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The Globe and Mail

The day the Internet went on strike. Do you care?

Some of the most visited sites on the web, including Wikipedia and Reddit, are down today to protest two U.S. laws they say will cripple their ability to function by making them vulnerable to copyright infringement claims.

This means anyone trying to find out who the prime minister was in 1910 or get their fix of off-the-wall news will have no choice but to look elsewhere than Wikipedia and Reddit, which are joining other sites including Boing Boing and dozens of other sites in a one-day blackout.

What does this mean for you, Internet users? And will most people feel affected by the shutdown?

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To help you out, news sites such as the Guardian have posted articles offering users tips on how to access Wikipedia today. For instance, mobile users will still have access to content, while users desperate for answers can access Wikipedia by disabling Javascript on their computers.

But this one-day headache begs a larger question: is this an effective means of protesting legislation?

Many sites, such as Google and Twitter are against the proposed new laws, but have decided to keep their sites running. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo even went so far as to say the whole blackout idea is "foolish" and that the company won't deprive users the chance to speak out against the legislation on its website.

Many experts say the scope and scale of this Internet blackout has never been seen before.

But will the act of going dark actually bring about change, or will it simply represent an inconvenience to you? Only time will tell.

How are you surviving the Internet blackout of 2012?

Tell us in the comment section: How will you cope without Wikipedia today? Or have you even noticed?

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