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Twitter shutting down for SOPA? That's just 'foolish,' CEO says

Wikipedia, however, says that it will be going dark for 24 hours in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.
Stephen Shankland/CNET

All the controversy surrounding the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has hit a tipping point, with Wikipedia saying it'll go dark for 24 hours in protest. But don't expect Twitter to follow suit.

"That's just silly," Twitter CEO Dick Costolo tweeted in response to Radar reporter Alex Howard wondering if the microblogging service will also go dark over SOPA. "Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish."

Costolo went on to say that "not shutting down a service doesn't equal not taking the proper stance on an issue," adding that his company has been consistently "clear" in its opposition to SOPA.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales made waves yesterday, announcing that he would be taking the English version of his site offline for 24 hours in protest of SOPA and Protect IP. That announcement followed word from Reddit last week that it will be shutting down for 12 hours tomorrow to do the same. The Cheezeburger Network, home to I Can Has Cheezburger, among other popular sites, will also join the blackout.

SOPA has become a huge privacy concern for both Web site owners and users. The bill initially planned to allow the Justice Department to easily obtain a court order to effectively make a Web site allegedly containing pirated content all but vanish from the Internet. Supporters, including record companies and film studios, say the bill could ultimately benefit consumers by eliminating piracy and the costs that go with it. Detractors, however, have argued that it gives the government too much power and could hurt legitimate sites.

Responding to that pressure, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) last week said he would remove a SOPA provision--known as the DNS-blocking requirement--that would have forced Internet service providers to bar access to overseas Web sites allegedly containing piracy. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT.) said he would remove a similar provision in Protect IP.

Although some say those moves could mean both bills are on life support, Wales isn't so quick to agree.

"We have no indication that SOPA is fully off the table," Wales tweeted yesterday. "PIPA is still alive and kicking. We need to send Washington a BIG message."