When SOPA and PIPA were first introduced in Congress, things looked grim for the internet. Widespread censorship seemed imminent, and Internet supporters everywhere were worried about the massive blow that was about to be dealt to freedom.
But then something amazing happened. Internet users around the globe started to fight back. Pro-freedom groups both large and small created ways to show their support for an open and uncensored web. Hundreds of thousands of people participated, and major websites like Google, Reddit, and Tumblr joined the cause. When January 18th, 2012 rolled around, the stage was set.
January 18th was unreal. Tech companies and users teamed up. Over 100 thousand websites blacked themselves out in protest, including major sites like Wikipedia, WordPress, and Wired Magazine. Geeks took to the streets. Tens of millions of people who make the internet what it is joined together to defend their freedoms. Millions of calls and e-mails were sent to Congress. The network defended itself.
Within 48 hours, SOPA was shelved, and its sister bill PIPA disappeared not soon after.
This year, we celebrate our victory and remind Internet users everywhere that the fight continues by declaring January 18th Internet Freedom Day. Support this Thunderclap so that we can spread the word about our new holiday far and wide.