So you wake up this morning with a hankerin' for some knowledge about Vladimir Putin's early life, only to find that Wikipedia is down for the count.
And they will stay that way until 12 am Thursday, having blacked out their site to protest the SOPA and PIPA legislation working their way through the U.S. Congress.
Wikipedia is one of many sites that has gone dark today to raise awareness about the two bills, both of which could truly endanger the free internet as we know it. Other popular sites that have shut down today include reddit, Boing Boing and WordPress. Other sites like Google have implemented SOPA-themed features to their homepages in protest, but haven't killed normal functionality.
So although it is completely against the spirit of the protests, which attempt to make internet users "imagine a world without free knowledge," there are a few ways to bypass Wikipedia's SOPA Blackout.
If you really, truly, absolutely must have the information.
You really really need it, right?
Okay, here's how you can access Wikipedia:
- Apps: Both the iPhone and Android versions of the Wikipedia mobile app grant you access to the encyclopedia. Don't think they forgot about it, however. When you open up the app and land on the featured article of the day, a black and white message greets you, echoing the "imagine a world without free knowledge" plea that graces the website.
- Mobile Browsers: Yep, you can still access the site from your device by going there in Safari.
- And on your desktop computer, you can get around the blackout by hitting your ESC key before the page fully loads. This takes you to the normal Wikipedia landing page. As Business Insider warns, this could all depend on your timing and how fast your internet connection loads the page.
So, there you go - free information at your fingertips. Feels good, right? If you want to really stand in solidarity with the protests however, may I suggest your local library and one of those big, dusty "books?"
Nah, I didn't think so. You see why SOPA and PIPA are so dangerous?