Wikipedia, the world’s largest free encyclopedia website, announced today that it will black out the english language version of it’s website on Wednesday (Jan 18th 2012) to protest the SOPA anti-piracy bill that is currently under consideration for passage in the US Congress.
Ths collaborative, multilingual Internet encyclopedia, with over 20 million articles (over 3.8 million in English alone) written collaboratively by volunteers around the world is the biggest site so far to protest the SOPA bill publicly by the scheduled blackout. Wikipedia.org gets over 25 million visits every single day according to web analytics site comscore.com
Wikipedia Blackout. What Will Happen?
The blackout will take place as follows. The website wikipedia.org will go dark for 24 hours, with a black blank page in the place of any content. Any one searching for anything, who lands on a wikipedia page will be greeted with a big black screen with nothing on it.
The blackout / shut down will start at 00:00 Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday Jan 17th night and end at midnight on Wednesday, Jan 18th.
While Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter and others have spoken out against the legislation and said it threatens the industry’s livelihood, they have not publicly made such a bold move. For that, I salute Wikipedia and it’s team.
Along with wikipedia, other online user-generated community sites like Boing Boing and Reddit have announced plans to go dark in protest as well.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales first announced the planned protest on Twitter today saying the SOPA bill is a threat to the free, open, and secure web.
I am personally asking everyone who cares about freedom and openness on the internet to contact their Senators and Representative
I hope other tech giants follow suit. For a full list of SOPA bill supporters, click here.