Wednesday will see Wikipedia, joined by a host of other websites including search giant Google, ‘blackout’ or protest against SOPA, the anti-priacy bill that is currently going through the US legislative system.
The aim of the exercise is to highlight how the bill will hinder consumers online.
Interestingly though, Twitter will not be taking part in the initiative.
Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO said:
dick costolo (@dickc) January 16, 2012
However, he later clarified that it would be foolish of Twitter to blackout, rather than the likes of Wikipedia who will be doing so readily.
It is interesting that Twitter, as a real-time ‘active’ communication platform, has taken the decision to allow information to continue flowing freely, whereas Wikipedia, for all intents and purposes a ‘static’ online media, has the opportunity to vent the opinion of a community with one single action and ceasing an information transaction.
Wikipedia is, to my mind, the embodiment of social culture and is one of the most important evolutionary devices that the Internet age has delivered.
The main comparison, and I am sure there are many, that jumps to mind is that of the Ancient Library of Alexandria.
Alexandria, an Egyptian wonder, was destroyed by Julius Caesar, and knowledge was lost, because of an accidental fire.
We must not allow the same to happen to our Internet through the intended action of a small group of individuals who do not see the benefits of freely shareable, accessible and consumable information.