It's Official: Wikipedia To Go Dark On Wednesday

from the pipa-protests dept

Last week, we noted that Jimmy Wales was in favor of a blacking out Wikipedia on Wednesday in protest of PIPA, joining with Reddit and lots of other sites, but that the community need to weigh in quickly. It appears they’ve now done so, as Wales is telling students to do their homework early, because the site is a goner for Wednesday:

In fact, it appears they’re going even further than Reddit, who is going down for 12 hours. All English-language pages on Wikipedia will go dark for 24 hours — starting at midnight DC time on Wednesday. For what it’s worth, I’ve been told by multiple Congressional staffers that Wikipedia is a tool they all rely on pretty much every day — so expect this to get some attention. The site will also be replaced with an action alert, asking people to call and write Congress — and Jimmy says his goal is to “melt the phone lines.” Considering how much usage Wikipedia gets, that’s entirely possible.

This is a big move, and it’s great to see Jimmy and the community willing to take a stand like this. Jimmy is also tweeting up a storm about why this is so important. He’s also responding to false claims that the bills are “dead,” by noting that SOPA (1) may rise again and (2) that PIPA is still alive and well.

Either way, come Wednesday, I’m curious if Congress is still going to be claiming that it’s just a “small minority” of people who dislike these bills.

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Comments on “It's Official: Wikipedia To Go Dark On Wednesday”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: stolen words

If somebody does not want his words stolen, let him not tell anything. Given there were times nobody could imagine he would have to pay to go to the toilet or drink water, it’s easy to imagine they try making others pay for talking or breathing.
I hope world starts now thinking how to make life better than arguing if it is piracy to copy a bunch of crap bits of data.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Ah yes, you must be one of the people who claimed that by moving sites away from GoDaddy, people were violating GoDaddy’s right to free speech.

No one is “holding the internet hostage”. They are merely blacking out a few (emphasis on “a few”) sites in protest of a bad law.

This is the equivalent of a sit in, of Rosa Parks refusing to move to the back of a bus, etc. I’m not comparing what they’re protesting over or equivocating it in any way. I’m merely pointing out the measures they are taking in their form of protest are reasonably similar. Peaceful. With no intention to cause harm to anyone.

Or are you against workers going on strike to protest bad working conditions too? Because that’s holding the companies who have bad working conditions, use child labor, etc “hostage”?

I wouldn’t be surprised if you did think that way. Or perhaps you don’t. Perhaps you only think that way when it’s convenient to you.

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Holding the internet hostage will not win you any friends in Congress.

Yeah and if asinine laws pass you will watch the internet darken because every asshole in the world will be running around using this to censor what they dont like.

Under these laws, it would be easy to get any one of the services we use and depend on daily to get shut down.

Holding hostage? No sir, a glimpse into the future.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Freetards united against tyranny! (Trademark pending) ;)

Wikipedia isn’t called a freetard site.

It will be. Or just has been.

After the umpteenth-gajillionth time that you get called ?freetard?, well, you just sorta get over it.

After the umpteenth-gajillionth time that you get called a ?piracy-supporter?, well, you just sorta start to think that ?supporting piracy? might not be such a bad idea.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Freetards united against tyranny! (Trademark pending) ;)

Considering he didn’t call Wikipedia a freetard site, it’s hard to see how you came up with the reply you did.

Also, he (the AC you’re replying to) is referring to the various sites participating in the voluntary “dark” time. Wikipedia, XDA, etc. These sites are all willingly going dark to protest internet censorship in general. Not just “freetard sites” as you like to spew.

One man’s “freetard site” is another man’s information site. XDA would be a fine example of that. Plenty of information on there on how to bypass cell manufacturer and cell phone company restrictions and limitations. They also provide applications and tools for doing so. Some (perhaps the cell companies and manufacturers) might label them “rogue”.

I think it’s kind of “let’s stand together or fall separately” mindset at the moment with these sites who are going to go dark. Not a bad idea.

Do try and provide facts when you comment. Rather than insults, misinformation, etc.

ArkieGuy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Freetards united against tyranny! (Trademark pending) ;)

The real question is “why are SOPA supporters liars”?

But seriously, I wasn’t meaning that Wikipedia is a “freetard site”, I was actually pointing out the irony in SOPA opposition (a FREE site choosing to go offline) being viewed as “taking the internet hostage”…. Ok, maybe I wasn’t pointing out irony, maybe it more pointing and laughing at an inane post. ๐Ÿ˜‰

CD (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The search engines could respond by filtering all the RIAA and MPAA links in their databases. Reply to questions why it’s gone…well there was this guy that said that he owned this line of code in the source of your HTML and it fell under his copyright. So, we had to remove all of your sites that had this comment in them…

al says:

Good for them. I have been an artist for 25 years the past 8 were dedicated to 3d gaming. After several attempts to get investors I succeeded. Unfortunately due to the pending SOPA legislation again I say “pending”. I lost my investors, and 8 months worth of work, my employees 10 in total, not including myself.

I thought SOPA was going to protect American Job’s not loose them. This law has not even been passed, and it lost me and 10 other Americans Their Jobs. I can just imagine when it is passed. Hold on tight Here goes the small buisness. Thank You

FM Hilton (profile) says:

SOPA isn't dead, merely 'resting'

Good for Wikipedia.
But with some good news (SOPA might be delayed), there’s also a rumor going around that SOPA might be given to the HSA for total rule adoption-which means we’re doomed.

The Homeland Security Agency would totally love absolute control of the Internet.

I hope the rumor isn’t true, and it’s just fear-mongering-but if it is, there’s no way to fight a ‘formal adoption of rule’ by a government agency that can’t be bought.

At least legally.

Donny (profile) says:


But guyz what if the ends don’t justify the means? What if using a reference tool as though it were political activism tool is not ok? What if ‘effectiveness’ is not a measure of what’s acceptable? What if doing all this is some kind of transgression of duty?

Also, can someone explain what’s to stop this decision opening the door for subsequent political abuse of wikipedia? Pleading special circumstances? Isn’t that the same logic behind why it’s ok for PIPA to mangle established law and muzzle free expression?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hrm

First and foremost Wikipedia is an independent corporation. That is not owned by any government. I see no conflict here. Unless you think that corporations themselves should stay out of politics which I totally agree with.

When the RIAA, MPAA NBC, and all other corporations stop trying to act like they should have free speach then Wikipedia should follow suit.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Hrm

They don’t need a special reason to black out their own website, its that the law allows censoring other people’s sites that is a problem, not your own. You are already allowed to use your own website as you like and put up or take down whatever you like on it. I’m not sure I’m following how you think it’s the same logic at all. They don’t need any special circumstance if it’s their own site, they can change the content whenever they like. They could take their server and throw it in the bathtub if they wanted.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Hrm

Wikipedia is violating no laws in going dark nor does it endanger free expression as the Wikimedia folks have decided to exercise just that by going dark.

The reason they too so long to come to this decision is that they were concerned about their place as a reference work taking part in politics but have decided that this is well worth the risk. Good for them!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

First and foremost Wikipedia is an independent corporation. That is not owned by any government. I see no conflict here. Unless you think that corporations themselves should stay out of politics which I totally agree with.

When the RIAA, MPAA NBC, and all other corporations stop trying to act like they should have free speach then Wikipedia should follow suit.

Nope no fuck up sorry, And FYI Wikipedia has been politicized since inception. This isnt even the first protest they have done.

RevCharlieD (profile) says:


DO youactually think that Congress cares about us? Do you think we represent a significant portion of the world; enough so that we could garner support or even gain there ear? When we contribute the amounts of money that the proponenets and benificiaries of these bills do we will have Congress ear, then thsy will listen, not before.

Good luck

Hephaestus (profile) says:


You are so wrong, you are seeing the first steps towards fixing the political system in the US. People actually taking an interest in the laws being passed. Much like the NRA supports the second amendment, we the people are saying, in no uncertain terms, do not fuck with the first, and fourth amendments. If you do, we will remember and vote you out of office.

Violated (profile) says:

Heroes and Chickens

Nice to hear the official word.

I discovered the poll results earlier by accident while checking through who joined this SOPA/PIPA blackout and who did not. It was a very close tie between full site blackout and a top banner announcement but I was glad to spot a full English language blackout.

I did not spot their part about 24 hour blackout when I only noticed the approval for the 18th.

Well this is sure a great start in giving them a day they will never forget. I have already been going around asking sites like FaceBook to join this strike. I joke this could make good “nuclear blackout” recovery testing for their employees.

Wikipedia is a very big site but you have to wonder if Mark Zuckerberg really has “balls” big enough to take out his FaceBook creation? Scared are we? Chicken? Recovery possible? We shall see.

LC (profile) says:

“Holding the internet hostage will not win you any friends in Congress”

It to attempt to show those who aren’t quite-so-net-savvy what the future WILL hold under these bills. A 12-24 hour long taster, if you will.

And if that statement was true, why do the bills have any support at all in Congress? They’ll will effectively leave the internet at the mercy of the RIAA/MPAA, their archaic business models and anyone else whom has the capacity to take the time required to put up a real or false copyright claim against a website or business.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes, insult him and provide nothing to disprove what he says.

They are archaic business models. Focused entirely on physical goods, when what people want is digital content (in non-physical format) at reasonable prices with as little delay as possible easily accessible to them and to be used as they see fit (on any device they may own).

If they can’t/don’t want to meet their customer’s wants, somebody else will. It’s that simple. This is how business works.

Now if the people meeting the demand are doing so illegally, while that is wrong, at least they’re willing to step up. If the people able to provide the product legally aren’t willing to do so, that’s their loss obviously. And only further distancing themselves from their customer’s and their customer’s wallets/purses.

Me thinks the “fucking idiot” is the you and anyone who thinks that in this day and age you can still dictate terms to customers, as if they have no other options available to them. The truth is they do. Whether you approve of them or not. You won’t give them what they want, well… as I said, your loss.

Anonymous Coward says:

I wonder about something. The U.S. Government thinks it can shut down the internet. What I’m wondering is whether the exact opposite is in fact the case: that the internet could shut down the U.S. Government.

“For what it’s worth, I’ve been told by multiple Congressional staffers that Wikipedia is a tool they all rely on pretty much every day — so expect this to get some attention.” Ok, so what would happen if, instead of a ‘blackout’ of Wikipedia and other important sites for one day, a blackout that would harm everyone who wanted to access those sites that day (including innocent students trying to do their homework), what if those sites implemented a selective blackout, refusing to serve their web pages to any IP address that resolved to a .gov or related domain? If no senator, no representative, no congressional staffer, no federal agent at any federal agency no matter how large or small, could use Google or any other search engine, could not access information on Wikipedia or any other online encyclopedia or dictionary or archive, could not get the news from the NY Times web site or any other newspaper, not just wednesday but every day thereafter, would that get the government’s attention better than hurting all the other people who use the internet?

Call me Al says:

This is bringing attention to the issue

I’m not sure what it is like over in the US but Wikipedia’s stance here has brought a lot of attention to the issue in the UK. Last I looked the most shared BBC article today was about this and the Telegraph also has a front page article on their website.

The Guardian has one in their Tech section, although they are using “Twitter boss slams ‘silly’ Sopa protest” as their headline which I’m not particulary keen on.

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