Wikipedia Blackout

Don't be surprised if you can't access Wikipedia today.

The online encyclopedia's English language website is down until midnight. The 24-hour blackout is to protest anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress.

The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act are designed to crack down on sales of pirated U.S. products overseas.

Supporters including the film and music industry say the legislation is needed to protect intellectual property and jobs.

Critics say it could hurt the technology industry and infringe on free-speech rights. Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, eBay, AOL and others have said it threatens the industry's livelihood.

Several online communities such as Reddit, Boing Boing and others have announced plans to go dark in protest as well.

But Wikipedia volunteer editors who disagree with the shutdown say it threatens the credibility of their work. Editor Robert Lawton says, "Before we know it, we're blacked out because we want to save the whales."


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  • by m on Jan 18, 2012 at 10:49 AM
    Why is this news?
  • by Cliff Location: Altoona, AL on Jan 18, 2012 at 10:31 AM
    This Is Nothing More Than To Stifle Free Speech On The Internet, Plain And Simple. Google Has A Petition On Its Homepage To Stop SOPA, I Signed It And I Hope Others Will Do The Same. Thanks!!
    • reply
      by Formerly O.L.I. on Jan 19, 2012 at 05:50 AM in reply to Cliff
      Do you really think a Google petition is going to influence these lawmakers? Nah; they are going to do exactly as they choose. Average folks are just 'peasants' in their eyes.
  • by SOPA on Jan 18, 2012 at 08:54 AM
    It's NOT about Wikipedia. WITN - SOPA IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STORY N THE USA TODAY! Corporate supporters of Senate 968 (PIPA) and HR 3261 (SOPA) demand the ability to take down any web site (including craigslist, Wikipedia, or Google) that hurts their profits -- without prior judicial oversight or due process -- in the name of combating "online piracy." PIPA and SOPA authors and supporters insist they'd only go after foreign piracy sites, but Internet Engineers understand this is an attempt to impose "Big Brother" controls on our Internet, complete with DNS hijacking and censoring search results. Incredibly, many Congress Members favor this idea. Try to imagine jack-booted thugs throttling free speech, poisoning the Internet (greatest of American inventions, the very pillar of modern democracy), and devastating one of the our most successful industries. Totalitarian, anti-American, massively-job-killing nonsense. Tell Congress you OPPOSE Senate 968 "Protect IP Act" (PIPA) and H.R. 3261 "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA):
    • reply
      by Cliff on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM in reply to SOPA
      Your'e So Right!!! It's About Profits, Especially The "Entertainment" Industry. They Want The Government To Shut Any Web Site Down That "Hurts Their Profits" While Continuing To Produce TRASH Like Kim Kardashian, Snooki, And The FAKE "Housewives"!!
  • by Formerly O.L.I. Location: ENC on Jan 18, 2012 at 06:31 AM
    Wonder how it will affect YouTube, Hulu, Vh1, Launch, or other sites with streaming audio/video?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 18, 2012 at 06:54 AM in reply to Formerly O.L.I.
      If they don't have permission to host the shows/content they have than they'll be asked to shut-down.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 18, 2012 at 07:00 AM in reply to Formerly O.L.I.
      Youtube will almost certainly be among the first to go. The ones wit license agreements will still go- a global warming denier gets angry that Hulu carries a documentary that they believe is false on the matter, a Christian, Muslim, or atheist is annoyed at content that seems to support one of the others' view, the One Million Moms people decide that VH1's content is sinful......and someone files a false report. Down down down it goes.
    • reply
      by amy on Jan 18, 2012 at 11:42 AM in reply to Formerly O.L.I.
      From what I've read, the "smaller" non-corporate sits will be hit the hardest and quickest.
    • reply
      by Formerly O.L.I. on Jan 18, 2012 at 11:56 AM in reply to Formerly O.L.I.
      Those are my thoughts too. I'm sure someone will figure out how to go 'underground' to get around it. Besides, there goes all that sponsorship/advertising too.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 18, 2012 at 05:29 AM
    Anyone who doesn't know what SOPA really is needs to look it up. Under SOPA, any website can be shut down just under accusations of piracy- no evidence needed. Any website. In other words, if I run a website and you don't like what I say, you file a report and claim I have copyrighted material on it. No one has to check it, down I go. You have a website? Post unpopular opinions? You're down too. SOPA affects everyone. It isn't pirates who will suffer. Wiki, thank you.
  • by Anonymous Location: Carteret County on Jan 18, 2012 at 04:27 AM
    Thank you Alpha, for completely missing the point of the black out. This is a serious time for free information. Any business/organization/person/tv website should be aware of the consequences and what it could mean. I for one am glad that WikiPedia did this as well as Google. This law is obviously a way for government to control what information we are allowed to see, and can control it under 'Piracy' laws. Is there any other country that controls the inflow of data? Hmmm. Seems to be working great for them right?
  • by Alpha Location: Lenoir on Jan 18, 2012 at 04:11 AM
    There is a reason why most credible college professors refuse to allow this site as source material.....its total lack of credibility. The editors as mentioned have the ability to slant definitions without respect to a words historical usage and definition. They will not be missed.
    • reply
      by Omega on Jan 18, 2012 at 04:23 AM in reply to Alpha
      Whatever, I support their cause even though I may not support them.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 18, 2012 at 05:56 AM in reply to Alpha
      The reason 'credible' college professors refuse to allow wikipedia as a source is because revenu from text books help the school. And there is zero reason wikipedia shouldn't be allowed as a source, especially if you're looking up scientific information. It's almost always linked to a proper source. So really all you need to do is cite wikipedia and note the true source article. Think of it this way, would a professor rather a student use a 300$ book or a free site?
      • reply
        by amy on Jan 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM in reply to
        Professors don't get any revenue from book sales. The money goes to the book stores and publishing company. My DSM-IV came from B&N and cost $112. How many of your professors own book stores as a sideline? Many colleges are going to ebooks now anyway, because these days laptops are cheaper than books and you have less to carry. And last but not least, i REALLY hope my doctor used a credible textbook written by a medical professional, and not wiki !
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