The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States – the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate – that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia. This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made.[more]
Other websites going dark Wednesday in a SOPA strike action include Barry Diller’s Ask.com, O’Reilly Media websites, WordPress blogs, Craigslist, TwitPic, Reddit, and countless others. Google’s U.S. site will link to its SOPA action page from its homepage, where its logo is blacked out, while Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is refusing to shut down. Anonymous, reportedly, is planning to hack Sony for supporting SOPA.
Update: Wikipedia’s English-language site is blocked out with the image below and this message:
Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge – 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. Learn more.