Why has the SOPA banner disappeared from Stack Overflow when it is so important? The negative reactions don't seem to be very strong.

  • 28
    Next: when are they going to bring it back up? Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 15:49
  • 12
    @BoltClock'saUnicorn After that: When are they taking it back down? Can we get a schedule in the sidebar? Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 16:05

3 Answers 3


It was only scheduled to be up for 6 hours. Because system messages show on every page with no option for dismissal, this struck the best balance between showing it to a lot of US programmers during the workday and not being endlessly annoying.


I believe the following photograph may shed light on the subject.

Caught on photo

  • 2
    Hmm... well if he had used a white spray, that would explain the thing, but this couldn't have been him. :-)
    – Tomas
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 16:16
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    Why do I have this compulsive feeling to try and click on that first question the officer is stepping on and try to answer it?
    – LarsTech
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 16:18
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    Hey! What happened to freehand circles and arrows!? :) Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 16:18
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    @GoranJovic That's where freehand circles come from. They're painted casually in pepper spray. Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 16:33
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    – user1228
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 16:34

The notification banner has a maximum life span of 48 hours. Whoever put it up this time specified the lifetime of the banner to be 24 hours (or so).

From the comments below, it appears that it was for 6 hours exactly, which happens to match peak usage times in the US.

So, it appears to have been calculated to reach as many developers in the US as possible, with a minimum disruption to others.

The moderator elections banner was only up for 48 hours.

Seeing as it wasn't reinstated for the elections (though most people wouldn't know the URL any other way), why should the SOPA one be reinstated?

  • This banner was up for less than 24 hours. 48 hours is the maximum they can exist for, when they are added you specify an expiry time.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 15:59
  • @ChrisF - Didn't know that. Answer amended.
    – Oded
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 15:59
  • 5
    Exactly six hours, to be precise. It just felt longer.
    – mmyers
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 16:03
  • Explaining how the banner timer mechanism works doesn't really answer why the person who put the banner up chose to set a six-hour lifespan. (Although I can't help but notice that that time period corresponds to peak US usage hours....)
    – Pops
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 16:03
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    They might have received a DMCA notice to take it down.
    – user7116
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 16:04
  • @PopularDemand - Good points. Answer updated.
    – Oded
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 16:07
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    @sixlettervariables: yes, but, it was justified! I've used all of the following words in the past: "a and breaks dangerous Internet is it law like Overflow protect sites Stack the threatens" and I'm sure I've misspelled "soap" as well. I did not approve this remixing of my prior work!
    – Pops
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 16:09

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