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A day without Wikipedia, not quite a day

Varsha Bansal
Jan 20, 2012 at 09:55am IST

HYDERABAD: Wednesday morning, the city (the world too) woke up to a day without Wikipedia. So whatever questions one had, they had to be shelved for a day because --- the English version of Wikipedia went offline for 24 hours in protest against the provisions of the proposed US anti-piracy laws (Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA as well as the Protect IP Act, or PIPA).
Groaned a helpless Abhishek Ponia, a regular Wikipedian, “Even though Wikipedia was on just a 24-hour blackout, I felt totally handicapped. I had to get hold of some important information which would be very easy if the blackout wasn’t going on. And after a lot of struggle, I eventually gave up. That’s why the blackout was very frustrating.” Echoing his views Vaijayanthi Kari, a student, opined, “I would describe such a scenario as scary because the amount of dependency that we have on a source like Wikipedia is immense and in the hour of need, if it is not available or accessible, things go for a toss.” While a visit to the English version of Wikipedia screen showed a gloomy black screen with words “Imagine a world without free knowledge,” there were different ways to access the website. And a lot of people from the city did end up accessing Wikipedia. Shared Aamani Kilaru, a business management student, “At first I panicked because I had to prepare for an exam and Wikipedia is the best source. But later I figured that the blackout was only for the English version. So I accessed wiki in French and used Google translate!”
While Aamani used Google translate, Ankit Aggarwal, another management student found out another trick. Ankit recalled, “listening to a radio station, I was surprised at the abilities we Indians have. A caller said, “Blackout Fail”. The reason given was that the ESC key on keyboard opens the link desired on Wiki."


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