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English Wikipedia anti-SOPA blackout
wikipedia ^ | 16 Jan 2012 | Sue Gardner

Posted on 01/16/2012 8:21:15 PM PST by smokingfrog

Today, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECTIP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate—that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.

This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made. Here’s how it’s been described by the three Wikipedia administrators who formally facilitated the community’s discussion. From the public statement, signed by User:NuclearWarfare, User:Risker and User:Billinghurst:

It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web.
Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a “blackout” of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support.
On careful review of this discussion, the closing administrators note the broad-based support for action from Wikipedians around the world, not just from within the United States. The primary objection to a global blackout came from those who preferred that the blackout be limited to readers from the United States, with the rest of the world seeing a simple banner notice instead. We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one, with many pointing to concerns about similar legislation in other nations.

In making this decision, Wikipedians will be criticized for seeming to abandon neutrality to take a political position. That’s a real, legitimate issue. We want people to trust Wikipedia, not worry that it is trying to propagandize them.

But although Wikipedia’s articles are neutral, its existence is not. As Wikimedia Foundation board member Kat Walsh wrote on one of our mailing lists recently,

We depend on a legal infrastructure that makes it possible for us to operate. And we depend on a legal infrastructure that also allows other sites to host user-contributed material, both information and expression. For the most part, Wikimedia projects are organizing and summarizing and collecting the world’s knowledge. We’re putting it in context, and showing people how to make to sense of it.
But that knowledge has to be published somewhere for anyone to find and use it. Where it can be censored without due process, it hurts the speaker, the public, and Wikimedia. Where you can only speak if you have sufficient resources to fight legal challenges, or, if your views are pre-approved by someone who does, the same narrow set of ideas already popular will continue to be all anyone has meaningful access to.

The decision to shut down the English Wikipedia wasn’t made by me; it was made by editors, through a consensus decision-making process. But I support it.

Like Kat and the rest of the Wikimedia Foundation Board, I have increasingly begun to think of Wikipedia’s public voice, and the goodwill people have for Wikipedia, as a resource that wants to be used for the benefit of the public. Readers trust Wikipedia because they know that despite its faults, Wikipedia’s heart is in the right place. It’s not aiming to monetize their eyeballs or make them believe some particular thing, or sell them a product. Wikipedia has no hidden agenda: it just wants to be helpful.

That’s less true of other sites. Most are commercially motivated: their purpose is to make money. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a desire to make the world a better place—many do!—but it does mean that their positions and actions need to be understood in the context of conflicting interests.

My hope is that when Wikipedia shuts down on January 18, people will understand that we’re doing it for our readers. We support everyone’s right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression. We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it. We believe in a free and open Internet where information can be shared without impediment. We believe that new proposed laws like SOPA –and PIPA, and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States– don’t advance the interests of the general public. You can read a very good list of reasons to oppose SOPA and PIPA here, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Why is this a global action, rather than US-only? And why now, if some American legislators appear to be in tactical retreat on SOPA?

The reality is that we don’t think SOPA is going away, and PIPA is still quite active. Moreover, SOPA and PIPA are just indicators of a much broader problem. All around the world, we’re seeing the development of legislation seeking to regulate the internet in other ways while hurting our online freedoms. Our concern extends beyond SOPA and PIPA: they are just part of the problem. We want the Internet to remain free and open, everywhere, for everyone.

  Make your voice heard!

On January 18, we hope you’ll agree with us, and will do what you can to make your own voice heard.

Sue Gardner,
Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation



TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Computers/Internet; Reference
KEYWORDS: blackout; sopa

1 posted on 01/16/2012 8:21:25 PM PST by smokingfrog
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To: smokingfrog

SOPA may not be well and truly dead yet, but at least it’s on hold:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngaudiosi/2012/01/16/obama-says-so-long-sopa-killing-controversial-internet-piracy-legislation/


2 posted on 01/16/2012 8:26:16 PM PST by bigbob
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To: smokingfrog
We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it. We believe in a free and open Internet where information can be shared without impediment.

Intellectual Property rights. [shrug] Who needs 'em? [/s]

3 posted on 01/16/2012 8:30:47 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

I’m not sure this is at all wise.

People who want to use the resource are going to go elsewhere, and they are less likely to use wikipedia.

What’s next a blackout for other political causes? End of an era.


4 posted on 01/16/2012 8:39:17 PM PST by BenKenobi (Rick Santorum - "The Force is strong with this one")
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

US Crackdown On Web Piracy 'Shelved'



Thanks smokingfrog.

5 posted on 01/16/2012 8:40:14 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: smokingfrog

I hope it does pass and the Noob signs it because if he does he can forget about anyone under 30 voting for him. Yes! Do it do it do it do it! “Cha man dude I caun’t DL anymore MP3s, video games, TV shows, movies. Obama You dick! (spoken like Jeff Spicolli)


6 posted on 01/16/2012 8:48:04 PM PST by GrandJediMasterYoda (Illegal aliens do not belong in the USA. Deport Obama.)
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To: smokingfrog

I don’t use Reddit, but its one of the largest websites in the world...

http://blog.reddit.com/2012/01/stopped-they-must-be-on-this-all.html
Indeed, the Oversight Committee Hearing gained even more attention after Reddit’s administrators on Tuesday announced they would be taking the so-called nuclear option, “blacking out” the entire website in protest of the proposed legislation.

Instead of the typical chaotic plethora of user-posted links, images, comics, discussions and other content that is usually hosted on the website (recently propelling it to 2 billion pageviews a month), Reddit will offer only a live video stream of the hearing and a simple message encouraging users to contact their Congressional representatives to tell them they are opposed to the bill.

However, as several Reddit commentators (Redditors) and tech writers outside of the website pointed out, much of Reddit is already opposed to the legislation, and not many members of Congress use Reddit, so it is unclear just how big of an impact the protest will have.


7 posted on 01/16/2012 8:53:00 PM PST by JerseyHighlander
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To: BenKenobi
> What’s next a blackout for other political causes?

I would agree with your position IF this were a political move, but it is not. This is a protest directly against a direct attack on the internet. It is not "political" in the normal sense of "political" actions -- it happens to involve Congress because Congress makes laws, but the threat being protested is about a resource (the internet), not merely some political party, platform, or position.

8 posted on 01/16/2012 9:00:08 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: dayglored

look out for Wikipedia to embrace ‘strikes’ for the latest lefty cause de jour.


9 posted on 01/16/2012 9:01:04 PM PST by BenKenobi (Rick Santorum - "The Force is strong with this one")
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To: smokingfrog

Freepers, this is a teaching moment.

These leftidiots are feeling the sting of the overeach by the obama government THEY supported. Some scales might fall off some eyes.

It’s a good thing.

And if Wikipedia gets gutted as a result of trying to stand up to the obamantion, no great loss. They’ll just learn an eternal truth about statists aka marxists: totalitarians ALWAYS destroy the useful idiots first. Why? Because it’s a way to secure power and it’s EASY. After all, most of the leftidiots never see it coming (despite history)!


10 posted on 01/16/2012 9:31:37 PM PST by piytar (The Obama Depression. Say it early, say it often. Why? Because it's TRUE.)
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To: BenKenobi

Um, SOPA is as much a threat to us as it is to them. It’s pure crony capitalism aka a big govt power grab..

Frankly, I’m just shocked these leftidiots see it...


11 posted on 01/16/2012 9:35:26 PM PST by piytar (The Obama Depression. Say it early, say it often. Why? Because it's TRUE.)
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To: piytar

Do you think I support it? Hardly.

I just think there’s a better way to fight it.


12 posted on 01/16/2012 9:38:10 PM PST by BenKenobi (Rick Santorum - "The Force is strong with this one")
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To: smokingfrog

The average user will care less that Wikipedia goes down for a day and won’t even notice Reddit gone.

Talk about shooting your head off to spite your face.


13 posted on 01/16/2012 9:41:03 PM PST by VeniVidiVici (Obama's War on Prosperity is killing me)
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To: BenKenobi

“I just think there’s a better way to fight it.”

Oh, I agree. But if these leftidiots want to turn themselves into cannon fodder fighting something they helped (and help) create through their blatant obama whoreshipping leftist bias, I’m all for it...


14 posted on 01/16/2012 9:45:48 PM PST by piytar (The Obama Depression. Say it early, say it often. Why? Because it's TRUE.)
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To: BenKenobi

After all, BenK, every bullet they take isn’t one that can directed our way...


15 posted on 01/16/2012 9:48:08 PM PST by piytar (The Obama Depression. Say it early, say it often. Why? Because it's TRUE.)
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To: piytar

Is one that can’t PIMF


16 posted on 01/16/2012 9:50:14 PM PST by piytar (The Obama Depression. Say it early, say it often. Why? Because it's TRUE.)
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To: BenKenobi

> look out for Wikipedia to embrace ‘strikes’ for the latest lefty cause de jour.

Don’t hold your breath waiting. That’s not their thing.

Look, if you don’t like Wikipedia, that’s okay, use the Brit or World Book or Conservapedia. But don’t waste time looking under the bed, your enemies are the power hungry idiots making laws that restrict your freedom. Not the folks defending liberty and protesting the power grab.


17 posted on 01/16/2012 10:41:41 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: BenKenobi

> I just think there’s a better way to fight it.

And that would be... What? I don’t see any practical and effective and quick-acting way mentioned in your prior comments.

Care to enlighten us?


18 posted on 01/16/2012 10:46:39 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: dayglored

Uh. I’m a wikipedian. ;)


19 posted on 01/16/2012 10:53:12 PM PST by BenKenobi (Rick Santorum - "The Force is strong with this one")
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To: BenKenobi

> Uh. I’m a wikipedian. ;)

Cool! So am I, as you would know if you read my FR Profile page.

What’s your handle? Can’t seem to find one that matches BenKenobi, but maybe I missed it...


20 posted on 01/16/2012 10:58:13 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: dayglored; BenKenobi

...or more accurately, there are multiple candidates but no exact match.


21 posted on 01/16/2012 11:01:35 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: dayglored

Last check 4.7k edits.

“Care to enlighten us?”

Sure. Wikipedia’s strength is that it is perceived as nonpartisan. Wikipedians would be better off as individuals to set up their own dedicated campaign to defeating SOPA, rather then using Wikipedia as their vehicle.

Taking a hands-off approach, but recruiting people through wikipedia accomplishes the same thing - without cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Boycotts are only effective when they have an impact on their target. Dr. King’s bus boycott was effective, because the bus companies were dependent on their patronage. Wikipedia:

1, does not patronize the government or influence the government in such a way that the government would be dependent on them.

2, it raises the question. If SOPA is serious enough to merit ‘intervention’, then why not lefty cause of the day. This isn’t an argument that Wikipedia wants to go down.

3, with the existence of the mirror sites, which are going to be still up, Wikipedia isn’t actually depriving anyone of access to their content. In short, they are adopting the tactics of their enemies and the goal of their enemies, to censor the web.

That’s why it has to be a collaborative, grassroots effort by wikipedians, everyone who has a stake. This, just damages the core purpose of wikipedia.


22 posted on 01/16/2012 11:02:27 PM PST by BenKenobi (Rick Santorum - "The Force is strong with this one")
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To: dayglored

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_Catholic_dioceses_(structured_view)


23 posted on 01/16/2012 11:04:19 PM PST by BenKenobi (Rick Santorum - "The Force is strong with this one")
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To: BenKenobi

Okay, fair enough, your activity level far exceeds mine and I will defer to your greater stake. :)

What you wrote makes sense, and I could get behind your suggestion.

Not sure about the link. Heck of a long page, once I added the closing parenthesis missing from the URL. I checked the revision history but didn’t become enlightened... Could you tell me what you meant by the link? Thanks!


24 posted on 01/16/2012 11:16:11 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: BenKenobi

This is not a blackout for a political reason but for something that would shut down wikipedia’s way to operate. The problem is that if you want this resource, there is no other good way to get it — knowledge is what wikipedia deals in, collective knowledge, collective consciousness if you will. There is no other viable alternative of this scale.


25 posted on 01/17/2012 4:26:06 AM PST by Cronos (Party like it's 12 20, 2012)
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To: SunkenCiv
"US Crackdown On Web Piracy 'Shelved'"

...until after the election.

26 posted on 01/17/2012 5:01:18 AM PST by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: Cronos

The problem is that a strike won’t accomplish what they set out to do.


27 posted on 01/17/2012 11:31:05 AM PST by BenKenobi (Rick Santorum - "The Force is strong with this one")
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To: smokingfrog
... proposed legislation in the United States—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECTIP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate—that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet

The SOPA and the PIPA are products of Chris Dodd, Democrat.

Hey Mommyment ! Keep your hands off the Internet.

28 posted on 01/18/2012 7:22:41 AM PST by pyx (Rule#1.The LEFT lies.Rule#2.See Rule#1. IF THE LEFT CONTROLS THE LANGUAGE, IT CONTROLS THE ARGUMENT.)
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To: SunkenCiv

It’s not shelved. They are lying. For months the mainstream media has hidden these bills. These bills will allow government to censor and kill the Internet.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2834125/posts?q=1&;page=51


29 posted on 01/18/2012 10:08:26 AM PST by Democrat_media (China is destroying all our jobs and manufacturing ability. China makes everything.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
These politicians always say bills are about protecting some rights or to save the children or some other moral reason.They lie. What this is about: Government gaining much more power and government censoring and shutting down the Internet.

These bills are the worst attack against freedom I’ve ever seen .To think that anyone with any sense supports these bills boggles the mind.

These politicians and the mainstream media hate the Internet because people like us and sites like Freerepublic expose the truth. These bills would effectively censor and shut down the Internet which is what government wants.

The mainstream media hates this protest and the media have been hiding these bills.

How did that save the children welfare state turn out? That save the world global warming EPA crackdown? Shall I go on?

30 posted on 01/18/2012 10:27:22 AM PST by Democrat_media (China is destroying all our jobs and manufacturing ability. China makes everything.)
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