Wikipedia has entered a twenty-four hour blackout in protest of SOPA and PIPA, the US anti-piracy acts currently giving free-internet advocates headaches. Visit any English-language Wikipedia page and instead of a crowd-sourced entry you’ll be prompted to “Imagine a world without free knowledge” as well as offered links to spread the message. Meanwhile, Google has opened up some of its historically whitespace homepage for an anti-SOPA call to arms, while other sites prepare to go dark.
Google’s “End Piracy, Not Liberty” campaign takes a similar approach to Wikipedia, explaining how SOPA/PIPA could be used to censor the internet in a way that doesn’t actually challenge piracy. It’s a stance that has already earned the search company vocal criticism, with News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch blasting Google as the “piracy leader” of the internet.
Meanwhile, reddit’s twelve hour blackout begins in around four hours time, at time of publishing, while Firefox developer Mozilla has also announced that it will be joining in with a blackout of its own. Other participating sites can be found here.
In desperate need of a quick Wikipedia look-up? The online encyclopedia’s English-language mobile site is still functional, will likely load automatically on your phone (and some tablets), and is accessible in regular browsers by visiting m.wikipedia.com.
If you’re more interested in finding out what, exactly, SOPA and PIPA are, and why you should be concerned by them, head over to our SlashGear 101 explanation.