I can't imagine Google taking the financial hit that would come from going dark for 24 hours, and I'm not certain how much more impactful that would have been, anyway.
I wonder, though, if they plan to include the SOPA message on their results pages as well? The Google home page is only seen by people who begin their searches at Google.com instead of using a browser toolbar or one of the myriad affiliate search boxes out there.
EDIT: Of course most reasonable people will contact a medical professional rather than an internet search engine, that's why I guessed "at least 1" instead of "at least a couple hundred".
Tech support line for every ISP would be ringing off the hook all day.
The same for IT support providers as people assume their PC has been hacked or has a virus.
Google receive 1000s of complaints from people swearing to move to bing.
A number of companies get sued due to contractual agreements that somehow relate to websites being accessible to search etc or because emails are not replied to because someone couldn't access their webmail etc.
Hundreds of thousands of homework assignments are not done.
Spike in number of births due to people having sex instead of going online.
SOPA still gets passed.
It's nice having all the relevant references on one page, but search results aren't usually too difficult to master either.
The bills need to die, but sensationalism is not the way to stop it.
My comment was that you need to calculate the expected loss on both sides: if you do something and if you do not do it.
I wasn't even claiming that Google _does, in fact, save lives_; I was claiming that if you say "X will be lost if Y is done", you need to also say ", which is better than the expected Z loss if Y is not done".
Please do not insert your assumptions into my comment.
Do you agree that "Having Google's DNS blacked out because Google linked to a copyrighted sitcom transcript" a possible outcome if SOPA passes?
Given that google makes approximately 3.5 million USD an hour, a take down and lengthy court battle could put the federal government on the line for billions of dollars. Not only in damage to revenue, but in loss of customers and customer conversion. If google lost even 1% of its users the government could have to pay for loss of future income.
IMO stopping SOPA/PIPA is protecting the government itself. A law isn't real until its tested in the supreme court. The major Tech companies run patent cases against each other like they're just trying to keep their lawyers busy. I don't know why the government would want to get on the wrong side of these multinational corporations. Sorry, but if too great an expense is placed on them by the government then it'll quickly become surprisingly cost effective to move entirely overseas.
Honestly I wouldn't mind. I live in Canada, I wouldn't mind the house prices in the Greater Toronto Area sky rocketing with a massive tech influx. I mean it'd be the greatest property market hike in fifty-years.
For what it's worth, this is an unlikely outcome with Google (or Wikipedia) as it is now. It would have easily been possible with Google (or Wikipedia) as it was back in 2000.
That's the real danger: SOPA is unlikely to shut down Google or Wikipedia, but it could easily prevent the next Google or Wikipedia from getting off the ground.
There are plenty of cases where it's hard for the layperson to determine if something is serious or not.
Life threatening, yes, but many people have ordinary emergencies likes burns and big cuts and won't go to ER because they know they can't handle the bill and will attempt to suck it up and self treat; even if it's not wise to do so. Emergency rooms aren't free; they have to treat you, yes, but they're going to bill you as well.
For example: Intoxication by adulterated liquor can cause strong headache and (permanent) blindness; but if you search in Google you may find out that drinking pure Whisky right away can neutralize its effects.
Specifically, anything with a strong ethanol content will help, as the damage caused by drinking methanol results from the byproducts of you body processing the poison. The biological pathways that process methanol have a greater affinity for ethanol, so drinking whisky (or everclear or 151) or any other strong alcohol will keep you alive until your body has a chance to eject the methanol as a waste product.
The theory is this: The consumption of ethyl alcohol (whisky/vodka) can prevent the conversion of methanol to formaldehyde and formic acid plus it extracts the toxic substance and neutralizes its metabolic effects.
See the 2nd paragraph after the warning banner. It might not look serious, but it is. This review is written by an MD.
What if you don't have a regular doctor, because you haven't seen one in a while and just got your first real job? Well, you have to wait to establish a doctor/patient relationship before you get any advice.
Plus, have you ever actually tried to get a medical question answered without an appointment? They say to check with a doctor before taking tylenol, but realistically ... no.
In many cases, yes, an online diagnostic is going to be much faster and about as accurate as the doctor.
I'm sure this happens.
You do realize tens and tens of millions of people don't have GP's right?
"Nah he just has a pain in his shoulder and shortness of breath, he'll be fine, lets play some games on facebook"
I'd pick Google over a witch doctor, religious medicine or herbal doctor every time!!
For that matter, I wonder what the economic impact of Wikipedia shutting down will be. It's just one of those things that I haven't imagined a world without. On the bright side, I suppose that there might be a positive benefit to the economy if Reddit shuts down.
I think the majority of users, especially non-technical (and I think majority of people that should see this message fall in this category), still uses google.com as a place to begin their searches.
I've watched people do this.
As for me, I have hardly visited the Google homepage since modern browsers introduced the search bar.
* Change the logo; even just a black bar through the middle since the logo gets a lot of attention.
* For any SOPA/PIPA supporter's site in their results, mark it in some way. Don't block it, but indicate that this is a supporter and use that to demonstrate what SOPA/PIPA might do. This allows people to ignore those sites if they want, but does not remove them from the index or cause any permanent harm.
For example, tantrums are dramatic, but can create more resentment than sympathy.
They've got a big responsibility on their shoulders and as much as I hate SOPA, Google going dark would be completely irresponsible and I would think less of them.
I find it more astonishing that Rupert Murdoch would have the gall to say on twitter: "So Obama has thrown in his lot with. Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery. -"
They don't need to commit commercial suicide by shutting off their site ('hey, bing isn't that bad..'), but this is pretty weak.
In response to questions about how the protest link would be displayed on the page, all Google would say is that the link would not replace the company logo.
Actually it is more like they are duelling with their ammo supplier and then are surprised when the don't have any bullets.
Google should go dark like Wikipedia. That will have the biggest impact, and of course, the impact will be much bigger than the Wikipedia black out.
Of course it will have an impact, just like a normal doodle
It is pretty widely accepted hypothesis that politicians do not "corrupt" when they are elected to office but that corporations support politicians which favor their positions. Politicians that have money have legitimacy. Legitimate candidates get elected.
Couple that with the fact that corporations often donate to 50+ candidates (on both sides of the aisle) and not only do they have a pre-polling vote (through money) but they also get to play in many elections.
It's the house vs. the people and the house always wins.
I don't know if you've participated in the system, but it's not fair to equate that with a corporation donating its own money to a political campaign.
If anything, internet corporations are showing up late to the game.
If they saw that modern society could not function without them then they could then effectively hold legislators over a barrel and say "pass law X or we turn it off", these laws might not always be things we would like.
Of course if they pulled that enough times I'm sure another engine would come along and replace them.
This is a problem I have with centralized software and data that is proprietary to one company, I imagine Google and Facebook could legally do some pretty nasty things if they wanted to.
Twitter seems to not care about SOPA, but Google claims to be actively working against SOPA - they should walk the walk if they are going to talk the talk. With this "message" on their homepage (which as jaysonelliot pointed out is not even seen by many people) they get the branding of being in support of an open web but don't have to actually take action the way Wikipedia, Boing Boing, etc are going to.
Just window dressing from the PR department. Disappointing but not at all surprising.
How is 64% of their traffic (89 million visitors in 2009) not "many people"?
But I stand by my opinion that this is a weak response from Google.
It seems ridiculous to us, but I've seen many non-techy people do it.
If they shutdown for a day everybody suddenly thinks "Wow, Google can actually go down.. what if this happened again? what if it was for longer next time? Is it really a good idea to give these guys a monopoly on search and put all our eggs in one basket?"