I hope you aren’t in need of any free, un-biased information today because…dun dun dun..Wikipedia is shutting down.
Don’t worry, it’s temporary. However, for the next 24 hours, the information site will not be accessible in protest of the pending Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Internet Protocol Act (ironically the only information I can find about this one is on Wikipedia). Together, these bills would allow the government to shut down any site suspected of enabling piracy. Other sites are protesting as well, including Google and Facebook, but none as dramatically as Wikipedia.
Clearly the issue here is one of free speech. Wikipedia’s current site reads “For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.”
The black out has certainly made a splash as news organizations and Wiki users realize just how much they use Wikipedia’s services. However, time will only tell whether the approach is an effective one.
How has Wikipedia’s blackout affected you? Do you think it will make a difference?
Update: Craigslist has now also joined the protest blackout!