What Happened To Wikipedia In The Blackout?
Despite its SOPA protest blackout on 18 January 2012, Wikipedia was still one of the most visited websites in the UK during "the best online protest in the history of the internet".
According to Experian Hitwise, Wikipedia was the eighth most visited website in the UK yesterday. The previous day, 17 January, it was ninth.
The internet data company tracked 5.8 million UK internet visits to Wikipedia during the blackout, which accounted for 1% of total UK internet visits to any site.
Wikipedia fans were alerted to two sneaky tricks to get around the blackout to access Wikipedia pages. Pressing esc as the site loaded did away with the blacked out screen, and the site still worked well on mobile devices like iPhones.
Perhaps because of this advice, Wikipedia's mobile site saw a boost in visitors of 14%, delivering over 1 million UK internet visits to the site.
James Murray, Marketing Research Analyst at Experian Hitwise said in a statement: "Not deterred by the blackout, visits to Wikipedia actually increased yesterday. Wikipedia could still be accessed via mobile devices and in fact 1 in every 7 visits to the site yesterday came from a smartphone or tablet, a 14% increase in mobile visits from the previous day."
The blackout reportedly succeeded in its aim to decimate the bill's likelihood of success.
Jon Davies, Wikimedia UK Chief Executive, told the Huffington Post over the phone, that the organisation considered the protest "the best online protest in the history of the internet".
"It was as community decision, and we were amazed at the positive response. We wondered whether epople were going to support us, but we melted the US congress switchboard as a result, and while there's a long way to go, we managed to publicise the issue."
1800 votes were received from Wikimedia community members, who voted 85% for the blackout.
Davies said 3 million people emailed congressmen and women, and the Twitter was "strongly supportive" of the blackout.
The worldwide activity apparently caused some US senators to back down from their support for the Stop Online Piracy Act.
The BBC reports that eight US senators have withdrawn support for SOPA following yesterday's Wikipedia blackout protest.