Well, this is a big effing deal.
Expect snide rebuttals to grind to a shrieking halt on Wednesday, as in addition to Reddit, Wikipedia- one of the most traversed websites worldwide- will be going dark to protest the controversial and frankly stupid proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA. SOPA has sparked massive outcry on the internet, but outside the web community, the disastrous bill has had little to no attention in the news or amongst the general public.
While certain communities- like Reddit- have been closely monitoring the progress of SOPA, it became clear early on that drastic action would likely be necessary to raise awareness of just how dangerous SOPA is to the internet at large. And while Reddit’s blackout will raise some, it’s sort of a closed garden in that if you heavily rely on Reddit to entertain you, it’s very likely you already know SOPA is dangerous, awful and fascist, so the impact is limited.
Not so with Wikipedia, a resource that has, in the past decade, become crucial to many web users as a source for school, work and bets in bars. But expect a full twenty-four hours without the site, Jimmy Wales confirms on Twitter. Earlier today, the Wikipedia chief tweeted:
Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday!
Wales confirmed that SOPA had been “crippled,” but pointed to the equally dangerous Protect Intellectual Property, or PIPA, Act wending its way through the Senate. Wales says:
A letter from the community and a call to action – to call and write Congress. My goal is to melt switchboards!
Wales invoked the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the day reserved to honor him, also tweeting:
“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” MLK – on Wednesday, Wikipedia demands.
Will the Wikipedia blackout on Wednesday affect your work or schooling? Do you think it will have an effect in drumming up dissent against SOPA and PIPA?