Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wikipedia will go dark at midnight

In case you missed the news, Wikipedia will go dark at midnight Eastern time on Tuesday January 17, 2012, and remain unavailable until midnight Eastern time on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 in protest against the two Congressional bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act, often called SOPA, and the Protect IP Act, which is often called PIPA. The bills have attracted fierce opposition from many corners of the technology industry. Opponents say several of the provisions in the legislation, including those that may force search engines and Internet service providers to block access to Web sites that offer or link to copyrighted material, would stifle innovation, enable censorship and tamper with the livelihood of businesses on the Internet.

Visitors around the globe who try to reach the English-version of Wikipedia will be greeted with information about the bills and details about how to reach their local representatives. Mr. Wales said 460 million people around the world visited the site each month, and he estimated that the blackout could reach as many as 100 million people. In addition, some international Wikipedia communities, including the one in Germany, have decided to post notices on their home pages leading to information about the protests, although they will remain functioning as usual.

Wikipedia’s protest will join several other Web sites, including Reddit, the social news site, and BoingBoing, a technology and culture blog, that also plan to black out their sites on Wednesday. Some sites that are not planning to go offline are still finding ways to participate in the protest. For example, WordPress, a blogging platform, is supplying its users with a widget that will add a banner to their Web sites and blogs showing support for the protest. (Read the whole story from the Source.)

I haven't read enough of the pros and cons to have an informed opinion on the pending bills although I am certainly against anything that limits Free Speech... but I do know that the 460 million people (which includes me) around the world visit Wikipedia each month will be affected by the darkened website.  

Kids... you better finish your homework research quickly!


  1. Thank you George bush for homeland Sec.
    we will not have anymore peace of mind on the internet or emails or on our phones this bill and some others are to watch us meaning US citzens not the rag wearing muslums these bills and others in the works are so they know if anyone says anything about our government these bills are meant to keep a eye on US or U.S. or both take your pick !! Remember They are watching you now where ever you Go.

    1. I find your phrase "rag wearing muslums" an offensive comment (in addition to being mis-spelled) but I'm allowing it because I believe deep in my heart about allowing Free Speech, whether they are my sentiments or not.

      When I used to go to church, my old preacher used to say, "I may not believe in what you say, but I will give my Life allowing you to say it".


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