On Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 3:05 PM, Gilles Dubuc <gilles(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
To me Josh's point in the other thread settles
this argument. I can't
presume to know better than the people this service is made for what is
good for them. People in other cultures have values as well. They might be
different than ours, but more importantly, they have to be pitted against
constraints that are completely different than ours. It's perfectly normal
that the result of the moral equation people have to solve can be different
than ours. It's also logical for it to evolve over time, as the constraints
change. Let people in the countries where Wikipedia Zero operates decide
whether it fits their vision of the movement or not. I'm sure that if users
in a given country find it contrary to their beliefs or what they think to
be the movement's values, they'll campaign against it on their own accord.
I agree. We've discussed on this list before that for some, including Jens,
the principles of net neutrality haven taken on a religious dimension. Any
deviation from the absolute principle is attacked as immoral, so that some
who expect that Wikimedia is a moral actor (from their perspective) feel
shocked and betrayed when it is apparent that Wikimedia doesn't share this
religious view of net neutrality.
Josh Lim's e-mail makes it clear that there is a definite colonialist
aspect to this absolutist perspective, more than a little reminiscent of
European Christian missionaries bringing the Bible to the supposedly
uncivilized. Net neutrality activists should not presume to know better
what is right and necessary for all parts of the world; if Wikipedia Zero
is hailed as useful and needed in areas where it is available (and it is),
then we should accept it and even promote it as a moral positive.
And to Jen's complaint about calling WP0 off topic... Perhaps you
misunderstood, Jens - I wasn't referring exclusively to your reply to
Gerard, but to the clear fact that a discussion about net neutrality was
off topic for a thread welcoming a new executive to the WMF. Incidentally,
I believe it *was* you who introduced WP0 to the thread.