Why Lifehacker Isn’t Black Today

Why Lifehacker Isn't Black TodayLifehacker has taken some guff today for not joining Wikipedia, Reddit, and many others in going black to protest SOPA, and, yes, for detailing how to circumvent the Wikipedia blackout. So, why aren't we blacked out today, and why are we telling people how to keep using Wikipedia? Do we love SOPA?

The answer, obviously, is no. In fact, we came out strongly against SOPA months ago when we first published this post (the timestamp is current because we updated and republished the post today in recognition of the blackouts across the internet).

The main goal of most SOPA blackouts is to raise awareness. Correct or not, I'm of the opinion that the best way Lifehacker can raise awareness around SOPA is to explain what it is, what it does, and why we think it's a bad idea. So that's what we've done—and our SOPA/PIPA explainer will remain on the front page of Lifehacker all day long.

Our readership is well aware of SOPA. When Wikipedia goes black, people who know nothing about SOPA actually take notice. That doesn't mean that a blackout on Lifehacker couldn't be effective in its own right, or that we don't think anyone should participate in the blackout. But speaking out against something can take many forms. We've simply chosen to do so by making SOPA and PIPA central to the conversation on Lifehacker today.

Finally, to anyone upset about our Wikipedia blackout circumvention, we'll refer you to Wikipedia's FAQ about their SOPA blackout (emphasis ours):

Is it still possible to access Wikipedia in any way?
Yes. During the blackout, Wikipedia is accessible on mobile devices and smart phones. You can also view Wikipedia normally by disabling JavaScript in your browser, as explained on this Technical FAQ page. Our purpose here isn't to make it completely impossible for people to read Wikipedia, and it's okay for you to circumvent the blackout. We just want to make sure you see our message.

So no, Lifehacker doesn't support SOPA. We're just continuing to do what we do every day: Doing our best to make your life easier. It just so happens that today, that involves a bookmarklet that removes a blackout from Wikipedia. And writing about SOPA in a way that makes it easy to understand. Yes, plenty of other factors are involved. But, for whatever it's worth, we're tackling the issue in the way that makes the most sense to us.

That said, we love a good discussion, so whether you agree or disagree with our stance, we're always listening in the comments.

Tags:

About the author: Pavel Ciorici

 

Share a little biographical information to fill out your profile.

Website: http://www.nuldi.com

 

Recent posts

 
 

Add a comment

required

required

optional