10:48, January 17, 2012 (UTC)
The English Wikipedia can actually make a difference in the national conversation about SOPA. Don't be fooled into thinking we have any such power. ʞooɔ 15:09, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Awareness is good, action is better - Include the link so that people might actually respond with an action. If you don't tell them you are against it, they won't know how you feel. And then it is just a wasted exercise.Degenret01 10:40, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose, neautral on logo - While it is good for sites like wikipedia to have a blackout, we simply don't get the traffic they do, and our viewers have other sites they can go to if they don't like what we're doing. I feel for us, this would cause more damage than good, compared to big sites that would cause massive awareness. I don't really have much of an opinion on the logo. Hunter cape (t).png Sentra246Blue hallowe'en mask.png 10:55, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose, but fine with logo - per Sentra. Also, other fansites most probably won't blackout since they contain and rely on very little, if any, user-written content, so we are just drawing people away from this site (admit it, most IP readers of this site don't actually care about SOPA and PIPA) and would have very little impact, again, due to the existence of other fansites. Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
Guestbook My violations of AGF
Oil4 I made this 15:25, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Reminder: The decision must be made today. Ronan Talk 16:54, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Consensus looks like most people support a logo, but oppose a blackout. Don't see that changing. Hofmic Talk 19:05, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Support blackout I mean jeez, Wikipedia is going down. Google might be. Facebook might be. Seriously, you think people will be mad at us? They've got much bigger things to baw about. I agree whole-heartedly with Psycho and Andorin. This is not unnecessary. And annoying our users is the point, to show them what could happen - on a permanent basis - if we let this pass. We're not even taking down the site, we're blacking it out once! (Bearing in mind I'm not even American. Why should you block my sites from another country!?! *ahem*) -- Cycloneblaze (user - talk - contribs) 20:34, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Support blackout - This is the site I am most active on (or one of) and many, me included, seem to support this. Per Cycloneblaze, there should be a blackout whether visitors to here like it or not. That's the point. I'm sure resonable people will understand anyway if we put a clear, concise message on the blackout explaining what we've done and why we did it. -- Golden warpriest of Zamorak helm.png Wingcap Firemaking master cape.png 20:47, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Support blackout - some users might not like it, but they'd like it even less if SOPA went through and permanently affected sites like this. Small recharge gem.png AnselaJonla Slayer-icon.png 20:50, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Support blackout - This is the only way forward. While we may not have a major impact in terms of numbers, we can certainly make a difference by informing people about SOPA/PIPA. Dragon 2h sword old.pngCallofduty4 Talk 21:11, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

To Ansela, Callofduty4 and others who think that people will give a **** about SOPA and PIPA and won't go to another fansite instead because they really couldn't care less and they want a quest guide or something - well, you should kinda get the point by now.
But seriously, if we do this, it's not going to have much effect on the anonymous readers, because most (or a lot) of them will just switch to another fansite, which a) minimizes the blackout's effectiveness, and b) makes us lose readers. Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
Guestbook My violations of AGF
Oil4 I made this 21:27, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - [[w:User_blog:Craiglpalmer/SOPA_and_PIPA_Situation_Summary]] ʞooɔ 22:33, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Just do it. I think the notion that our traffic would be permanently impacted if we chose to do this is laughable. We have been offline/unavailable before, yet we're still the biggest fansite. It is depressing, though unsurprising, that people here aren't epic enough to support actually taking action. Dtm142 23:21, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Two other Wikia sites are also doing full blackouts. Rejecting this purely for vanity reasons, which is what I see above, is shameful. Dtm142 23:25, January 17, 2012 (UTC)
Agreed..... if the bill passes.... the blackout being a minor inconvenience would be the last of our problems. Also.... since i didn't mention it earlier, i Support the blackout. 🌈  4🧚‍♂am KING 👑  23:51, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose Blackout, but Support Logo - Even though supporters of the blackout claim that such a drastic action would not hurt site traffic in the long run, I believe that it will come back to haunt us in the long run in some form or another and I do not want the Wiki to suffer from such an extreme action to oppose a piece of legislature, no matter how controversial it may be. However, I do support the idea of changing the logo to show the Wiki's stance on this controversial topic since something has to be done to show the dangers of the SOPA bill being passed, methinks. Just please don't do anything drastic without thinking about how it might impact the Wiki in the long run, please? [2] N7 Elite (Ready to talk now?) 00:08, January 18, 2012 (UTC)

Closed - The wiki's logo will be changed at approximately midnight EST and will remain for 24 hours. A blackout will not occur. Suppa chuppa Talk 00:14, January 18, 2012 (UTC)