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Saturday April 18th 2015

Mozilla’s Anti-Censorship Campaign Reached 40 Million People





From Facebook posts to redirected Wikipedia searches to water cooler conversations, you could hardly miss the many discussions and signposts about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP bill (PIPA) this week. Many sites on the web went dark in protest, and Mozilla reimained one of the most active organizations opposing the proposed legislation. As we posted here, the bills drew widepsread opposition in the tech community due to online censorship concerns, and Mozilla put up an online page months ago urging people to contact U.S. politicians in opposition to SOPA and PIPA. Now, Mozilla has clarified that its activism efforts reached a whopping 40 million people.

You can check out Mozilla’s complete summary of the SOPA opposition that it stirred up here, and here are some of the highlights:

  • Approximately 30 million people in the US who use the default start page in Firefox received the blacked out page with our call to action
  • We sent messages out to almost 9 million people via Facebook, Twitter and our Firefox + You newsletter
  • Our messages were retweeted, shared and liked by over 20,000 people (not counting MC Hammer’s tweet to his 2.4 million followers!)
  • 1.8 million people came to mozilla.org/sopa to learn more and take action on the issue
  • 600,000 went on to visit the Strike Against Censorship page, hosted by the EFF

Not only did Mozilla’s effort reach people, but it inspired many to write to politicians in opposition to the controversial bills. Mozilla reports that "360,000 emails were sent by Mozillians to members of Congress, contributing a third of all the emails generated by EFF’s campaign site."

Mozilla also included a warning with its post, though:

"The debate is far from over. There’s a vote next week in the Senate. Keep the pressure on and make sure your elected officials understand the nuance of the issue and the importance of protecting the open Web."

It is still worth watching this proposed legislation and its potential impact on a free Internet, but backers of the bills have already noted that significant revisions are probably called for.

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