January 18 is a date that will live in ignorance,as Wikipedia started a 24-hour blackout of itsEnglish-language articles, joining other sites ina protest of pending U.S. legislation aimed atshutting down sites that share pirated movies andother content.
Reddit.com shut down its social news service for12 hours. Other sites made their views clearwithout cutting off surfers. Google blacked outthe logo on its home page, directing surfers to apage where they could add their names to apetition against the bills.
Local listings site Craigslist took a middleroute, changing its local home pages to a blackscreen directing users to an anti-legislationpage. After 10 seconds, a link to the main siteappears on the home page, but some surfers missedthat and were fooled into thinking the whole sitewas blacked out.
The Internet companies are concernedthat the StopOnline Piracy Act in the House and the ProtectIntellectual Property Act under consideration inthe Senate, if passed, could be used to targetlegitimate sites where users share content.
The 24-hour Wikipedia blackout is an unprecedentedmove for the online encyclopedia. The decision wasreached after polling the community ofcontributors, but dissenters say politicaladvocacy undermines the site's mission as aneutral source.
There's also a "mirror" or copy, of Wikipediacalled The Free Dictionary, but it's not up todate.
Wikipedia for mobiles:http://en.m.wikipedia.org/
"Mirror" site of Wikipedia:http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/