Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quick Tip: How to Access Wikipedia During SOPA Blackout

A few hours ago, Wikipedia, along with a large number of prominent sites went black to protest against the SOPA/PIPA bills. Different website have employed different methods to show their protest – Google has a message at their homepage (some are even seeing a black Google logo), Arstechnica turned their website black, BoingBoing went completely offline and so has Wikipedia. But not quite.

Torrent Freak has discovered that the Wikipedia blackout is really a Javascript-implemented block (just like the NYT paywall) that is easy to override by simply disabling Javascript.

wikipedia-sopa-blackout

Another option is to visit the mobile Wikipedia site, as it’s unaffected by the blackout. And yet another option is to use Google cache to access the blocked page. Just search for the page you want and load it via Google cache instead of accessing the Wikipedia site directly. And of course, you can download Wikipedia to your hard drive for offline access.

Apparently, the entire point of the blackout is to raise awareness and not cause bulletproof blockade. Since most users usually have Javascript enabled by default, it will serve the purpose. Educated people can get around it.

As one commenter observes: “The blackout is a complete simulation of SOPA. Only the educated people can get around it, while everyone else has to suffer. The censorship will not work on those who are educated. It also does, sort of, deprive innocent people. You see?”

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