Mark Zuckerberg Denounces SOPA

12:15 PM PST 01/18/2012 by Erin Carlson

The Facebook founder is joining the protest against anti-piracy legislation, declaring: "The world today needs leaders who are pro-internet."

After a bout of silence, Mark Zuckerberg has publicly sided against Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP (PIPA).

The Facebook founder posted this message on the social-networking site Wednesday:

"The internet is the most powerful tool we have for creating a more open and connected world. We can't let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the internet's development. Facebook opposes SOPA and PIPA, and we will continue to oppose any laws that will hurt the internet.

The world today needs political leaders who are pro-internet. We have been working with many of these folks for months on better alternatives to these current proposals. I encourage you to learn more about these issues and tell your congressmen that you want them to be pro-internet."

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He linked to a Facebook page outlining the company's stance on the anti-privacy legislation, which many within the tech industry fear would threaten free speech and innovation if passed through Congress.

"The bills contain overly broad definitions and create a new private cause of action against companies on the basis of those expansive definitions, which could seriously hamper the innovation, growth, and investment in new companies that have been the hallmarks of the Internet," the company's statement said.

"In addition, we are concerned about provisions in the bills that could chill free expression or weaken the Internet’s architecture," it added.

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Facebook joins fellow protesters Google (whose banner is blacked-out) and Wikipedia, which is staging a blackout along with other web brands like Reddit, Craigslist and the Cheezburger collective.

One high-level mogul not part of it: Rupert Murdoch, who came out swinging this week, targeting anti-SOPA protesters on his Twitter feed in additon to GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney, and whomever else irked him at that moment. Sample tweet from the News Corps. chairman: "Nonsense argument about danger to Internet. How about Google, others blocking porn, hate speech, etc? Internet hurt?"

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