Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Undoing the Wikipedia black-out

Update: A comprehensive collection of ways to undo the black-out can be found in this Gist.

Five minutes into work this morning, I already ran against the Wikipedia black-out. If you try it yourself, you will see the article's content being briefly visible and then disappearing.

Curious as I am, I looked at what they were doing in the browser. Upon inspecting the source, you instantly notice that the content is still  present in the DOM, and that the black-out is nothing more than an overlay.

If you run following script in the console, you can undo the black-out. This script removes the overlay from the DOM, and makes all other elements visible again (which might not be completely correct).
This was mostly just a fun exercise, I will not be using this script. I fully support this protest.


  1. If you would've clicked the "Learn more" link, you know, to learn more, you wouldn't have needed to check out that source :)

  2. The "Learn more" link doesn't take me to the original article.

    There are other (more supported) ways to circumvent this measure for emergencies though: using mobile or disabling JavaScript.

  3. Earlier today I put up a Safari extension (on my site, that uses a stylesheet to achieve the same effect. I think Firefox supports a user stylesheet, which you could easily use to do the same thing.

    It's a pretty half-assed way to black out the site, if you ask me.

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