Wikipedia To Shut Down For 24 Hours As Form Of Protest
The site will be down from midnight Eastern Standard Time Tuesday night until midnight Eastern Standard Time Wednesday.
“This is an extraordinary action for our community to take – and while we regret having to prevent the world from having access to Wikipedia for even a second, we simply cannot ignore the fact that Sopa and PIPA endanger free speech both in the United States and abroad, and set a frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world,” Wales said.
A spokesman for Wikimedia, said the organization is still deciding what sort of protest action the site will take. “We are looking at a powerful protest,” Jay Walsh told the Washington Post.
And Wikipedia is not the only website threatening to go dark, Reddit and Boing Boing, among others, will also shut their websites down for 24 hours.
The legislation at the heart of these proposed protests is the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act. Both bills aim to prevent U.S. products from being pirated overseas, but have been met with opposition for those in the tech industry including Google, Yahoo and Facebook.
According to the Associated Press:
“The most controversial provision is in the House bill, which would have enabled federal authorities to "blacklist" sites that are alleged to distribute pirated content. That would essentially cut off portions of the Internet to all U.S. users. But congressional leaders appear to be backing off this provision.”
But the “big three” are not taking as public a stance as the one proposed by Wikipedia. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told Radar correspondent Alex Howard (via Twitter of course) “that's just silly. Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish.”
This will mark the first time Wikipedia has ever shut down the English version of its website.
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