48 Hour Wikipedia Protest

From October 4th to October 6th, the Italian-language version of Wikipedia, the fourth largest wiki in the world, shut down in protest against the Italian government.

Over 12 million users were confronted by a one-page manifesto railing against the DDL intercettazioni, roughly translated as “Wiretapping Act”, currently being considered by the Italian parliament. The manifesto may be read in English here

The act, which would allow Italian citizens who feel that they have been defamed online to demand the removal of any material they deem detrimental to their image or reputation, has met skeptical reactions throughout the Internet. The Wikimedia Foundation formally stood by Italian Wikipedia’s decision to temporarily shut down, stating that “this bill would hinder the work of projects like Wikipedia: open, volunteer-driven, and collaborative spaces dedicated to sharing high-quality knowledge, not to mention the ability for all users of the internet to engage in democratic, free speech opportunities.”

Several analysts have pointed to the ongoing trial of Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, as a major impetus in the Italian government’s decision to propose this bill. Under this law, Berlusconi and his cabinet would have the right to rebut most coverage of the trial and of the various disparaging editorials bouncing around the Internet regarding his conduct.

Berlusconi is currently on trial for corruption, bribery, malfeasance, and underaged prostitution. The Italian government has yet to comment on the case.

-Sebastian Bates, World News Correspondent

Posted by on October 7, 2011. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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