On Fri, Jan 1, 2016 at 6:28 AM, Bodhisattwa Mandal <
> Indian netizens, specially the open source activists, are severely
> criticizing Internet.org and Free basics right from the beginning on the
> violation of net neutrality issue. In response to that, TRAI has asked
> Reliance Communication to hold Facebook Free Basics service.
As Bodhisattwa points out, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)
recently put Inernet.org -- now re-branded "Free Basics" -- on hold in
India. Facebook's offering free content is characterised by net
neutrality activists as an attempt to build a monopoly, or establish a
Tim Berners-Lee is on record as asking people to "Just say no" to such
Jimmy Wales on the other hand is on record as saying that he fully
*What does Jimmy Wales think about Mark Zuckerberg's Internet.org project,
especially in light of Wikipedia Zero? Is there a chance for it to become a
collaborative project between Facebook and the Wikimedia Foundation?*
I like what they are doing. I have spoken to both Mark Zuckerberg and
Sheryl Sandberg about it, and the internet.org team is in contact with our
Wikipedia Zero team.
Because Wikipedia/Wikimedia is somewhat "the Switzerland of the Internet"
(i.e. with a strong tendency to be very vendor neutral) we are always going
to be supportive of efforts like this, which are broad industry coalitions
to do something useful particularly relating to broad access to knowledge,
our core value. But we won't generally be tied up in any one thing per se.
But we'll work with them where it makes sense, of course.
In my personal capacity, I am a big fan of what they are trying to do and
support it fully.
What do the other WMF board members think about Internet.org/Free Basics,
and about the risks involved in allowing the establishment of online
gatekeepers or monopolies?
And if you have concerns in this area, how does it inform your thinking
about Wikipedia Zero and other Wikimedia projects? Do you see any risk that
Wikimedia projects themselves could end up acting as an online gatekeeper
or monopoly, and if so, what are you doing to mitigate that risk?
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