Blanking all Wikipedia as SOPA Protest Live Stats

Jimbo Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, started a poll in Wikipedia to evaluate the support for his idea of blanking all Wikipedia to protest against SOPA. Hundreds of contributors are participating in the discussion and the story is currently the top most article in Hacker News.

One thing about the discussion is that it is textual. It is fun to read through different sides of the argument but it is hard to evaluate the overall support/oppose statistics. I created a simple process that scrapes the Wikipedia discussion in real-time and creates a pie-chart showing the current support/oppose statistics. You can see the live stats in the pie-chart below.

[Update: The chart below is now an image of the final outcome as the discussion has already ended]

Tools used: YQL, Google Visualization API
Framework: PHP The results of the YQL queries are grabbed as JSON and the count of the number of matches is extracted from the result. The count of results for four queries (Support, Strong Support, Oppose, Strong Oppose) is passed to Google Visualization API to create the chart.

At the end, if Wikipedians have their way of having a discussion, we have hackers way of visualizing it.

14 thoughts on “Blanking all Wikipedia as SOPA Protest Live Stats

  1. Kristi

    Nice. You should consider changing the color scheme though: "support" and "strongly support" are similar options, but they are represented in red and blue which are opposite colors. It makes more sense for "support" and "strongly support" to be similar colors e.g. orange and red.


  2. Shishir Bashyal

    @Kristi Thanks for the feedback! I’ve changed the Strongly Support to be green and Strongly Oppose to be Red now.


  3. Jayasimhan Masilamani

    ..and the order as well.. it could go from dark green to red in a clockwise direction. just a minor thing. a little more perfection.


  4. You should probably also change the legend to start with strongly support. It is not evident that majority people above 85% are supporting.


  5. data

    Nice to see someone do this.You should group support & strongly support next to each other, and oppose & strongly oppose next to each other. They are instead 1 &4 and 2 & 3 on the legend.


  6. Shishir Bashyal

    @TLSV Yes, please feel free to use the pie-chart with proper attribution.


  7. John

    Please use better colors next time, I had to squint to figure out what was red and what was green. Please add some blue to the green next time, do not use a true green. Thank you.p.s. i’m far from the only one.


  8. Shishir Bashyal

    Thanks everyone for your feedback and sharing. I have now changed the chart colors from default colors to more meaningful ones as many readers suggested.


  9. I would think everyone would be against censorship. Who was it that said constant vigilance is necessary to sustain a democracy, or something like that?


  10. Bryce

    "I would think everyone would be against censorship. Who was it that said constant vigilance is necessary to sustain a democracy, or something like that?"Mad-eye Moody? Just kidding.But this is a wonderful idea. I can’t wait for the backlash in D.C. tomorrow.


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