The End of the Free Wikipedia Zero for Third World
The Wikimedia Foundation decided to discontinue the free-of-charge Wikipedia Zero service for emerging markets, said engadget.com.
The main reason for the decision is the lack of information about the service and lack of habits for its use among the local population, the newspaper said. In 2012, the foundation launched the free access project through mobile networks to the resources of wikipedia.org for countries in Africa, the Middle East and parts of the former totalitarian Europe. The service is offered by 97 operators and covers about 800 million people.
With the initiative of popularizing knowledge by offering a variety of topics free of charge, "Wikimedia" won the prize for activists of the Southwest conglomerate in 2013. The idea also met with criticism, the most serious being that it violates the principle of internet neutrality.
According to it, there should be no favored parties in the network, and access must be on the same terms for all users. There are also cases, for example in Bangladesh, where the Wikipedia platform is used as a means of exchanging copyrighted content. The Wikipedia Zero activities will be phased out by the end of 2018.
"Wikimedia" is no longer signing new contracts with the mobile operators, and the signatories will remain in force according to their deadlines. According to the Foundation, more and more consumers are now able to afford mobile Internet charges even in developing countries.
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