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Wikipedia set for 24 hour blackout in US in protest to Congress


By The Drum Team, Editorial

January 17, 2012 | 1 min read

Wikipedia is to shut down tomorrow (Wednesday) for a period of 24-hours in protest against two Congressional Bills which will aim to fight online copyright infringement.

According to The New York Times, the shut-down, also being implemented by Reddit and BoingBoing, will be in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, which have attracted criticism from the technology sector, which claims that it could force search engines and service providers to block access to sites that contain links to copyrighted material.

Wordpress also intends to supply banners of protest to its bloggers through a widget.

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales confirmed the move through Twitter and told The New York Times that they hoped to send a message to Washington that the online community was unhappy with the possible effects that the bill could cause.

The Wikipedia blackout is only planned for American users who will instead see information about the bill during the hours that the site is down.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has described the decision by Wikipedia as ‘foolish’ and ‘silly’.


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