Black Wednesday

by Heather Keroes

The Twitterverse is filled with question marks this morning.  Some are serious ponderings …

Others, not so serious …

The rush of tweeted questions featuring the tag #altwiki is the answer from several “traditional” media sources to Wednesday’s SOPA-protesting Wikipedia blackout.  The Washington Post, NPR and the Guardian have teamed up to offer (as Washington Post blogger David Beard puts it) “an experimental, one-day Band-Aid.”  While none of these news outlets have taken an official stance on the SOPA bill, they have several journalists and researchers on call to answer questions … questions that you may otherwise look up on Wikipedia.  Just tweet a question to #altwiki and you may get an answer.

I think it is a clever (and just a bit humorous) response to Wikipedia’s protest of SOPA.  As I mentioned, none of these news outlets have taken an official stance on the bill, but in any case, they’ve added themselves to the conversation and reminded some of us that information can come from the news too (there are still people out there, called journalists, who do research for a living).  And sometimes, you may find the answer you’re looking for, even if that answer is unexpected.  Here’s The Washington Post’s response to that ever-tricky woodchuck question:

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