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Wikipedia Zero

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Wikipedia Zero is a project by the Wikimedia Foundation to provide Wikipedia free of charge on mobile phones via zero-rating, particularly in developing markets The program was launched in 2012, and won a 2013 SXSW Interactive Award for activism The objective of the program is to increase access to free knowledge: in particular without data-usage cost

Facebook Zero has been cited as an inspiration for Wikipedia Zero


  • 1 History
  • 2 Participating mobile networks
  • 3 Reception and impact
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


Map of participating countries, as of May 2016

Below is a selective history of launches For a complete list of participating mobile networks and launch dates, see Wikimedia Foundation: mobile network partners

  • May 2012: Malaysia, with Digi Telecommunications
  • July 26, 2012: Kenya, with Orange SA
  • October 2012: Thailand, with dtac; Saudi Arabia with Saudi Telecom Company
  • May 2013: Pakistan, with Mobilink
  • June 2013: Sri Lanka, with Dialog Axiata
  • October 2013: Jordan, with Umniah; Bangladesh, with Banglalink
  • April 2014: Kosovo, on the IPKO network
  • May 2014: Nepal, with Ncell and in Kyrgyzstan with Beeline
  • May 2014: Nigeria, with Airtel Nigeria
  • October 2014: Ukraine, with Kyivstar
  • December 2014: Ghana, with MTN Ghana
  • September 2014: Myanmar, with Telenor
  • December 2014: Angola, with Unitel SA

Participating mobile networks

See Wikimedia Foundation: mobile network partners

Reception and impact

Play media Promotional video, produced by the Wikimedia Foundation and narrated by Jimmy Wales Play media Promotional video about free access to Wikipedia, featuring a school-class from South Africa and their open letter to tele-cos

The Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones of Chile ruled that zero-rating services like Wikipedia Zero, Facebook Zero, and Google Free Zone, that subsidize mobile data usage, violate net neutrality laws and had to end the practice by June 1, 2014 The Electronic Frontier Foundation has said, "Whilst we appreciate the intent behind efforts such as Wikipedia Zero, ultimately zero rated services are a dangerous compromise" Accessnoworg has been more critical, saying, "Wikimedia has always been a champion for open access to information, but it’s crucial to call out zero-rating programs for what they are: Myopic deals that do great damage to the future of the open internet" The Wikimedia Foundation's Gayle Karen Young defended the program to the Washington Post, saying, "We have a complicated relationship to net neutrality We believe in net neutrality in America," while adding that Wikipedia Zero required a different perspective in other countries: "Partnering with telecom companies in the near term, it blurs the net neutrality line in those areas It fulfills our overall mission, though, which is providing free knowledge"

Hilary Heuler argues that "for many, zero-rated programs would limit online access to the 'walled gardens' offered by the web heavyweights For millions of users, Facebook and Wikipedia would be synonymous with 'internet'" In 2015, researchers evaluating how the similar program Facebook Zero shapes ICT use in the developing world found that 11% of Indonesians who said they used Facebook also said they did not use the Internet 65% of Nigerians, and 61% of Indonesians agree with the statement that "Facebook is the Internet" compared with only 5% in the US

See also

  • Alliance for Affordable Internet
  • Distance learning
  • Facebook Zero
  • Google Free Zone
  • Internetorg
  • Net Neutrality
  • Zero-rating


  1. ^ Russell, Brandon February 22, 2013 "Wikipedia Zero Wants to Bring Wikipedia to Mobile Users Without a Data Plan" TechnoBuffalo Retrieved April 8, 2013 
  2. ^ Wadhwa, Kul Takanao February 22, 2013 "Getting Wikipedia to the people who need it most" Knight Foundation Retrieved April 8, 2013 
  3. ^ Sofge, Erik March 8, 2013 "SXSW: Wikipedia for Non-Smartphones Is Brilliant Here's Why" Popular Mechanics Retrieved April 8, 2013 
  4. ^ Riese, Monica March 12, 2013 "SXSW Interactive Awards Announced" The Austin Chronicle Austin, Texas: Austin Chronicle Corp ISSN 1074-0740 Retrieved April 8, 2013 
  5. ^ Dillon, Conon December 18, 2013 "Wikipedia Zero: free data if you can afford it" Retrieved January 15, 2014 
  6. ^ "Wikipedia Zero launches in Malaysia with Digi — Wikimedia blog" Blogwikimediaorg 2012-05-26 Retrieved 2013-06-27 
  7. ^ "Mobilink brings Wikipedia Zero to Pakistan" nationcompk Retrieved 2013-06-27 
  8. ^ "Mobilink brings Wikipedia Zero to Pakistan" Mobilink Retrieved 12 July 2016 
  9. ^ "Wikipedia FREE" Dialog Retrieved 2015-07-30 
  10. ^ "Tech Talk | Wikipedia Zero | A righteous initiative for accessing free knowledge" Archivethedailystarnet 2013-12-02 Retrieved 2014-06-24 
  11. ^ "Banglalink launches Wikipedia Zero :: Financial Express :: Financial Newspaper of Bangladesh" Thefinancialexpress-bdcom Retrieved 2014-06-24 
  12. ^ "Kosovo's Largest Foreign Investment Sets Tone for Innovation" wwwthe-american-timescom Hazlehurst Media SA Retrieved 22 July 2014 
  13. ^ "Wikipedia Zero arrives in Nepal via Ncell and you don't have to pay a Paisa to use it" Retrieved 2014-05-19 
  14. ^ "Beeline открыл бесплатный доступ к Wikipedia для своих абонентов" 
  15. ^ http://techcabalcom/2014/05/29/wikimedia-foundation-partners-airtel-nigeria-offer-free-wikipedia-access-subscribers
  16. ^ "Абоненти "Київстар" можуть користуватися Wikipedia з нульовим балансом на рахунку" Kyivstar Retrieved 2014-11-13 
  17. ^ "MTN Ghana empowers customers with free access to Wikipedia" myjoyonlinecom Retrieved 23 December 2014 
  18. ^ "MTN Ghana empowers customers with free access to Wikipedia" myjoyonlinecom Ghana News Agency 22 December 2014 Retrieved December 24, 2014 
  19. ^ "TelenorMyanmar - Free Wikipedia" telenorcommm 
  20. ^ Mirani, Leo May 30, 2014 "Less than zero – When net neutrality backfires: Chile just killed free access to Wikipedia and Facebook" Quartz Retrieved July 2, 2014 
  21. ^ McKenzie, Jessica June 2, 2014 "Face Off in Chile: Net Neutrality v Human Right to Facebook & Wikipedia" Retrieved July 2, 2014 
  22. ^ "Net Neutrality and the Global Digital Divide" Electronic Frontier Foundation 
  23. ^ "Wikipedia Zero and net neutrality: Wikimedia turns its back on the open internet" accessnoworg 2014-08-08 
  24. ^ "Wikipedia's 'complicated' relationship with net neutrality" Washington Post 
  25. ^ Hilary Heuler "Who really wins from Facebook's 'free internet' plan for Africa" ZDNet 
  26. ^ Leo Mirani 9 Feb 2015 "Millions of Facebook users have no idea they're using the internet" 

External links

  • Wikipedia Zero at the Wikimedia Foundation
  • Official website
  • Wikimedia blog posts about Wikipedia Zero

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Wikipedia Zero

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