Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, a source of reliable neutral information for students, business, and millions of individuals will be shutting down in protest of possible government restrictions to the internet.
The site will shut for on Thursday for 24 hours beginning at midnight eastern time. Other well known sites including Google and Wordpress will protest using black banners on their pages over their respective logos with links to information about the protests.
Wikipedia, a non-profit foundation, explains it was a difficult decision to shut down the site because of it's unique online philosophy of neutrality, and non-interference with political agendas and the non-commercial aspect of Wikipedia and it's articles.
Sue Gardner, Wikipedia Foundation Executive Director explains, "The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate—that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.
Wikipedia says unlike most internet sites people go to, "It’s not aiming to monetize their eyeballs or make them believe some particular thing, or sell them a product. Wikipedia has no hidden agenda: it just wants to be helpful."
"We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it. We believe in a free and open Internet where information can be shared without impediment," says Gardner in an open letter the the world.