SOPA blackout went into effect yesterday

Walter Wang

Photo by Daphne Yu
When students went to their favorite websites yesterday, some found only a single link on the page.
“It was frustrating because I was doing a research report and that [the Wikipedia entry] had the most information on it, but then the screen came down,” junior Stazi Prost said Thursday morning. “I had to look for different sources.”
Reddit, Wikipedia and other websites are protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act with a blackout. The goal of the blackout is to raise awareness of the impacts of SOPA. If SOPA is passed, it would give the government power to shut down websites with copyrighted material posted without permission.
“I feel like the government is going to take advantage of the language in SOPA and use it like an internet censorship program or over-enforce of copyrights,” junior Charles Shang said. “I support the blackout because I feel like if certain sites participate in the blackout, it will bring awareness to SOPA and what it could do. If Wikipedia were to do it, it would have a lot of influence because a lot of people use it for information.”
If Congress passes SOPA, websites like Facebook, Wikipedia and Youtube could be shut down because of the copyrighted material users post. Needless to say, in the digital age where most students are part of the technologically-dependent Generation Z, this would hinder their ability to do school work the way they know how.
“For some things, it would make it a lot harder to do research,” junior Monica Greenlief said. “It would make doing homework really inconvenient if you had to do a large research project, where you needed a lot of internet materials.”
Some sites, like Wikipedia, have joined the anti-movement as SOPA is getting larger. The blacked-out site will urge visitors to call or write their representative and request them to vote against SOPA. To join the protest, click here to write to representative  Blaine Luetkemeyer or senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt for those living in the Columbia Public School District.
According to the LA Times, the White House has indicated it will not be supporting SOPA. A list of the websites committed to the blackout can be found here.
This article was updated Jan. 18. This article was updated again Jan. 19.
By Walter Wang