This is a first – Wikipedia has decided to stage a black out for entire English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC (10:30 am India time) on Wednesday, January 18.
This Wikipedia blackout is arranged in protest of proposed legislation in the United States — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECTIP Act (PIPA) Act. These acts are expected to put severe restrictions and harm free and open speech on Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States!
Jimmy Wales founder of Wikipedia said:
“Today Wikipedians from around the world have spoken about their opposition to this destructive legislation, this is an extraordinary action for our community to take – and while we regret having to prevent the world from having access to Wikipedia for even a second, we simply cannot ignore the fact that SOPA and PIPA endanger free speech both in the United States and abroad, and set a frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world."
Here is Wikipedia’s Press Statement regarding the same!
2012 will probably be known for this – The fight for free, open & uncensored speech on the Internet. Globally, various countries are grappling with the same issue. The rise of Social Media sites have made it easy for anyone and everyone to easily express themselves. While some anti-social elements take advantage of it, millions of users cannot and should not suffer due to them.
I am totally and wholly in favour of this protest from Wikipedia! What about you?