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Wikipedia Blackout Workaround

January 18, 2012 by staff 

Wikipedia Blackout WorkaroundWikipedia Blackout Workaround, No sooner did the Internet’s user-generated encyclopedia take its website dark to protest anti-piracy legislation in Congress than techies found some back doors in. From the mobile app to the escape key, Internet bloggers were trading tips on how to work around the blackout on English-language Wikipedia.

The Wikipedia Mobile app is “the least fiddly approach,” the Mirror in the United Kingdom reported Wednesday, “and fits in with the general decline of desktop access for the Internet as well.” However, up high on the app is a redirect statement regarding the reasons Wikipedia is participating in the Internet blackout.

Those on a traditional computer may need to resort to the escape key trick to perform due diligence on where Mitt Romney was born, how many Super Bowls the New England Patriots have won, or homework on the D-Day invasion. A New York Times blogger suggested shortly after midnight Wednesday that “typing Wikipedia.org in a Web browser (or any of the site’s pages for that matter), and as the page loads, pressing the escape key, circumvents or stops the blackout placeholder page from appearing.”

The key is in the timing, as it “may take a few tries.”

The Village Voice has a suggestion that only works for the bilingual, pointing out that Wikipedia hasn’t blackened out its French, Italian, Polish, or other language sites.

“So if you need to look up the Battle of the Bulge, the definition of herringbone floor patterns, the name of the play Abraham Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated, the crew members of the second Apollo moon landing, or, yes, even Kermit the Frog, you can do so on Wikipedia … in a language other than English,” the Voice writes.

That’s Kermit la grenouille in French.

Don’t want to cross Wikipedia’s virtual picket line? But still need information? Then there is the old-school method for gathering information: going to the library.

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