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Wikipedia to Shut Down Tomorrow for 24 Hours - in Protest at 'Frightening' US Censorship Laws

On Wednesday 18th January, as a sign of protest against the anti-piracy legislation Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, Wikipedia has decided to black out their website.

Today, via a Twitter post, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales declared they would be making this move, and clarified that the English version of the uber-popular user-updated online encyclopedia will be shutting down for 24 hours.

This move came after 1,800 Wikipedians actually discussed what should be done to protest against SOPA and also PIPA- the infamous acts designed to stop online piracy.

Giving their opinion regarding the two enactments, which are presently with the US Congress for consideration, Wales wrote that, "we simply cannot ignore the fact that SOPA and PIPA endanger free speech both in the United States and abroad, and set a frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world," the Daily Mail reports.

Calling these two legislation "destructive" Wales said that this extraordinary action by their community follows more than a month of discussions among Wikipedians around the world.

Wikimedia, the foundation behind Wikipedia, also mentioned that before taking this final decision they took input from users all over the world for a period of 72 hours and more.

This massive scale blackout is expected to start from Tuesday midnight Eastern Standard Time and will last till Wednesday midnight.

You can read here the Official Press Release by Wikimedia explaining the decision.