IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT FREE KNOWLEDGE.
, our go-to for quick and easy look-up about basic information on anything and everything under the sun has shut down its site for the next 24 hours!
All English wiki entries will redirect you to the page pictured above.
Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization operating Wikipedia, is protesting two legislations -- Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)
in the U.S. House of Representatives, and PROTECTIP (PIPA)
in the U.S. Senate -- which will threaten the free and open use of Internet with their provisions on censorship of materials posted online.
ôToday Wikipedians from around the world have spoken about their opposition to this destructive legislation," said Jimmy Wales in a statement
, founder of Wikipedia. "This is an extraordinary action for our community to take - and while we regret having to prevent the world from having access to Wikipedia for even a second, we simply cannot ignore the fact that SOPA and PIPA endanger free speech both in the United States and abroad, and set a frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world."
According to BBC News
, "The bills propose that anyone found guilty of streaming copyrighted content without permission 10 or more times within six months should face up to five years in jail."
"Senate majority leader Harry Reid plans to put PIPA up for a vote in the upper house on 24 January, while, SOPA supporters are trying to reach consensus on the bill before putting it to a vote in the House of Representatives, which suggests that any vote may be some way off," BBC News reports.
Various social media sites and search engines have rallied behind Wiki's cause, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, eBay, LinkedIn, AOL and Zynga. Follow updates on Twitter using the hashtag #wikipediablackout.
Read the primer
on Wikipedia's protest.