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Wiki Stages Blackout to Protest Piracy| International News by Staff Reporter
A 24-hour blackout has been planned for Wikipedia in protest of internet piracy bills
Wikipedia, the world’s largest encyclopedia, has been shut down for a period of 24-hours in protest of anti-piracy legislation in the US.
“Wikipedians have chosen to black out the English Wikipedia for the first time ever, because we are concerned that SOPA and PIPA will severely inhibit people’s access to online information,” said the website. “This is not a problem that will solely affect people in the United States: it will affect everyone around the world.”
According to Wikipedia “SOPA and PIPA are badly drafted legislation that won’t be effective in their main goal (to stop copyright infringement), and will cause serious damage to the free and open internet.”
There are, however, volunteer editors of the site who feel the move may threaten the credibility of their contributions.
One such editor, Robert Lawton, said, “My main concern is that it puts the organization in the role of advocacy, and that’s a slippery slope.
“Before we know it, we're blacked out because we want to save the whales,” he said.
People visiting Wikipedia during its blackout would find a black and white page containing a message about the legislation instead of the usual Wikipedia articles.
“For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history,” reads the message on the Wiki page. “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.”