Even the LOLcats are going on strike. The "Cheezburger Network" is among an estimated 7,000 websites shutting down today to protest two Internet-regulation bills making their way through Congress, the Washington Post reports. Wikipedia went dark at midnight Eastern time and was soon joined by Reddit, Raw Story, WordPress, and many others. Google has blacked out its logo and added a link to a petition urging Congress to reject SOPA and PIPA.
"Like many businesses, entrepreneurs, and Web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet,” a Google spokeswoman says. Supporters of the bills call the shutdown a "stunt," but lawmakers have already begun backing away from the bills, which seemed certain to pass just a few weeks ago. SOPA has become "a dirty word beyond anything you can imagine," noted a Republican aide.