Wikipedia going dark forces people to change, like look at alternatives

GigaOm has a post on Wikipedia going dark for 24 hrs to protest anti-piracy bills.

Has Wikipedia broken faith with users by going dark?

Among the websites and services that went dark on Wednesday to protest the anti-piracy bills that are currently making their way through Congress, one of the more controversial is Wikipedia. A number of critics — including some regular contributors to the “open source” encyclopedia — say the site shouldn’t be taking an advocacy position on such an issue, since it is supposed to represent a neutral point of view. But if anything, it could be argued that the internal process that led to that decision is actually a great illustration of how Wikipedia functions.


Going dark for 24 hrs reminds me of when the green energy efforts asks people to go dark, no electricity for an hour, forcing people to look for alternatives that don't use energy.  If you are researching a topic like I was 5 minutes ago, and you hit a dark wikipedia page.


How many people will choose to contact their representatives vs. pick another source for information?

The blackout has woken up critics.

Among those criticizing the encyclopedia for its day-long blackout (which the Wall Street Journal said will affect more than 10 million users) was tech blogger Paul Carr, writing for the new site PandoDaily. In his post, Carr argued that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was right when he said blacking out a global business to protest a U.S. law is “foolish,” and that Wikipedia was making a grave mistake by taking such a position, especially since the site just spent months trying to raise money from users to pay its bills:

[T]o shutter Wikipedia — a crowd-funded international encyclopedia — in protest of a single national issue is even worse. It’s idiotic, it’s selfish and it sets a horrible, horrible precedent.