temporary shutdown

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The temporary shutdown of a website is a means to express support for a cause by closing one's website for a day and displaying a campaign message instead - a form of one day banner activism.

Considerations for implementation

When participating in a temporary shutdown campaign:

  • Consider whether this may also impact functionalities beyond the frontend, such as APIs/endpoints etc.
  • Display a clear message to site visitors what is going on and why, incl. a link to more information on the cause
  • If possible, return HTTP 503 to avoid negative SEO impact [1], [2]
  • Where applicable, keep legally required links and pages alive (German "Impressum", privacy policy etc.)


SOPA Blackout 2012

"The largest online protest in the history of the internet" 2012-01-18

Global Climate Strike 2019

Website shutdowns were promoted as one form of digital participation in the Global Climate Strike of 2019-09-20.

Climate Strike Tools

Climat Strike IndieWeb Examples

  • Sebastian Greger is going to shut down his site using his Kirby plugin
  • @m_ott "My personal site just joined the global #ClimateStrike. It now shows a banner and will go completely green on Sept 20." [3]


2020-06-02: Appparently started by the Hollywood music industry(also), in response to the murder of George Floyd, #BlackOutTuesday is a call for “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community" and “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change” often also with the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused.

Many sites have blacked out their home pages, some with lists of black individuals who have lost their lives to police brutality and others. E.g.:

How to / web component:

CSS Naked Day

While not a full shutdown, cSS Naked Day - disabling the visual styles of websites for a day - made use of a similar approach, using temporary site-wide changes as a means for advocacy

See Also