As you may well have experienced today, Wikipedia has blacked out its English language content in protest of a proposed change in US online copyright laws (see below for Wikipedia's statement.) However, there is a very simple tricks that will allow you to bypass the blackout. Here's how you do it.
When you load the Wikipedia page that you want to read, you'll notice that you can see the non-blacked out content for roughly one second, before Wikipedia's 'blacking out' page takes over. It appears that Wikipedia has just added a splash page to automatically load over all of its pages.
Submitted by PCAdvisor.co.uk reader Bobbyjack.
Step one: Search for the Wikipedia page you want to view
Step two: Wait for the page and the blackout to load fully.
Step three: Add '?banner=none' to the end of the existing URL and press enter.
Step one: Use a search engine to find the Wikipedia page you want to read.
Step two: Once you have have clicked on the page you want to see, you need to click the 'Stop loading this page' button in the address bar of your web browser before the Wikipedia flash page loads. You may need to hit refresh a few times to get used to the timing. (See right)
Note: You will have a one or two second window to stop the page loading before the black out flash page takes over the site. So it's just a matter of timing when you stop the page loading.
Alternatively you can Google to search for the Wikipedia page you want to read.
Step one: Perform a Google search for the Wikipedia page you want to view, allow the page load as normal and wait for the blackout to takeover.
Step two: Copy and paste the URL back into a Google search and hover your mouse over the relevant result, then click on the '>>' symbol.
Step three: You will then see a cached preview image of the Wikipedia page you have searched for. You'll also find the word 'Cached' at the top of the preview image, click on this and it will take you to a non-blacked out Wikipedia page - however, the page will most probably be one day out of date.
Step one: Download the official Wikipedia app for your smartphone or tablet. The black out has not effected mobile devices.
Before you bypass the black out, you might like read Wikipedia's statement on why it's "blacking out" its content for 24 hours, to see whether you agree or disagree with its stance.
Wikipedia's brief statement: "For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia."
- For more information see Wikipedia to shut down for 24 hours
- BBC to charge for iPlayer use
- See more PC Advisor How Tos