Wikipedia is blocked: what is the reason and how you can get around the block

Find out why Wikipedia on March 25, 2019 blocked access to the site and does not allow you to view any pages

Wikipedia is not working. The free encyclopedia created by Jimbo Wales, among the sites with the highest daily traffic in the world, is not reachable from Italy. The home page of the portal, as well as all other pages, is obscured by a notice explaining the reasons for the "lockdown" decided by the Italian community.

As happened in the past months and years, in fact, Wikipedia is openly against the reform of copyright law that the European Parliament should discuss and approve tomorrow. In particular, the Italian editors of the online encyclopaedia point their finger at article 11 and article 13 of the copyright law which, according to them, "would weaken the web, and weaken Wikipedia". For this reason, users are invited to contact Italian MEPs, asking them to speak out against the European copyright law, voting against it and blocking its approval.

What are Articles 11 and 13 of the European Union Copyright Law

But why is Wikipedia down on March 25, 2019? As mentioned, the Italian community has decided to take a stand against Articles 11 and 13 of the European copyright reform. Even if the regulations do not directly concern the online encyclopaedia, the editors wanted to make their voice heard in order to prevent the web (which has recently turned 30) from being weakened. But what exactly are Article 11 and Article 13 of the European copyright? Let's look at them in detail.

Article 11 of the European copyright law ("Protection of journalistic publications in case of digital use") is designed to "defend" the content produced by newspapers and news portals based in the Old Continent. If the reform were to be definitively approved, all news aggregator portals (sites that collect and catalogue news, such as Google News) would have to pay "Fair and Equitable" fees to publishers. It is rumored that, if the article were to pass without amendment, Google News would be shut down in Europe.

Article 13 of the European copyright law ("Use of protected content by providers of information society services that store and give access to large amounts of works and other material uploaded by users") concerns portals that exploit User Generated Content (user-generated content), holding them "jointly and severally" liable in case of publication of content that infringes copyright. For this reason, portals such as YouTube (or blogs of any kind) would be called to a preventive control of all the contents uploaded on their platform, in order to avoid being continuously called to defend themselves in court.

What to do when Wikipedia is unreachable

The block, as said, concerns only the Italian version of Wikipedia, while the other versions are reachable and readable from our country. If you have a minimum of familiarity with foreign languages, you can connect to the home page of the free encyclopedia ( and choose to visit the page in English, Spanish, German, French or any other language and search for the article or lemma that interests you.

Otherwise, you can choose to visit an online encyclopedia alternative to Wikipedia. As we have seen, there are several online, with a degree of reliability comparable to that of the project conceived by Jimbo Wales.