Tomorrow: Wikipedia, Reddit, Cheezburger Network Will Blackout in SOPA Protest

Tomorrow (Wednesday) might not be the best day to rely on Wikipedia to do research or find your favorite LOLcats to give you a laugh. A number of extremely prominent websites will be "going dark" to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act includingWikipedia, the Cheezburger network, BoingBoing and Reddit.

In my opinion, this is like the online version of a strike--it's a reminder to internet users and the powers that be that we rely on these sites, and that consumers deprived of their favorite resources are a potentially angry and powerful bunch.

From the New York Times bits blog

Wikipedia is the latest Web site to decide to shut on Wednesday in protest against the two Congressional bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act, often called SOPA, and the Protect IP Act, which is often called PIPA. The bills have attracted fierce opposition from many corners of the technology industry. Opponents say several of the provisions in the legislation, including those that may force search engines and Internet service providers to block access to Web sites that offer or link to copyrighted material, would stifle innovation, enable censorship and tamper with the livelihood of businesses on the Internet.

Nearly 800 members of Wikipedia have been debating and voting  whether the English-version of the site should participate in a blackout since December.

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, confirmed the site’s decision on Monday on Twitter, writing: “Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday!”

 Also going dark in protest? Everyone's favorite source for LOLcats and other internet funnies, the Cheezburger network, which,according to Twitter, inspired Wikipedia in its decision. 

Meanwhile, Gawker has a humorous list of things to do while Wiki is down. Top on the list? Lie to people. Without Wikipedia, they'll never know.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at January 17, 2012, 4:29am

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