The SOPA Internet protest scheduled for Wednesday, January 18 just got a huge supporter. On his Twitter page, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has announced that the hugely popular online encyclopedia will go dark for 24 hours on that date to protest the possible approval of the Stop Online Piracy Act. The shutdown will begin at midnight Eastern time and will only affect the English-based Wikipedia pages.
The news comes after the US House of Representatives have apparently decided not to vote on SOPA until there is a general consensus on the bill. However, even those actions will not stop Wikipedia from joining the SOPA protest. Wales said via Twitter, "We have no indication that SOPA is fully off the table. PIPA is still alive and kicking. We need to send Washington a BIG message."
Wikipedia is one of the world's biggest web sites in terms of visitors. According to the Twitter page of Comscore chairman Gian Fulgoni, the English version of the site gets 25 million daily visitors.
Wikipedia will join a large number of other web sites, including Reddit, Bungie.net, Minecraft.net and others, that will shut down for all or part of the day on Wednesday.