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English Wikipedia Protest Blackout: 1/18/2012

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There will be a 24 hour blackout of English WikiPedia on Wednesday, 1/18/2012, to protest proposed legislation by US Congress to limit free access of American citizens to world wide web information. See:


From Wiki:



ABC News:


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The blackout is upon us!


From discussion and mock-ups of the blackout page design appearing at wikipedia’s discussion page on the subject up to a few days ago, I expected the blackout page to allow clicking an inconspicuous “please take me to the page anyway” link, but to my dismay, I can’t find that.


Fortunately, the benevolent masters of wikipedia don’t make it hard to override the blackout, which is contained in each page’s banner, where its appeals for donations usually appear: just append “?banner=none” to the end of the url (but before the #), and the page will graciously display.


As hypography and hypographers rely heavily on wikipedia, knowing this simple technique should help calm our nerves and preserve our sanity. ;)

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Since I broadly support the purpose of the blackout I feel it would be dishonest and dishonourable to use the work-around you have proposed.

Quite the ethical quandary, “fighting censorship with censorship”!


Since wikipedia’s admins could obviously have made the blackout uncircumventable had they chosen to, and discussion at wikipedia preceding the blackout mentioned that they didn’t want to disrupt use by regular supporters, I took the polite and obvious “open side door” as an invitation to step around the blackout screen. I’ve signed several petitions and written emails and actual paper letters to my congress person objecting to provisions of SOAP/PIPA/whatever similar bill may come along, so, as the blackout of wikipedia and other sites was intended to prompt USers to voice their objections (and imagine what a censored internet could feel like), I believe I’ve paid the price of admission, preserving my honor as a netzen, while remaining true to the higher principle that information wants to be free (accessible).


Embedding the banner attribute in a link, which I didn’t do, would have been, to me, unscrupulous.


The protest theatrics (which, according to most sources, were very effective in causing US congress people to withdraw their support for SOAP and PIPA) complete for a day, I’d like to share our opinions of what, if anything, governments should do about the non-tangible (AKA intellectual) property law so flagrantly flaunted by the scurrilous pirates of the internet seas. ;)


But seriously.

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