How to Access Wikipedia During the SOPA Blackout

Jan 18, 2012 - 18 Comments

Use Wikipedia during SOPA blackout

SOPA and PIPA are two terrible internet censorship bills that are dangerously close to passage in the USA, and Wikipedia has blacked out their web site in protest.

…but what if you really need to use Wikipedia today? What if you’re a student and your paper was due yesterday and you need to do research? What if you just want to go on a Wikipedia binge?

There are several methods to use and access Wikipedia during the SOPA blackout:

  1. Google for a wikipedia page and then quickly hit the “Stop” button to prevent the blackout javascript loading
  2. Use Mac OS X’s built-in Dictionary app
  3. Disabling Javascript

The first method is self explanatory and is all about speed, just quickly hitting the “X” in any modern browser should cease the javascript from loading at all. The other option is to simply disable javascript for

For Safari:

  • Open Safari Preferences
  • Click on “Advanced” and check the box next to “Show Develop menu in menu bar”
  • Pull down the “Develop” menu and select “Disable Javascript”
  • Load Wikipedia and browse as usual

For Google Chrome:

  • Open Google Chrome’s Preferences
  • Click on “Under the Hood” and then “Content Settings”
  • Find Javascript then click “Manage Exceptions”
  • Type “” into the box and pull down the contextual menu, selecting “Block”
  • Load Wikipedia as usual

Mac only: Use Dictionary App
Open, found in /Applications/ folder, and you can use Wikipedia freely. Thanks for pointing this out Karl!

Wikipedia in Dictionary app

Remember to reenable Javascript when you’re done, and to join the fight against SOPA to stop internet censorship.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in News, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. Ken says:

    There’s a simple solution for people who speak more than one language. Just use Wikipedia in another language.

    The technical term for a person who is not bilingual is “American.” (grin)

  2. Makka says:

    This blackout is absolutely ridiculous. Unbelievable stupid action from Wikipedia to switch their website to black.

    “Remember to […] join the fight against SOPA to stop internet censorship.”

    Never. It’s about time they start fighting against piracy. SOPA should have been introduced 15 years ago. It’s unbelievable they have waited for so long to introduce some laws to stop online piracy.

  3. DBCohen says:

    What a weasel post this is. That first sentence does NOT make it right.

    Taking a stand and making a moral choice is rarely convenient. People in non-democratic countries give their lives to defend their rights – and yet here under the protection of democracy people are so self-entitled and needy that they have to undermine a protest to suit their small-minded self-interest. Wikipedia will be gone for only 24 hours – is there anything so vital that it can’t wait that long?

    This sort of pat on the back “cleverness” plays right into the hands of the SOPA advocates – it backs up their argument that people on the Internet will do anything to overcome a limitation, whether it be legitimate or not.

    I am disgusted – OSXDaily should be better than this.

    • Heleno Paiva says:

      completely disagree.
      some people work, some people have classes to attend to – information is vital to them. they understand and even support the open-knowledge defense – but they can’t go on without wikipedia.
      i myself found the protest very interesting and shared it with lots of friends – but i needed to read some couple of articles – it helped me a lot: so i bypassed the protest.
      i believe wikipedia’s Head bureau would be proud of this post from OSXdaily: for it supports the usage of free-knowledge, it is smart and it has the spirit that inspired wikipedia itself.
      have a nice day.

  4. Roy Ammeraal says:

    Go to wikipedia.
    Click on ‘learn more’, the ‘SOPA & PIPA – lean more’ article appears.
    With that, in the upper right hand corner is the search box.

  5. Storm608 says:

    This morning, I went to Wikipedia to see if it truly was blocked, but it came up normally for me.

    It wasn’t until read this article about disabling javascript in Safari that I realized it was only a script blocking the site. When I disabled the “No-Script” add-on for Firefox, I finally saw the shut-down screen on Wikipedia.

    The Wikipedia app for my iPod works just fine, as well.

  6. xtrqt says:

    Simply use this scriptlet:


  7. Lasse says:

    … or you could learn another language (be fast since the incitement of doing so is gone tomorrow).

    Do it the french way on:
    make it polish on:
    or if you’re less mainstream choose
    danish on:
    or even better volapük on

  8. DH says:

    Sure, and what would we all do if this was actually blacklisted? #stopsopa

  9. Tiv says:

    You can alos use google translate or the mobile site, as said here

  10. Garfunkel says:

    Headline news later: Worker productivity in America soars as every time wasting site on the internet protests censorship

  11. I just discovered you can use the Dictionary app and select Wikipedia to circumvent the blackout.

  12. ArtFeel says:

    Or you can use google cache

  13. Dio Gratia says:

    You can also use AdBlocker (Pro) in say Firefox.

    Open blockable items. There’s a first cover .jpg then a process.*/*SOPA*.png*Special:BannerLoader*blackout&campaign*

    The one in the middle might not be necessary.

  14. Djee says:

    Or you go to the library, open a book and do research there, like they use to do in the olden days ;)

    • icebreaker says:

      Ah yes, because if SOPA and/or PIPA comes through then that’s what we are heading to. Until they censor books…

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