Wikipedia founder Jimmy “I did not date that reporter and change her profile” Wales took the online encyclopedia offline in protest against SOPA, has angered his team of self-appointed PHDs and fake penis experts who act as the outfit’s editors. Plus, you can still access the site from your smartphone.
According to Associated Press, the editors, whose job it is to make people they don’t like disappear, claim that protest of anti-piracy legislation could threaten the credibility of their work. No, seriously.
Robert Lawton, a Michigan computer consultant said that he was worried that suddenly the organisation is in the role of advocacy, and that’s a slippery slope. The next thing that will happen is that it will be blacked out because we want to save the whales, he said.
Wikipedia has shut down access to its English-language site for 24 hours beginning 4PM AEDT. Instead of encyclopedia articles, visitors will see information about the two congressional bills and details about how to reach legislators. Except if you are using a smartphone.
However, Wikipedia is finding itself having to make such stands as Western politicians try harder to censor the internet. Wikipedia’s Italian site came down once in protest to an internet censorship bill put forward by the Berlusconi government. Statements like that actually forced the government to backtrack on P2’s attempts to censor the web.
But it seems that the editors don’t like the idea. Some have blacked out their own user profile pages, as if we read them, or resigned their administrative rights on the site, as if that will hurt anyone. Some think the site’s decision to fight censorship with censorship is just plain daft.
“How will the world continue to turn if I do not have the power to stop famous historians publishing facts online that disagree with me,” one editor did not tell us.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales argues that the site can maintain neutrality in content even as it takes public positions.
He said that the encyclopedia will always be neutral, but its community need not be, not when the encyclopedia is threatened.