Share/E-mail This Story

Email This



Jimmy Wales In Favor Of Wikipedia Blackout: Community Must Decide

from the speak-up dept

While there have been some previous discussions about whether or not Wikipedia would black out its site to protest SOPA/PIPA -- and the community's consensus was to do so -- it appeared that they had agreed that the trigger for a black out would be on the passing of the bill. That's a little late. However, now, with Reddit's plan to black out its site next Wednesday being joined by lots of other sites, some have been demanding that Wikipedia join them. Jimmy Wales has now spoken out saying he supports a blackout on Wednesday with Reddit, but would like the community to come to agreement first:
I'm all in favor of it, and I think it would be great if we could act quickly to coordinate with Reddit. I'd like to talk to our government affairs advisor to see if they agree on this as useful timing, but assuming that's a greenlight, I think that matching what Reddit does (but in our own way of course) per the emerging consensus on how to do it, is a good idea. But that means we need to move forward quickly on a concrete proposal and vote - we don't have the luxury of time that we usually have, in terms of negotiating with each other for weeks about what's exactly the best possible thing to do. As I understand it, the Foundation is talking to people about how we can geolocate and guide people to their Congressperson, etc. Geoff will know about that. Our task is to decide to do it with a thumbs up / thumbs down vote.
So, speak up, Wikipedians...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:27pm

    Wikipedia:WikiPoliticalProcess

    This is about as close as I want to get to Wikipedia:WikiPoliticalProcess

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Joel, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:27pm

    Next Wednesday, BLACKOUT!!!

    Next Wednesday, BLACKOUT!!!

    As a community, let's blackout as much of the internet as we can, to bring attention to our opposition to SOPA!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    yourrealname (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

    I don't get it

    I get that SOPA sucks, but what I don't understand is why sites like Wikipedia and Reddit are protesting a censorship bill by censoring their own sites. Even hacktivism makes more sense to me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    TMWaH, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    Re: I don't get it

    It's meant to give people a taste of what could happen if SOPA or PIPA pass - an internet regulated by large corporations, stifling free speech and censoring dissent. Hopefully, it'll reach people who haven't heard about this legislation, and incite them to action.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Justin, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:35pm

    Re: I don't get it

    You may get that SOPA sucks, but you don't get what SOPA does. If SOPA passes, supposedly the gov. can take down w/e site they want (In the long term, ofc it has to be an offence of some bull crap), so by Wikipedia and Reddit removing their site (Not literally, but withholding their info/service to the people), they're showing what the internet could be like and how people can view it in the future if SOPA were to pass.

    And I support the black out 100%. Wikipedia can go a day without it's service, even if it's during midterms... Lol.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Re: I don't get it

    I get that SOPA sucks, but what I don't understand is why sites like Wikipedia and Reddit are protesting a censorship bill by censoring their own sites. Even hacktivism makes more sense to me.

    Well, it's just a way of getting people to notice. You can tell people that a bill will enable censorship and may interfere with the websites they visit every day, and you can tell them a thousand times, but that will never make the same impact as a single visit to your blacked-out site. It's a bold move, for sure - and that speaks to just how important this is: these sites are so worried about what's going to happen under SOPA/PIPA that they are willing to do a small amount of harm to themselves and their users, if it means getting more attention for the issue and combating the huge amounts of harm that could be done by the legislation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    Re: I don't get it

    Both reddit and Wikipedia are sights that could - since they are primarily places for user-posted content - be taken down by those laws.* This is a way for these sites to show the world one possible dystopian future.

    * - And the shills will come in to claim that these laws will only target "rogue sites", but then those same shills also claimed that DMCA takedowns would never be abused, and Righthaven was doing the right thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    yourrealname (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: I don't get it

    I mean I get that, I just don't see why they are doing exactly what they don't want have to happen. It seems there should be a more productive way to get the message across than cutting off one's nose to spite their face.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    Re: I don't get it

    IF they go black and say this is the future if such and such is past it is huge. Where as reddit is preaching to the choir wikipedia would reach just about every citizen in the US. And if they took all the wikipedia down it would bring alot of pressure down on this bill.

    This is about motivating grass roots and this would do exactly that which is why I pledged to donate 10 dollars to wikipedia if they do indeed go black out for sopa.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    A Wikipedia blackout is probably the best thing that can be done for opposing SOPA. There are reasons for google/facebook/twitter not to blackout, however at least one of the huge mainstream websites needs a blackout to generate mainstream headlines, and Wikipedia is the best candidate for that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    yourrealname (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: I don't get it

    Yeah I guess this makes some sense, but I think it would take a site like Google or Facebook to really make people notice. Still, I get what they're going for now, thanks!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

    I received an email from one of the anti sopa groups where you could pledge to donate money to wikpedia if they did do a full scale backout. I suggest you find it and donate because it would go a long way to getting these bills killed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Machin Shin (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: I don't get it

    A site like Google or Facebook joining a blackout would be ideal. At this point though we will take whatever we can get and make no mistake, these sites that are blacking several are very large. You add two or three large sites together with a lot of small sites all blacking out on the same day and it adds up to something that is approaching the effect of Google.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    AzureSky (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    google needs to join this for 12-24hrs, same with other major sites that are against sopa/pipa....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    bjupton (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    So, where do we go to register our approval for shutting it down?

    I went to en.wikipedia.org expecting to find a link.

    I use wikipedia quite a lot, even though I don't add a lot to it. It is very valuable to me. I don't think I'm alone on that, would like to see this stand taken.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: I don't get it

    I'll add another 10.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Trails (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: I don't get it

    Because these sites have a much wider audience than those currently involved in or aware of the debate. The idea of the blackout/learn in is a strong negative experience for users in order to make it stick in people's minds.

    Holding drives, rallies, etc... with things like the wikipedia banner ( la donate) are simply not as effective.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    with all the flack that Google has been getting from certain 'representatives', with the way it's being used as nothing other than a punch bag, i sincerely hope that it joins this blackout. if it does, the impact would be enormous! it would also be a good thing if they filtered out all the entertainment industries websites as well. give them a taste of their own medicine!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

    Re:

    We could select some delegates to represent the Techdirt Caucus

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Robert (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:05pm

    Re:

    Google would be sued for filtering out corporation sites.

    See the hypocrisy? Entertainment industry folks won't allow their own to be blocked, but they'll block anyone that doesn't have enough funds to battle in court.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    OMG what am I going to do on Wednesday? Will I actually have to *gasp* DO WORK!!! *sob*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    The landing page for the blacked out Wikipedia should be the entry on censorship.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

    OK, I can only support this. That said, I am genuinely worried about a wikipedia black-out. I don't think I spend any day without using wikipedia a dozen or so times minimum. I know, that's the point, but this is scary none-the-less.

    While I find it hard to believe we could get Google, Amazon, eBay, Twitter, Facebook etc to actually black-out, it might be possible to get a fake black-out. Something along the lines of a gigantic click-through popup. It would draw people's attention without killing the service.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Robert (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: I don't get it

    oooo, I like that idea! I'll pledge a $5 donation if Wikipedia goes dark for 12 hours.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Chosen Reject (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: I don't get it

    Think of it like being Mohamed Bouazizi. He does himself a lot of harm, but in doing so raises awareness to a lot of people who then cause first the Tunisian Revolt, and then the Arab Spring. Sure, it could turn out to be just some angry guy setting himself on fire, but it could also make huge waves and cause a lot of change.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:40pm

    Well, I just voted in support for the blackout in the US and banner for everybody. Go me!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Gothenem (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:40pm

    Need more.

    With Wikipedia and Reddit doing a blackout, it is good. However, I think we need more on board.

    Facebook and Google would be ideal. If these sites went down with Reddit and Wikipedia, the world would shudder. No one would be able to ignore the message. They may disagree with it, but NO ONE will be able to ignore it. No one will say that there is no opposition anymore.

    Everyone will learn what SOPA and PIPA are about and the demand for action will increase.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    TheNutman69321 (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:42pm

    Idea sounds great unfortunately it seems like even if they do it it's not going to be a blackout at all. Just a page you go to first and then can continue on to the site. Better than nothing but I'd really like to see a full blackout not a page most people are barely gonna look at, think nothing of it and continue on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Julius, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:43pm

    Re: I don't get it

    This *is* hacktivism.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Travis, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:46pm

    DO IT!!!!

    LEt's do it, how do I vote?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    mischab1, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

    Re:

    I think I got the same email. :-) If anybody is interested you can sign up at http://www.wikipediablackout.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Wiki user, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:48pm

    No. Just no.

    Bad law not needed.

    We fought against this in too many places to allow it to come to these shores.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:52pm

    Wikipedia:SOPA initiative

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Mark, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:58pm

    Re:

    You can voice support here.

    http://www.wikipediablackout.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 3:52pm

    The only sites that are going to blackout are ones that provide information about SOPA. The only people that will care are people who already oppose the legislation.

    If I were a SOPA supported, I'd be trying like hell to pass it on Blackout Wednesday.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Larry, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 4:28pm

    Yahoo

    The new Yahoo CEO wants to make a splash? Make a statement! Get people talking about it again without talking microshaft merger potential!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    Suja (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 5:03pm

    now let's just get youtube/google & facebook to do it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Re: I don't get it

    Actually, if wikipedia does go black. I am going to double my yearly donation to them. I am certain a lot of other people will also.

    Much like the NRA protects the second amendment, I think a bunch of large internet sites banding together, in this, and in funding the other politician, can protect both the 1st and the 4th amendment. It is something we so need, a coalition to prevent censorship.

    Any coalition of this sort should stay away from lobbying or paying politicians for laws. That path is a trap. They should just inform and rally people of what politicians are up to on the issues of the 1st and the 4th.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 6:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: I don't get it

    damn, techdirt needs to move the submit and preview button apart. finishing ...

    "They should just inform and rally people of what politicians are up to on the issues of the 1st and the 4th." Then at a later date (reads before the election) remind people of how politicians voted and the repercussions of those laws.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: I don't get it

    This is the people of the United States and the countries around the world saying, "This far, no further".

    This is people saying, "This is our country, you are here to represent US, not corporations"

    This is people saying, "Stop being such bought off devious retches".

    This is "we the people" giving notice to the politicians.

    This is the party of we.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 7:12pm

    No matter what happens.

    Wikipedia should go black (gray - every page with a click here to continue SOPA message) regardless of whether they drop this bill or punt it to after the elections. It would raise awareness and prevent this from happening again for a couple years. After which the tools will be in place to follow your representatives promises, voting and funding.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Donny (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 7:54pm

    Dissenting Voice

    No.

    Wikipedia's purpose isn't to preserve its own existence. It's just to exist, as an encyclopedia. It's sullying its own function with this political grandstanding.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Dissenting Voice

    I do not know where to begin.

    "Wikipedia's purpose isn't to preserve its own existence. It's just to exist"

    How does it exist if the bill being discussed is passed into law?

    "It's sullying its own function with this political grandstanding."

    History and encyclopedias are written by the winners. Not by those who sit by the side of the road and do nothing.

    Do we want an entry in the future www.OfficialEncylopedia.gov that reads

    Wikipedia - A site shut down for "alleged" infringement under H.R. 3261. No further information is available.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    David, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 11:14pm

    Re: I don't get it

    TO GET PEOPLE'S ATTENTION WHO USE THE INTERNET BUT DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO THINGS LIKE THIS

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Dave, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 11:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: I don't get it

    cutting off one's nose, so hopefully the people will notice and save the rest of one's body before the government shuts it down for good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    David, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 11:22pm

    Re: Dissenting Voice

    If this passes, and Some internet regulation official decides certain content on wikipedia is controversial, or that the entire site is a threat to someone's copyright, or for whatever other reason they come up with. Then wikipedia can be blacklisted and no longer exist. Its not about political grandstaning its about protecting the last free media we the people have.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    David, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 11:29pm

    I support the blackout 100%

    I pledge $10 donation if wikipedia blacks out. I don't want it to be click through popup ad either. People don't read those. I want the site shut down completely for 12 hours. That will get people's attention. Those internet groups who support this had better stick together and go all out in opposition. Otherwise the internet, wikipedia, youtube, may cease to exist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2012 @ 4:16am

    Re: Re: Re: I don't get it

    What better way to show people what SOPA does if not by showing them what happens?

    Can't you understand that simple concept?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Jan 14th, 2012 @ 8:58am

    I just received an email from Wikipedia asking me to pledge a donation for them to blackout the site?

    Wow. I mean, this is one of the most insulting things I've ever read. I understand Wikipedia is a nonprofit, but to force a "pay or we'll do nothing" to stand against SOPA, rather than just turn off the site, is troubling to me.

    Now I regret donating last year.

    I don't like this "Money or nothing" extortion attempt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Peter Gehres (WMF), Jan 14th, 2012 @ 11:03pm

    Re:

    I believe that the email you received was sent by DemandProgress. It was NOT sent, cleared, or authorized by the Wikimedia Foundation (the foundation that runs Wikipedia). We appreciate your support and never once considered such an email.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    LC (profile), Jan 15th, 2012 @ 4:55am

    Honestly, I think that a high-traffic site like Wikipedia should definitely blackout to a black screen with a link to americancensorship.com if they are truly against SOPA. They would get lots of attention, even from the no-so-net-savvy amongst us, and really draw people to the cause.

    However, I believe it's more important for Google, Facebook and Youtube to get involved. These three have a lot to lose under SOPA/PIPA, and the latter 2 could even be shut down under these laws. And you can bet your ass they get tens of millions of hits per day from all over the globe. Yes, people outside the US should be protesting because
    A. It could fuck up the internet for them too, particularly social media
    B. It sets a bad international precedent, other countries will point to the filters and other measures the freedom-loving US has in place to justify their own similar totalitarian systems and
    C. Most of the companies that are pushing for the laws are big multinationals, many with offices in other countries, so they can be punished in and out of the US, but only if a sufficient number of people know about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    BLACKOUT, Jan 15th, 2012 @ 8:01am

    BLACKOUT

    BLACKOUT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Donny (profile), Jan 15th, 2012 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re: Dissenting Voice

    I'm making a distinction between "Wikipedia as a thing in itself" and "the people who care about, run, maintain it".

    I think the latter, the people, should do all they can to stop SOPA/PIPA because they're horrendously stupid pieces of legislation.

    But I don't think the former should be involved. I don't think those people should USE their encyclopedia as another weapon to make their side win the debate.

    Wikipedia is not a political tool. It's an encyclopedia.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Jon Hunter, Jan 16th, 2012 @ 6:43am

    Agree w/blackout

    A blackout would be the internet's picket line but would also show what could happen in the worst case. DMCA isn't perfect but neither is the world. We don't need any more laws, we need more common respect for IP

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    sandra, Jan 16th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    for it!

    definitely for it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    Shine (profile), Mar 5th, 2012 @ 8:21am

    I think the "blackouts" were successful....SOPA is not implemented yet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    frederickolson (profile), Mar 27th, 2012 @ 3:53am

    SOPA/PIPA

    SOPA/PIPA is just an excuse for the powers that be to take control... since the internet is one of the very few things they cannot control... pray the blackouts work...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This