Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales said that the site will black out on Wednesday in protest of pending anti-piracy legislation.
Wales announced the blackout in a tweet on Monday, calling it a “decision of the Wikipedia.”
Wikipedia is so far the highest profile of all of the sites to stage a blackout. Even though the White House gave a big setback to the anti-piracy bills over the weekend, announcing that it was opposed to portions of the legislation, champions in Congress still plan to move forward.
Although supporters of the anti-piracy legislation, including Hollywood studios and most of its guilds, won significant bipartisan in Congress, they’ve had a tough time in conveying their message on the P.R. front. The central argument that the bills would help preserve jobs has been overshadowed by opponents’ alarm that the legislation threatens the freedom of the Internet.
Other sites like Reddit and Boing Boing also have announced plans to shut down.
The Stop Online Piracy Act is pending in the House Judiciary Committee, and the PROTECT IP Act is facing a floor vote in the Senate.
“Rumors of the death of SOPA may be premature. But Senate version going strong,” Wales wrote in one of a series of tweets.
He even related the protest to Martin Luther King Jr. Wales wrote, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” MLK – on Wednesday, Wikipedia demands.”
Wikipedia’s 24-hour protest will take place only on its domestic site. Wales noted that Wikipedia generates 25 million visitors a day around the globe, according to comScore.