In The Guardian, Domninic Rushe quotes Twitter CEO Dick Costolo's dim view of a "blackout" SOPA protest
from Wikipedia, Reddit, and others* at Twitter.
That's just silly. Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish.
Which nation's laws and court rulings does your global business have to obey, Dick?
This is a fair point, and it encapsulates something important: it's not reasonable to expect everyone to go dark for a day, and it's not fair to think less of them if they choose not to.
Sites might not have the technical wherewithal to go offline safely and inexpensively. They might be contractually obligated to be up on that particular day for one reason or another — think advertising campaigns. Even if it's just a day's revenue, not everyone can afford to go without. Finally, they may just not want to, even if they oppose SOPA/PIPA: there are plenty of ways to skin this beast.
Unlike a site such as Wikipedia, Twitter is also a communications platform. Going down for a day could cause all sorts of unexpected problems for people around the world. So there are good reasons for Twitter to not go dark, even for just a few hours, if it doesn't have to.
The problem with Costolo's remark is that he expands the formulation to global businesses in general and the relevance of national politics to the decisions they make. Even if the global business is assumed to be Twitter alone, the problem doesn't go away: lurking behind his dismissal is the fact that the national politics of one country controls his company's fortunes, whether Twitter's global userbase likes it or not.