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How to get round Wikipedia's blackout

Wikipedia has thrown up shutters for the day to protest proposed US piracy laws, but here's how you can still get your homework done.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read

Wikipedia has thrown up shutters for the day to protest against proposed US piracy laws -- but fear not if you have homework due. Let's take a look at how you can still access Wikipedia, and see how people arund the world are reacting to the Internet blackout.

Head for the English-language Wikipedia site and after a tantalising glimpse of the article you want, it's replaced by a black screen, headed "Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge".

The only articles to survive are the articles about SOPA and PIPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act laws currently being considered by the US government.

To get around the blackout, simply go to the mobile site at en.m.wikipedia.org. Wikipedia's smart phone apps still work too, as they just present the mobile site with a search bar.

The blackout has confused many Internet users. British hacker Ben O'Steen hits the nail on the head with his tweet, pointing out, "Wikipedia emulates the effect of #SOPA on piracy -- general population confused and blocked, but those intent on getting info do so with ease."

If you're not convinced about the impact a Wikipedia blackout has on normal folk, a Twitter feed called herpderpedia is retweeting reactions from bewildered -- and, we warn you, potty-mouthed -- Internetters, who desperately need to read Wikipedia but can't manage to read the explanatory text on the blackout page.

Google, Mozilla and many other sites have also blacked out for the day, explaining the harmful effects of the proposed legislation.

One SOPA supporter is content king and newcomer to Twitter Rupert Murdoch, who attempts to marginalise the unprecedented movement, saying, "Seems blogosphere has succeeded in terrorizing many senators and congressmen who previously committed. Politicians all the same."

Do you agree with the blackout, or should websites stay out of politics? Tell us your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.