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If You Really Need Wikipedia Today, You Can Get To It

Just to be clear:

Wikipedia's English pages have indeed "gone black" until midnight ET tonight — part of an organized protest by it and many other websites over pending anti-online piracy legislation in Congress.

But "black" is something of a relative term in this case. You can still get to Wiki's English site today, as it explains here:

"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."

As Eyder reported Tuesday, NPR, The Washington Post and The Guardian are today trying to gauge what the Internet is like without Wikipedia by encouraging folks to send questions that they otherwise would turn to Wiki to get answered to the Twitter hashtag #altwiki. We'll report back later on what we find. And NPR reference librarian JoElla Straley plans to answer some of the queries.

The bills at the center of the protest are the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act. Critics say they're forms of censorship, particularly because they could lead to sites being "blacklisted" if they allegedly distribute pirated content. Supporters say something has to be done to stamp out piracy.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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