SOPA and PIPA are designed to fight online piracy and protect copywrited materials such as films, TV shows, writing and other intellectual property. The main complaints from websites such as Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, Tumblr and others is that the bills are too harsh, and end up stifling free and open communication rather than serving their intended functions.
This list collects the most amusing reactions on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere to the temporary loss of popular websites, particularly Wikipedia and Reddit.
With Wikipedia down, the #FactsWithoutWikipedia hashtag took over Twitter, as people made up their own facts to fill in newfound knowledge gaps. Here were some of the highlights of this meme:
#FactsWithoutWikipedia a group of 5+ ducks is called a hitler— A Magical Corpse (@Dead_Wizard) January 18, 2012
The Beatles' members were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Scottie Pippen. #FactsWithoutWikipedia— Eric Alper (@ThatEricAlper) January 18, 2012
#FactsWithoutWikipedia those actually weren't the droids we were looking for.— Darth Vader (@DepressedDarth) January 18, 2012
Kids Complaining About Wikipedia
The sad reality is, a LOT of students are relying almost solely on Wikipedia to complete their schoolwork. Don't believe me? Check out all the young people on Twitter struggling to finish their assignments while the free and mildly trustworthy reference site took a rare 24 hour break. (NOTE: Many of these tweets were spotted by the excellent account @herpderpedia, dedicated entirely to retweeting silly things tweeted about the Wikipedia blackout.)
Wikipedia need to stop f**kin playin...I'm tryna graduate foreal doe— iShotTheSheriff (@jane_Doh_) January 18, 2012
WHY THE F**K WOULD YOU CLOSE DOWN WIKIPEDIA WHEN IVE GOT ABOUT A MILLION ESSAYS DUE— ☮ (@heardyweardy) January 18, 2012
crying because this was the one time I needed wikipedia— unrealz (@UnrealMRC) January 18, 2012
And my favorite...
I think Wikipedia planned this s**t.— Daniel Ornelas (@DenngDanny) January 18, 2012
Misunderstanding the Blackout
Many people just weren't reading up on the information about SOPA/PIPA and failed to understand why so many sites decided to go down all together on the same day. Alternative backstories and even conspiracy theories were plentiful:
How am I supposed to study for my history final when f**king congress passed a bill that took down wikipedia?— Hannah Johnson (@HannahBanana172) January 18, 2012
The illuminati closed wikipedia— Emmie Heath (@emmieheath) January 18, 2012
what is this a communist country go to wikipedia if you don't believe me!— Giovanni (@Gio_G1ovanni) January 18, 2012
So the govt shut down Wikipedia and Craigslist? #confused— Bee (@MyName_Bee) January 18, 2012
Hey Wikipedia, you wanna not black out the day I need you? What do you have against soap.— Jessica Salas (@ohhaayjessca) January 18, 2012