The bad news is that while SOPA may be “shelved,” PIPA is still on. The good news is that while PIPA may still be on, Jimmy Wales has come out and announced that Wikipedia’s anti-SOPA, anti-PIPA blackout is on too. The decision isn’t unilateral, but rather by concensus of the Wikipedia community and as such, the English language Wikipedia will be going dark on January 18th from midnight to midnight EST reaching an estimated 25 million users globally. Better listen to what Jimmy says and get your homework done ahead of time.
In addition to the English Wikipedia going dark, the German Wikipedia will be displaying a banner. The rest of the Wikipedias have been tasked with making their own decisions. Some of the details are up in the air, but it seems that the consensus is leaning towards a full blackout meaning that you’ll hit a blackout page and there will be no way to click your way through to Wikipedia.
While Wales has been catching some flak on Twitter, he’s made a point of being completely transparent; this is a community decision, up to the community to make, the details of which are still being hashed out on the SOPA blackout talk page.
It may seem like the January 18th blackout might be poorly timed since SOPA has been “shelved indefinitely” but that may not actually be the case. This commitment to blacking out and taking serious, serious measures to protest the coming legislation not only makes a statement against SOPA and PIPA but everything else like it that may or may not be shelved, fixed, modified, mitigated, in limbo, long passed, or yet to come. Blackouts in the face of a government that seems to be shying away from SOPA illustrates nothing other than the complete and utter commitment to complete and utter destruction of the bills at hand.
- Wikipedia has been considering this for a while
- Mojang, Cheezburger, and Destructoid are in too
- And there’s no telling who else might join up