Read the Funniest Confused Tweets About SOPA and Wikipedia

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

Wikipedia’s SOPA Protest Leaves Twitter Users Comically Confused


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.


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.




Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Alabama’s Insane New Abortion Law Gives Fetuses Lawyers and Puts Teenage Girls on Trial

Tattoo Parlors Have Become a Great Investment

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
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Big Problems With the Secret Service Were Reported Last Year. Nobody Cared.


Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

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  News & Politics
Oct. 2 2014 11:01 AM It Wasn’t a Secret A 2013 inspector general report detailed all of the Secret Service’s problems. Nobody cared.
Oct. 2 2014 12:58 PM Why Can’t States Do More to Protect Patients From Surprise Medical Bills? It’s complicated.
The Vault
Oct. 2 2014 11:07 AM Mapping 1890 Manhattan's Crazy-Quilt of Immigrant Neighborhoods
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 2 2014 12:37 PM St. Louis Study Confirms That IUDs Are the Key to Lowering Teen Pregnancy Rates
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 1:01 PM Watch Pixar’s First Trailer for Inside Out
Future Tense
Oct. 2 2014 12:56 PM My Year Without Flying I’ve stayed on the ground, to help fight climate change. Here’s what happened.
  Health & Science
Oct. 2 2014 12:53 PM The Panic Virus How public health officials are keeping Americans calm about the Ebola threat.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?