The SOPA/PIPA internet censorship legislation opposition movement gained a huge momentum yesterday after one of the major players of the web decided to also take an active action to oppose the controversial bills- Wikipedia (in English) will go offline for 24 hours on January 18th (tomorrow).
The Community Decided: Blackout!
About a month ago ago, i reported that Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s founder, is debating if to shut down Wikipedia as a protest against SOPA/PIPA and asked from the community their thoughts about this radical move. Since then and until yesterday, thousands of “Wikipedians” have shared their opinion about the issue where there was a general consensus: Going dark!
So yesterday, the Wikimedia Foundation (the non-profit organization that runs Wikipedia), has released a press release officially announcing that on January 18th English Wikipedia will go offline for 24 hours period as a protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) legislation:
“This legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States.” (Wikimedia Foundation’s press release)
SOPA Dropped, PIPA Still Alive
Wikipedia is joining a few other websites that decided to go dark on January 18th and led by the highly popular social news community, Reddit, in a big opposition movement that sets to put pressure on the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to cancel the SOPA/PIPA bills proposed legislation (the movement even released SEO-friendly blackout WordPress plugin).
The movement already achieved at least some success, after their pressure and petitions caused the Obama administration to publicly release a response opposing the SOPA bill: “we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.”
After the White House official opposition to SOPA, the Majority Leader Eric Cantor had no choice and stopped the SOPA legislation (at least for now). However, the PIPA bill is still very much alive and this is why Wikipedia has decided to continue with the blackout, as Jimmy Wales Tweeted yesterday: “SOPA is crippled now. PIPA is still extremely dangerous.”