Wikipedia’s free-to-access program for developing countries is being sunset

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A half-dozen years after launching Wikipedia 0, The Wikimedia Basis is sunsetting the program. Introduced in 2012, it was once the results of partnerships with cell carriers, designed to waive the price of getting access to the unfastened encyclopedia in developing countries, the place knowledge charges introduced a barrier to getting access to the website online’s reputedly bottomless smartly of knowledge.

The Basis says it supplied unfastened get entry to to greater than 800 million other people, thru 97 provider partnerships in 72 countries over the process the program’s lifestyles. Nonetheless, it cites “low awareness of Wikipedia outside of North America and Europe” as a key consider its resolution to discontinue the program. Adjustments in cell knowledge prices also are an element right here — Wikimedia says passion in and adoption of the 0 program have each dropped sharply since 2016.

As such, no further partnerships shall be shaped this yr, and the ones nonetheless in life shall be allowed to run out. Intervening time, the group says it’s exploring extra techniques to carrier the developing international, together with campaigns designed to boost consciousness of Wikipedia’s missions in quite a lot of countries. In a weblog publish, the Basis mentions on-going partnerships in Iraq and Nigeria.

“These successes have given us several ideas for where we may take our partnership work next,” it writes, “and over the coming year, we will explore other ways we can leverage the findings from our research and the Wikipedia Zero program to direct future work with partners.”

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