Even though President Obama made it clear over the weekend that he opposes SOPA – the pro-censorship Stop Online Piracy Act — several online giants still plan to go through with their Internet blackout initiative tomorrow. This means that sites like Reddit and Wikipedia will go dark starting tonight at midnight or tomorrow morning, for 24 hours.
We know about Wikipedia because its creator Jimmy Wales actually tweeted a warning to its younger users last week: Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday. #sopa Now, there’s a chance that Wales was joking about how important Wikipedia is to students… but a bevy of new tweets seem to show the exact opposite, that these kids are deadly serious about losing their treasured study resource.
Katie Notopoulos has spent the last day or two retweeting kids’ frantic messages about Wikipedia, and what we’re seeing ain’t pretty. Forget libraries and searching through books; all of their paper-writing research seems to come from this self-governed online encyclopedia. Here’s just a random sampling of the crippling panic:
(Oh, and Adrien Chen from Gawker commenting that these kids must all be SOPA supporters. Please let this all be satire, please.)
I don’t want to get all “in my day…” but come on, guys. Even though Wikipedia is so much faster, there’s probably more actual information on your term paper topics in actual books. And you have cars or friends with wheels; going to a library is so easy. Don’t play into a stereotype about helpless kids who can’t think for themselves. It’s really appalling and only contributes to the idea of, five years down the road, your/our generation being emotionally-stunted adults.
Although, now I’m a little panicked… What will I do if I need some fast info on a celebrity tomorrow and IMDb won’t cut it? Gulp.