SAN FRANCISCO (SatireWire.com) – Internet site Wikipedia has shut down for 24 hours in a move that may cause Congress to reconsider proposed anti-piracy legislation and will cause at least 27 million student essays to be turned in a day late. Maybe two.
On its otherwise unavailable pages, the information supersite said proposed bills in the U.S. House and Senate threaten Internet freedom, but University of Washington freshman Josh Baldino said the bigger threat is to his History 111 paper on the Treaty of Ghent.
“It was assigned like a month ago and was due Wednesday, so I was gonna research and write it just before class but I couldn’t because Wikipedia was off,” explained Baldino. “So either I skip class or say the Treaty of Ghent never happened, which maybe is true, I don’t know because Wikipedia can’t tell me.”
Baldino said repeated attempts to find out what the Treaty was were unsuccessful as Wikipedia kept returning a black page. Repeated attempts to use other sources to find out what the Treaty was were not made as that’s what Wikipedia is for, he added.
For Atlanta high school senior Kelly Gale, the absence of her go-to research site means Mr. Washington can forget about seeing anything from her on mollusk reproduction.
“I’m supposed to have two separate sources and of course we’re not allowed to use Wikipedia but technically I don’t ‘cause I scroll to the bottom of the Wikipedia page and write down the sources for the article as my sources,” she said. “Yes, I am an honors student, thanks.”
Looking for options, Gale said she even went to Google and searched for, “Can I write a paper without using Wikipedia?” The first two results were from Wikipedia (true).
“It’s like I’m caught in a vicious circle,” she said.
Long Island high school junior Bobby Drakowski, whose paper on glaciers will be both delayed and remarkably similar to his 18 geography classmates, said he admires Wikipedia’s stance on freedom.
“I would quote some famous guy talking about freedom right here but I can’t ‘cause, well, you know,” he said.
In a related note, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich today accused Wikipedia of going black, “just to get on food stamps,” but later took off his Klan hood an apologized.
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