Homework will be harder to do and bar bets tougher to win starting at midnight ET on Tuesday, when Wikipedia will go dark for 24 hours in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), anti-piracy legislation under consideration by the US Congress.

On Monday, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales said the site would shut down English versions of the crowd-sourced online encyclopedia, calling the move a “community decision” and pointing to a Wikipedia page on which users can weigh in about the possible blackout until 6:59 p.m. Tuesday night.

Wales hopes to draw attention to language in the bill that he feels is too broad and could hurt free speech and innovation -- and many other sites are joining in the protest.

Reddit and the Cheezburger network -- which includes popular sites like The Daily What and Fail Blog -- also plan to go dark, and the document service Scribd has already made a billion pages go poof. In addition, Craigslist's home page has a notice that reads, “Stop SOPA and PIPA. [The bills] are threatening Craigslist and the rest of your internet. Most of the web sites you use strongly oppose these bills.”

The protests seem to be having an effect -- the White House has hinted that it would oppose the current version of the bill, and even key sponsors are backing down from its most controversial aspects.

Be sure to check TheFW regularly for more updates on SOPA and also to quench your thirst for funny animal videos during this difficult time.

[via The Washington Post]