Wikipedia, Google join protest against SOPA


It's the go-to website for a quick fact check, but Wikipedia is dark Wednesday. Wikipedia started a 24-hour blackout of its English-language articles.

The online encyclopedia is protesting two measures before Congress. Wikipedia isn't the only site to shut down and tech types are gearing up for a fight.

"You got to do what you believe," said Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

Wales says the online user-generated encyclopedia will shut down for 24 hours or more to protest SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill that pits the innovators of Silicon Valley against the entertainers of Hollywood.

It would let a judge require web companies to take down links and stop credit card payments to sites accused of violating a copyright.

The Internet companies are concerned that the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House, and the Protect Intellectual Property Act under consideration in the Senate, could be used to target legitimate sites where users share content.

The backlash against it is growing. The reaction has been compared to the Occupy Wall Street movement - except this is happening on the internet.

Wikipedia joins over a dozen well-known sites like Google and perhaps hundreds of smaller ones, all shutting down or voicing their protest for one day.

Google today blacked out the logo on its home page. It directed surfers to a page where they could add their names to a petition against the legislation.

Craigslist, the local classified ad site, changed its local home pages to a black screen directing users to an anti-legislation page. After 10 seconds, though, a link to the main Craigslist site appears on the home page.

The general manager of Reddit replaced his site with a landing page urging visitors to call members of Congress and express their disapproval.

"This is a really big deal and this is something we're gonna fight and this is something we think threatens the entire tech sector," said Erik Martin General Manager, Reddit.

The Wikipedia blackout isn't complete. The block can be bypassed by changing browser settings to disable JavaScript.