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Wikipedia is taking dramatic action in its protest of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
Site co-founder Jimmy Wales lit up his Twitter feed Monday with a flurry of posts announcing the English language version of the highly-trafficked database would go dark on Wednesday.
“Student warning,” he wrote. “Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday! #sopa”
Though targeted at media pirates, many accuse SOPA and the related Protect IP Act (PIPA) of being too broad, noting it could infringe on free speech and innovation. Reddit and website collective Cheezburger network are already scheduled to blackout. And Craigslist is running a note atop the site: “[The Bills] are threatening CL and the rest of your Internet. Most of the web sites you use strongly oppose these bills.”
Interacting with many followers throughout the day, Wales told followers that the decision to go dark was a “community” one made within the company.
And all of this SOPA outcry seems to be doing something. A House subcommittee was due to prepare the bill for a vote in January, with the Senate planning a vote on PIPA even sooner, but now both are stuck in delays. Over the weekend, the White House voiced issues with two parts of SOPA and PIPA, veritably killing them — much to the frustration of Rupert Murdoch.
Still, none of these developments seem to have dissuaded any participants in Wednesday’s blackout.
In one of many showings of commitment to the plan, Wales chimed in with a timely Martin Luther King Jr. quote, tweeting “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
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