Some major websites have decided to go dark on Friday as part of a national moment of silence to remember victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The moment of silence will be observed at 9:30 am, the approximate time that gunman Adam Lanza forced his way into the school and began shooting, leaving 20 children and six adults dead. The websites chose to go dark as a way to join in on the movement, which already has more than 100,000 people and sites pledged to join in, CNN reported.
The Web Goes Silent campaign went viral on Thursday, with many people tweeting with the hashtag #momentforSandyHook to spread the word about the moment of silence.
Helping push the websites to go dark is Silicon Valley venture capitalist Ron Conway, who is leading the Causes.org campaign along with Ryan Seacrest, Jack Dorsey, Britney Spears, MC Hammer, Suze Orman, and Tyler Florence. Conway is also an advocate of stronger federal gun control legislation, which reflects in the Web Goes Silent site.
The site reads:
“In the coming weeks and months, we must come together around common-sense solutions that will prevent the gun violence that has become all too frequent in communities across the country. 2013 is the year to take meaningful action; observing this moment of silence on Friday, we can signal our resolve to stop senseless deaths like these from happening again.”
A similar tactic was taken earlier this year when sites rose up to oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act, which was seen as an attempt to censor the web. As sites like Reddit and Wikipedia went down to show the damaging effect SOPA would have had, it helped provide ammunition for opponents to defeat the bill.
The websites choosing to go dark can embed and official badge with a green ribbon, and the site webmomentofsilence.org, provides a script to make it easier for sites to do so.
People who visit the websites choosing to go dark will see a grayed-out screen with a white box in the foreground that reads, “We are observing a National Moment of Silence for the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy.”