[Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation and Saudi Telecom (STC) partner to provide access to Wikipedia free of mobile data charges in the Middle East

Andreas Kolbe jayen466 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 12:38:18 UTC 2012

Thanks for the info, Osama.


On Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 6:29 AM, Osama Khalid <osamak at gnu.org> wrote:

> I am from Saudi Arabia, so I guess I will be able to explain a few
> issues.
> First of all, it's important to note that Saudi Arabia is a good
> example of a pretty much totalitarian state, with many governmental
> agencies and institutions, the core of which, say the interior and
> media ministries, play a key role in repressing unwanted expression.
> However, there are others that are far from the core and enjoy some
> kind of (unintended?) self-management.
> It's also important to note that it is not possible to get anything on
> done in Saudi Arabia on large scale without getting a governmental
> institution partnership and approval.
> And yes, hundreds of articles are censored, almost all of them are
> related to sexuality and there aren't any known censored political or
> historical articles.
> > The Saudi government is investing in increasing Arabic Wikipedia
> > content?  Are you sure?
> >
> > Could you tell us more about this project – i.e. how the funding is
> > distributed, and who does the editing?
> Yes, it is, through King Abdullah Initiative for Arabic Content[0].
> They have had their own version of the Education Program for the last
> two years.  [[ar:User:Ali1]] and I have been helping them by training
> students.  The initiative is public and documented under a Wikipedia
> namespace page on the Arabic Wikipedia.  Instructors and students have
> the chance to choose the articles they see fit, without intervention
> from the initiative.
> > Well, this telecom company is the arm of the government to impose
> > censorship in KSA.
> Actually, censorship is imposed through a national proxy run by the
> Communication and Information Technology Commission[1].  ISPs do not
> get to pick and choose.
> [0]: http://www.econtent.org.sa/
> [1]: http://internet.sa/
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