Wikipedia, Google and Others Blackout Protesting Against SOPA

One can now find a large black banner covering the Wikipedia site. Once you land yourself in the English version of Wikipedia, you will no longer have access to the content that the free encyclopedia  provides. Rather, a large black screen will cover your monitor and feature a small protest message to SOPA.

If you are entirely new to the term SOPA, let me explain it for you. Stop Online Piracy Act abbreviated as SOPA is a new bill that is under consideration in the US congress. This bill is set to allow US government to block Americans from viewing certain websites, that prove harmful to the country. With SOPA being passed, it is set to affect many Internet users out there, who’s entire life depends on the Web. That’s the reason why many of the biggest tech giants like Google, Wikipedia and others are on the run to protest against SOPA.

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A few days back, GoDaddy announced it’s support to SOPA. Within seconds of it’s announcement, many of the users of GoDaddy quit using it. At the end of the first day, GoDaddy witnessed a really big lose. Around 20K users quit GoDaddy. Days later, GoDaddy withdrew it’s support to SOPA, yet it is suffering a major blow.

As you read in the title, now, other major tech giants like Wikipedia and Google are on the protest march. The protest march from Wikipedia quotes a message requesting the US congress not to approve this bill. In the words of Wikipedia it can be put as,

Image a world without free knowledge. For over a decade we have spent millions of hours building the largest human 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.

While Wikipedia is blacking out the entire site of English version, other versions of Wikipedia sport a small banner of the notice at the top, rather than blacking out the full page. When you land in any article in Wikipedia, you will actually have access to the content for a few seconds after which the site completely blackens.

Also, Google Inc. seems to have joined the protest march. According to the reports, Google, on January 18 midnight, covered it’s logo with a black box. Unlike, Wikipedia and Reddit’s total blackout, this simple change by Google, requests users to tell Congress Please don’t censor the web. As of now, Google’s all new blackened logo is visible only to the Google users in US. Also, Google has placed a small link below the search box sporting the text, Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!

If you ask Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, the reason for this full site blackout, he would probably reply This bill is poorly constructed, quite dangerous and won’t actually address the real problem of piracy. Internet policy shouldn’t be set by Hollywood. While Jimmy thinks so, Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, tells that his blogging site, Twitter, won’t be joining this protest march and also adds,

That’s just silly. Closing a global business in reaction to single issue national politics is foolish

What’s your thought? Is Wikipedia’s decision right? Should SOPA be passed? Do drop in your comments below and also share this news with your fellows out there.