Anonymous joins anti-SOPA blackout as Wikipedia mulls support

Jan 12, 2012
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Anonymous joins anti-SOPA blackout as Wikipedia mulls support

Loosely-gathered hack collective Anonymous has announced it too will be joining reddit's anti-SOPA blackout on January 18, with Wikipedia apparently considering to participate in the online protest as well. "On Jan 18th you will see no tweets from this account between 8a and 8p EST in support of #SOPAblackout!" the group's AnonymousIRC account tweeted, referring to the user-curated site's decision to go offline to raise awareness of the pending act. Meanwhile, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said he was "all in favor" of the blackout, and that  it would be great if [Wikipedia] could act quickly to coordinate with Reddit."

"I'd like to talk to our government affairs advisor to see if they agree on this as useful timing, but assuming that's a greenlight, I think that matching what Reddit does (but in our own way of course) per the emerging consensus on how to do it, is a good idea. But that means we need to move forward quickly on a concrete proposal and vote - we don't have the luxury of time that we usually have, in terms of negotiating with each other for weeks about what's exactly the best possible thing to do. As I understand it, the Foundation is talking to people about how we can geolocate and guide people to their Congressperson, etc. Geoff will know about that. Our task is to decide to do it with a thumbs up / thumbs down vote" Jimmy Wales, founder, Wikipedia

Wikipedia had mulled a blackout earlier this month, as part of NetCoalition discussions with Amazon, PayPal, Google and others about whether a period of synchronized downtime could rally opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act. A similar stunt by tumblr last year prompted near 90,000 calls to US Representatives.

Blogging platform WordPress has also joined the anti-SOPA drive, though it's unclear if it's also advocating a blackout. "Blogging is a form of activism" community manager Jane Wells said in a post on the company's own blog. "You can be an agent of change."

"The people writing these laws are not the people writing the independent web, and they are not out to protect it. We have to stand up for it ourselves" Jane Wells, WordPress

More information on how you can help raise awareness - both public and among senators - around SOPA opposition here.

[via The Inquirer]


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