The Wikipedia home page has gone dark to protest SOPA and PIPA.

Sorry students, journalists, Internet researchers and just about everyone else looking for a tidbit of information related to, well, just about anything: Wikipedia is now officially dark.

“For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history,” according to a message on the site. “Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.”

Other companies, including Cheezburger Network, and Reddit, are expected to join the blackout on Wednesday in protest of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA). (Cheezburger plans to start its blackout of popular sites, including FailBlog and I Can Has Cheezburger, at 5 a.m. Pacific time).

For those looking to get by without Wikipedia, Mashable has created a list of 12 alternatives, including IMDb, Quora and Wolfram Alpha. It also has a full list of those companies participating the blackout. (More of GeekWire’s SOPA coverage here).

While Google is not shutting off its service, it is blacking out its logo on searches as can be seen in the search above.

The search titan also is directing its users to this page which has more information on why it opposes SOPA and PIPA.

“Fighting online piracy is important. The most effective way to shut down pirate websites is through targeted legislation that cuts off their funding,” Google writes on the site. “There’s no need to make American social networks, blogs and search engines censor the Internet or undermine the existing laws that have enabled the Web to thrive, creating millions of U.S. jobs.”

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  • Aaron Bregel

    I have found that using bing search that you can just click on “cached page” for any wikipedia link and you can see the content that you need. It might not be the most up to date version of the page but something may be better than nothing.

  • Nick White

    This is a great way for them to fundraise. I frequent Wikipedia, yet I haven’t ever donated. 1.5 hours in, and I finally have an appreciation for how obnoxious not having Wikipedia is/how reliant on it I’ve become. I don’t think I’m alone.

    • johnhcook

      Agreed. I am pretty heavily reliant on Wikipedia, and link to it all of the time. Tonight, just a few hours into the blackout, I found myself looking for information on “retargeting ads” for an upcoming story. Saw the blackout message, and went to another source (the NYT) to get some more information.

  • Guest

    If you just turn off style sheets in your browser, Wikipedia works fine. What kind of mongoloids does Wikimedia have doing web development?

  • Kenmattson57

    SOPA,and PIPA – both must be stopped.
    Want one that’s worse? The NDAA! – YOU can now be arrested and put in prison forever, without charges, a lawyer, or a trial, If the government decides you are a threat, or are connected to someone who is a threat!

    • Guest

      Stop the NDAA, Ken. I want you to stop it.

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