Wow, most rapidly successful protest ever?

Just a couple of hours into the online strike against a proposed anti-piracy law, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla), a co-sponsor of the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (or PIPA, for humans), has pulled his support. Rubio is just the latest member of Congress to bail on the legislation. Which is much to the chagrin of content-creation baron and cranky billionaire Rupert Murdoch:

Meanwhile, AP is running an article about the most high-profile strike participant’s disabling of itself: “Wikipedia editors question site’s blackout.”

Wikipedia’s English-language site shut down at midnight Eastern Standard Time Tuesday and the organization said it would stay down for 24 hours…

It is the first time the English site has been blacked out…(S)ome editors are so uneasy with the move that they have blacked out their own user profile pages or resigned their administrative rights on the site to protest. Some likened the site’s decision to fighting censorship with censorship.

One of the site’s own “five pillars” of conduct says that Wikipedia “is written from a neutral point of view.” The site strives to “avoid advocacy, and we characterize information and issues rather than debate them.”

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales argues that the site can maintain neutrality in content even as it takes public positions on issues.

If you’re really panicked about not being able to access the Big W today, you can find on this page an easy-to-use bookmarklet that will unblock the site, which we were tipped off to via Gawker.

To make it work, drag the “Unblock Wikipedia” link to your bookmark bar, go to the Wikipedia page you want to view, and click on that same “Unblock Wikipedia” link that you now have bookmarked. You’ll then gain access to the Wikipedia page.

(You can also use Google’s cache function. Search for something on Google, and instead of clicking on the Wikipedia link, scroll over to the double arrows to the right of the link, then click on the “Cached” link.)

(Oh, and you can also access the site on your phone.)

Thus, only a few moment ago and without too much fuss, I was able to read all about former light-hitting Giants’ shortstop Johnnie LeMaster, just because he happened to pop into my head.

Proving yet again how important Wikipedia is to the intellectual life of our nation.

How to Access Wikipedia Today 18 January,2012Jon Brooks

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor