May 17, 2022

SOPA/PIPA and the Wikipedia Blackout

We would like to ENCOURAGE all INFOdocket readers to CONTACT their representatives in Congress and let them know that SOPA/PIPA is bad legislation.

This post has articles and links to learn more about SOPA/PIPA. Those of you outside of the U.S. might want to take a look at this petition to the U.S. State Department.

We wrestled with the topic but decided to remain online and posting today. This might change if future blackouts take place. We fully support those sites who decided to go dark today.

Wikipedia Blackout

Taking a site, especially a large web site, offline is challenging.

However, of the largest and most well-known sites to “go dark” today, the English language version of Wikipedia could have done a better job in their effort.

Yes, Wikipedia’s involvement earned the black out a lot of press attention in the run-up to today’s events but to learn that some versions of Wikipedia (via the domain) are still available reduces the overall effectiveness of the protest and is disappointing.

1. The mobile version of Wikipedia (also accessible on the desktop) is available. This was reported last night by the Wall Street Journal and by Forbes this morning.  The mobile version of Wikipedia gets millions of visitor requests each day.

2. If JavaScript is turned off, the Wikipedia SOPA blackout page disappears and the site is accessible. This was mentioned in several places including

3. We’ve learned that the Simple English version of Wikipedia is available today.

4. Interesting and surprising. Wikia, a commercial site, co-founded by Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales (he has also taken his personal site dark) IS ONLINE and available today. The site does have a banner with informative material about SOPA if clicked.

See Also: Interview with Jimmy Wales: Why Wikipedia went down at midnight? (via CNN)

See Also: ALA applauds Internet blackout in opposition to PIPA, SOPA

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.