How Tumblr Is Combating The Stop Online Piracy Act

Posted Nov 16, 2011

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on October 26, 2011 by Representative Lamar Smith [R-TX] and 12 initial co-sponsors. This bill is intended to help U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders fight online piracy of intellectual property.

Today the House Judiciary Committee had a hearing where a representative from Google represented opposition of the Act. Google opposes the Act because the bills would introduced website blocking at the DNS level causing censorship.

AOL, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo!, and Zynga sent a joint letter to Congress about the issue. Tumblr decided to go the extra mile to bring public attention towards the SOPA issue. When logging in to Tumblr, the stream of content has been replaced with censored blocks. At the top of the Dashboard, there is a banner that says “Congress is holding hearings today and will soon pass a bill empowering corporations to censor the Internet unless you tell them no.”

When clicking the banner, users will be prompted to enter their phone number and street address. Tumblr will then call you and give you talking points along with information about how to call your House Representative.

Users were averaging 3.6 calls per second earlier today. If you click on “next page,” the censor blocks go away.