Hi all,

As Gayle mentioned in her email, the article in the Washington Post did not
represent an official position on net neutrality from the Wikimedia
Foundation, or how we understand Wikipedia Zero. I wanted to provide some
background that does.

Wikipedia Zero is designed to empower people who cannot afford to access
information to get basic access to knowledge and participate in the
creation of knowledge. It’s widely understood that barriers like poverty
and limited internet connectivity are two major blockers preventing people
around the world from full access to knowledge, and there are a number of
groups working to address these issues as part of the broader Access to
Knowledge (A2K) movement.

Wikipedia Zero is a powerful tool for accessing knowledge, but it is not
the solution to the whole problem. It’s one tool in a toolbox. Real change
needs to address issues such as cost barriers, literacy, and access to
infrastructure. That’s why we’re also developing a more coordinated effort
within a broader A2K coalition to collectively address the systemic

While Wikipedia Zero serves broader A2K objectives, we are mindful that
zero-rating can be a challenging issue for net neutrality advocacy. In
response, we’ve developed ten operating principles
to make sure that the initiative remains a free knowledge base with
operations that are transparent to users.[1] They are intended to deter
Wikipedia Zero from being used to introduce other zero-rating initiatives
that don't follow the operating principles. We developed these principles
after extensive consultation with net neutrality advocates about their
concerns regarding commercial zero-rating arrangements, and believe they
are strong and useful guidance for advocates to distinguish free access to
Wikipedia from other zero-rating programs.

We’ll continue working with policymakers on net neutrality and welcome your
constructive suggestions in this regard. We believe the vision of Wikimedia
— the sum of all knowledge, available to all — and the values of an open
internet are entirely consistent and in the global public interest. We’re
also learning from your comments and welcome more input on how the
Wikimedia community can support the A2K movement.


[1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Zero_Operating_Principles

Yana Welinder
Senior Legal Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation
415.839.6885 ext. 6867
@yanatweets <https://twitter.com/yanatweets>

NOTICE:  As an attorney for the Wikimedia Foundation, for legal/ethical
reasons I cannot give legal advice to, or serve as a lawyer for, community
members, volunteers, or staff members in their personal capacity. In other
words, IANYL <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IANAL>. For more on what this
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