With the forthcoming vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act on January 24th, and for the matter the US Senate’s version called PIPA, there is a great need for people to step up to fight this potential internet censorship debacle.

There was a moment of hopefulness this afternoon when the White House came out against the SOPA bill in the current format. “Great” was the initial reaction on social networks but, sober second thought devoured that notion when it was pointed out that President Obama was against the National Defense Authorization Act but, he signed that one all the same.

On January 18th, 2012 a large number of sites will be going dark to protest SOPA. Liquidmatrix will be joining that protest movement. I had a few people email to ask how they could “go dark” with their WordPress sites. My first reaction was to change DNS but, I did some digging and I found a few WordPress plugins for SOPA blackout that people can use to have their sites join in the protest.

Here they are but, please note that we are not endorsing any of these nor have we tested them all. Please do your homework.

1) SOPA Blackout Plugin

This plugin allows you to set SOPA blackout dates for your WordPress website, as well as a variety of options on who the anti-SOPA is shown too. You can have it shown instead of your site for any visitor, you can only show it the first time then let your visitors continue to the site, plus a lot more. This plugin is SEO friendly with temporary redirects being used.

2) Stop SOPA and PIPA Plugin

an SEO Company developed this plugin which will schedule a temporary redirect for all your incoming WordPress blog traffic to the official Stop SOPA page, where people can cast their vote- Congress is about to pass internet censorship, even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed. We need to kill the bill – PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House – to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity.

3) SOPA Blackout

Whilst it is an American law, it has far reaching repurcusions for the web as a whole. Sites such as Reddit have said that on January 18th they are going to go dark between 8am and 8pm.

This plugin will let you join the cause. On 18th January your site will display a customisable page.

4) Censor Me

This plugin is essentially an “off switch” for your website. When activated, the site is mostly blacked out by a banner for the americancensorship.org website. As the admin bar is left uncovered, all that is needed to reverse this is deactivating the plugin. Join many other WordPress sites in protesting censorship legislation being considered by the US Congress!

I would be interested to hear if you try out any of these plugins and which one you liked the best.

Most importantly, if you are a US citizen, contact your representative in Congress now!

(Image used under CC AndYaDontStop)

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