Wikipedia looks set to join the growing online blackout scheduled for Wednesday January 18th in protest at the US SOPA / PIPA legislation. Jimmy Wales certainly seems enthusiastic on Twitter, and the participation of the internet’s sixth most popular site means it should finally be possible to get more and more pepole interested in the issue beyond the tech community.
Among the other sites participating in the day of protest are Reddit and Boing Boing. But Wikipedia is by far the most mainstream site to announce it is taking part so far. There have been rumours that Twitter, Facebook and Google might be considering doing something, but that now seems unlikely, although there are murmurings that a Google doodle could be used to make a point. However, these companies are likely to be wary of being seen to be too politicised.
Although SOPA has been slowed down a little in recent days, it’s far from off the table and the protests look likely to continue. Wednesday should also see a number of people from the tech community giving evidence in Washington to try to explain why SOPA and PIPA are such bad ideas.