In case you haven't heard, several websites will be going down as an act of protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act on Jan. 18, for a 24-hour period.
A sigh of relief has spread through the Internet, however, as Twitter, a major microblogging social network, announced that it will not go "black" on Wednesday as part of a protest against SOPA and PIPA, two pieces of legislation which might hinder innovation and small startups on the Internet as a price to "protecting" US citizens against piracy.
The news came in part because questions were asked to Twitter representatives about whether it would join in the black out bandwagon with Reddit and Wikipedia. According to Twitter Co-Founder Dick Costolo, it will be a "foolish" move to shut down its website in protest to "single-issue national politics." A lot of people misinterpreted his tweet, however, which seemed to imply that Costolo looked down on sites that will go black tomorrow in protest of the legislation. Consequently, he was rather quick to clarify the situation, saying that he only wanted to say that it wouldn't be wise for Twitter to do this.
Indeed, it wouldn't be a productive measure for Twitter to simply disappear for a day in protest, especially because a lot of people need to unload their emotions somewhere, and Twitter is the most representative entity of the Internet's pulse and bloodflow. If Twitter goes down, people on the Web won't really have many choices for frank conversation.
Twitter, being an international website, could face problems with its non-US users if it were to go black; this is exactly why Wikipedia only plans to shut down its English language section. For more on this subject, click here.
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