If you need to access Wikipedia today...

Ok, so I know it’s not very sportive to try to work around their protest blackout. I wasn’t even trying, I was just idly seeing if I could read what they had on Lovecraft. Turns out I managed to work around it very simply.

My browser is Firefox 9.0.1. With this browser I could access a page, only to have the “blackout image” cover it entirely (I’m sure these aren’t the right terms, but I’m not net tech) - after about a second during which the original article was visible.

I could either stop loading the page AFTER it loaded the article AND before it redirected to the blackout, which I suspect will work on all browsers, or I could click the “Subscribe to this page…” button right next to my address bar. This popped up a dialog box that stopped the page loading further, and I could then close the dialog box and read at leisure.

If you really need to consult Wikipedia today, then these are my tips. Otherwise, well, best to respect their blackout.

The mobile version of Wikipedia is still working. Just load that.


BTW this isn’t cheating – Wikipedia recommended this workaround itself for those who desperately need to access the site today.


P.S. Your ‘stop loading’ method is more about interrupting the page’s JavaScript, which you can do more reliably just by turning off JavaScript in your browser preferences.

I’ve decided to practice an extended blackout today and not visit any sites with ads that might support SOPA. So far I’ve been to my non-Yahoo email, this forum, and the private site for testers of my WIP. I forgot for a moment and used Google to look up a book on Amazon, though.

Google has this on their front page though:

“Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!”

So I don’t think they’re supporting this.

Google’s not supporting it, but they do have adwords. Unless they’re doing a boycott? I’m just being cautious and trying to cut down on my internet dependency generally.

Google is joining the protest in only the most minimal way possible (by changing their logo and only in the USA), which is probably a good thing since any protest needs to weigh the possibility of the uninformed public turning against the protesters themselves. Reddit and Boing Boing are preaching to the choir, so they’re in the clear and can go dark without peril. There is already some backlash to Wikipedia’s move, even though that site’s mandate probably makes it the best vehicle to spread awareness to those who have never heard the term ‘SOPA’ before (they are the targets of this protest — not you and me). But the backlash from Google going totally ‘dark’ would probably be several orders of magnitude bigger, and counterproductive to the cause, because Wikipedia has already done the job of spreading the protest meme into the more ignorant corners of society. All Google blacking out would accomplish is that Google would become the main story instead of Wikipedia, and Google’s motives are much more assailable by the pro-SOPA crowd, so this would not be an improvement. Better for Google to stay online and enable those experiencing fresh, virgin outrage via Wikipedia, to search for more information.

I feel that the tech community, while not all making the same decisions, are mostly making the right decisions for the cause, considering their respective circumstances.


And linking the logo to google.com/landing/takeaction/ .

Right. Which is why my personal blackout was voluntary. I was hoping to have some effect on ad revenue rather than raising awareness - different goals, different methods.