On Wednesday, Wikipedia is taking an “unprecedented” step by blackening the English version of its website for 24 hours in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the US House of Representatives, and PROTECTIP (PIPA) in the US Senate.
“If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States,” the Wikimedia Foundation said in a statement.
Other websites, including Reddit and Boing Boing, are also going dark. Over the course of the past 72 hours, more than 1,800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might take against SOPA and PIPA.
“This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation,” site organizers said.
The site is urging users to reach out to their elected representative in Washington. Those who live outside of the country are being urged to contact the State Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or similar branch of government.