Hi folks,

Hope those of you in the US have had a lovely holiday weekend.  I'm getting
caught up and it’s been interesting to read the discussion this article has
prompted -- as this thread has made clear, there’s a lot to discuss, and
people have passionate feelings about the issue. I'm learning a lot. I’ll
leave some more follow-up on the particulars of the policy issues to the
Wikipedia Zero team, but I wanted to clarify some questions people raised
at the beginning on how I happened to be quoted.


The quotes from the article were never intended to represent the official
WMF position -- they were my own musings and spontaneous thoughts, taken
from what I had thought was just a friendly conversation. Last month I was
at an event hosted by the new US television network Fusion to speak on a
panel about millennial digital activism, and after the panel I chatted
about the future of the internet with someone to whom I had just been
introduced. I shared some thoughts, mostly about the ability of the
internet to increase collaboration. I made a couple of comments related
specifically to Wikipedia, including Wikipedia Zero, but they were more
just me exploring my own nascent ideas, not acting as an official voice. I
didn't know it would be used in a story related to net neutrality, nor did
I have the impression that I was being asked for an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation. Talk about a surprise to find myself quoted in
the Post!


I think we were all surprised to see my words represented so officially,
and it’s unfortunate they were used as the basis for representing the
position of the Foundation on net neutrality. What IS true is that I -- and
we -- passionately believe in the importance of Wikipedia Zero. Access to
knowledge is a fundamental right, and Wikipedia Zero is one important tool
that helps realize that right. It also gets us one step closer to that
vision of a world where every single person on the planet has free access
to the sum of all human knowledge -- which is certainly why I am here (and
why a lot of you are too).


Warm regards,

Gayle
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