Websites go dark in moment of silence for Sandy Hook victims

Some major websites went dark briefly Friday at 9:30 a.m. ET as part of a national moment of silence for the victims of last week's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Dozens of sites participated, including Aol, The Huffington Post and Digg, and more than 100,000 people and sites have pledged to participate on the Causes.com page for the Web Goes Silent campaign.

High-profile Silicon Valley venture capitalist Ron Conway promoted the online moment of silence, which is part of a larger campaign for federal gun control legislation. Conway is leading the Causes.com campaign along with other big names including Ryan Seacrest, Jack Dorsey, Britney Spears, MC Hammer, Suze Orman and Tyler Florence.

Causes.com is a startup that uses social media to raise awareness and funds for charities and causes. Conway is also an investor in the for-profit company.

Sites that participated in Friday's moment of silence were invited to do so on their own, or it can embed an official badge with a green ribbon on their sites. Sites using the code appeared grayed out in the background 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."

Conway joined other tech notables and some celebrities to demand action for stronger gun control in a full-page ad in the Wednesday print edition of the New York Times. The ad was run by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a lobbying group of more than 700 U.S. mayors. It started the Demand A Plan campaign to reform gun laws after the Aurora, Colorado, shootings in July, and it has seen a surge in new support after the Sandy Hook shootings.

This is not the first time major sites have banded together to go dark for a cause. This year, major tech names staged an immense and successful online protest against the Stop Online Privacy Act.

People also spread the word of their intention to go quiet by using the Twitter hashtag #momentforSandyHook .

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