The essays of arts students across the University screeched to a halt on Wednesday as Wikipedia blacked itself out for 24 hours.
Any search made on the online encyclopedia led users to a black page demanding they ‘Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge’.
A second year law student said “this is tragic. It means that I actually have to look up my cases in books. My productivity has ground to a halt, or at least to more of a halt than usual”.
The blackout is in protest of a new wave of internet legislation proposed by the US House of Representatives in order to clamp down on internet piracy, which Wikipedia believes will ‘infringe upon free expression’.
The site can still be accessed by disabling Java, as Wikipedia explains: “Our purpose here isn’t to make it completely impossible for people to read Wikipedia, and it’s okay for you to circumvent the blackout. We just want to make sure you see our message.”
Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s founder will join Nobel Peace laureate Dr Shirin Ebadi and free speech campaigner Professor Timothy Garton Ash, at St Anthony’s College on Thursday afternoon for a panel discussion on Internet free speech.