January 18, 2012

Wikipedia And Other Sites Go Dark To Protest SOPA-PIPA

If you woke up this morning just dying to know the genus-species name of the honey badger, you probably flipped open your laptop, went to the ℠favorites´ tab and clicked on ℠Wikipedia´. Yet instead of the familiar Wiki-search screen, you were met with a sober, almost solemn, black and white screen entreating you to “Imagine a world without free knowledge.”

As promised over the weekend by its founder Jimmy Wales, the world´s most beloved digital reference book Wikipedia, has gone into a twenty-four hour blackout session to protest the intensely unpopular and foundering anti-piracy legislation known as SOPA and PIPA.

For the entire day Wednesday, all of Wikipedia´s English-language pages will be blocked, reminding the millions who access its pages daily of what a world of censorship would look like.

The rest of the blackout page reads: “For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.”

The reader is also provided a box to enter his zip code and is then directed to an page with contact information for local congressmen and senators.

Google has joined in the campaign as well. Though the monolithic search engine has not suspended its services, the famous white space of Google´s search page is adorned with a single black bar where the engine´s name usually stands. Just beneath the search bar is a link that leads the reader to an online petition to stop SOPA and PIPA.

Firefox creator Mozilla and social news site Reddit are also participating in the mass protest.


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