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Wikipedia to Go Dark on Wednesday in Protest of Piracy Bill Wikipedia to Go Dark on Wednesday in Protest of Piracy Bill

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Technology / congress

Wikipedia to Go Dark on Wednesday in Protest of Piracy Bill

January 17, 2012

Atlantic Wire

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Wikipedia's founder. He is Jimmy Wales.

It's been speculated, and now it's confirmed: Wikipedia plans to give its users a (severe) taste of the Internet under SOPA by going offline in protest of the bill on Wednesday. Last week Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales wondered aloud in a statement if the site should coordinate a shutdown with social news site Reddit planned for this Wednesday, January 18, to register its disgust with the much-maligned Internet censorship bill. And on Monday Wales tweeted sly confirmation that the, by some accounts, sixth most popular website in the world will indeed go dark.

 

That suggests something, too: unlike Reddit users, who you'd expect to be anti-SOPA partisans anyway, a Wikipedia blackout will make the site's more passive users aware of the bill's existence when they lose access to Wikipedia. Wales writes that Wikipedian consensus is currently for a 24-hour shutdown of the site's English-language versions globally. The decision to go dark was made in a Wikipedian way: with a "Wikipedia talk" forum you can read for yourself here. As Wales writes, it was a community decision.

 

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