Yes, this inconceivable scenario can really happen! It may be possible that soon we won’t have our all mighty online encyclopedia to answer all of our questions… Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales is considering shutting it down as a response against the controversial SOPA bill hearings.
What Is The SOPA Bill?
The bill “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) that initially introduced on late October at the U.S. House Of Representatives (and it still under discussions and hearings), is basically suppose to grant if passed the U.S. law enforcements much greater power fighting against infringing copyright sites.
The SOPA bill proposition has drew almost immediately tremendous amount of hit from all fronts with the (justified for my opinion) claims it will cripple free speech and will damage enormously technological innovation as entrepreneur will be too intimated.
Wikipedia Considering a “Strike”
Wikipedia’s co-founder, Jimmy Wales, has published a post where he shares his thoughts about shutting down Wikipedia completely or at least the English Wikipedia in an effort to fight the “misleading title” bill. He is asking from the general Wikipedia community to help him reach a decision by participating in a poll (note that it is just a poll, not a vote as he emphasis).
Jimmy is mentioning in his post a similar bill that has been discussed in the Italian Parliament over the past year. To protest against this bill, the Italian Wikipedia community closed Italian Wikipedia, a move that caused the Italian Parliament to withdraw the bill from the table very fast.
From what i have seen so far, Jimmy Wales has a strong support from the community to blackout Wikipedia to oppose SOPA. All things consider, there is a big chance we would lose our biggest source of knowledge on the web soon, in an effort to stop internet censorship.