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Summary:

A small loophole for Wikipedia’s SOPA and PIPA protest, in which the English-language version of the site has gone dark for 24 hours: the mo…

Wikipedia Zero Sample

A small loophole for Wikipedia’s SOPA and PIPA protest, in which the English-language version of the site has gone dark for 24 hours: the mobile site and apps are still working.

As of the the time of writing, if you point your phone — or, indeed, your desktop/laptop’s web browser — to the English-language mobile site (link here) you can still search for an article on what the words protest or piracy mean, and millions of other things.

Update: It appears that Wikimedia’s iPhone and Android apps are also still working, as is the Wiki app made for the Mac by third-party developer iSolute. Also as Gary Price has pointed out to me and written on his blog, the web pages also work if you “simply disable JavaScript”, or perhaps even more simply halt the page loat with your escape key just before it loads up the black page. [original post continues below]

A odd catch to the mobile web version: it you type in a request on the mobile page and hit “return” on the keyboard you are redirected to a blackout page. But if you let Wikipedia auto-suggest the term you want, and then click on that instead, you get your entry, black-out free. Also: the mobile site was tried out by me in the UK. The English-language version of the regular site is not working in this country, as it is in the U.S.

A number of other sites are joining Wikipedia in its black-out campaign, such as Craigslist and Boing Boing, to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act currently in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) currently with the U.S. Senate, in order to raise awareness of how they believe the acts could infringe on a person’s freedom of expression, in the process of trying to crack down on copyright infringement.

The mobile site for Craigslist is blacking out, as is the web page for BoingBoing when viewed on a mobile device (it doesn’t appear to have a dedicated mobile URL as Craigslist and Wikipedia do).

With Wikipedia having become something of a default for millions of people looking for information, others are stepping up to suggest alternatives. The Guardian (tongue in cheek…we think) is among those crossing the picket line, and has set up one of their journalists with a set of encyclopedias and a Who’s Who volume to answer questions — turned into a liveblog, of course.

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  1. Don’t worry, it’s done on purpose. It was considered but deemed impratical to implement. It is even stated in their FAQ.

    In any case, nobody can contribute during the black out, and that’s very significant.

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