In protest of two anti-piracy laws — the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act — being considered by Congress, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced on Monday that the community encyclopedia site will be shut down for 24 hours, beginning last night at 12 a.m. EST.
Other popular websites such as Reddit and BoingBoing reportedly plan to join the “blackout” to advocate against SOPA and PIPA, which have been widely criticized for their ambiguity and potential for abuse. Additionally, the bills could hold sites such as Google, Facebook and Twitter responsible if their users post links containing any pirated or copyrighted material.
While Google has not announced plans to join the blackout, its logo is covered by a black bar that reads “Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!” when scrolled over. Google co-founder Sergey Brin also spoke out against the legislation in a December Google+ post.
“While I support their goal of reducing copyright infringement (which I don’t believe these acts would accomplish), I am shocked that our lawmakers would contemplate such measures that would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world,” Brin said.
— Staff Report