Read the Funniest Confused Tweets About SOPA and Wikipedia

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 18 2012 6:24 PM

Wikipedia’s SOPA Protest Leaves Twitter Users Comically Confused

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If you didn’t know what the Stop Online Piracy Act was before today, chances are you do now. Wikipedia’s blackout to protest the controversial, and now stalled, anti-piracy legislation affected roughly 25 million users and the wall-to-wall media coverage is likely to reach more. While reaction to the blackout was widely supportive on Twitter and Facebook, there were definitely corridors of the web that were less pleased by the temporary shutdown of one of the most popular research tools in the history of mankind. The Guardian noted that students were especially hard-hit by the blackout, with plenty of Tweets containing both the words “homework” and “Wikipedia” (and a few more containing “homework” + “Wikipedia” + a stream of obscenities).

Buffalo-based programmer Nick Quaranto actually started a Twitter account called @herpderpedia to document the most inane responses to the SOPA blackout and “to prove how smart we really all are.” The retweets he compiled are hysterical, with a surprising number of individuals wondering whether Wikipedia will ever return, and others wondering what the site has against “soap.” While some in the latter category, especially, are likely facetious, enough of them surely aren’t that Quaranto has proven his point: Too many people, even those on Twitter, are uninformed about crucial legal matters regarding the internet.

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Here for your enjoyment are some of the best SOPA backlash-backlash Tweets as collected by @herpderpedia.

Jeremy Stahl is a Slate senior editor. You can follow him on Twitter.