January 17, 2012
The founder of Wikipedia is leading calls for search engines and social media sites including Google, Facebook and Twitter to take themselves offline for an entire day in protest against a controversial bill winding its way through the US Senate that could have profound implications for the internet.
Jimmy Wales has called for a “public uprising” against the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa), which critics say will have a “chilling effect on innovation” by forcing websites to keep a much closer tab on what is posted by users on their pages.
Last night the Wikipedia founder confirmed that all English-language sections of his website would be taken offline for 24 hours starting tomorrow.
Although the legislation is American, it is likely to have a deep impact on websites around the world because so many of the largest search engines and social networking sites are based in the US.