Wikipedia is an excellent resource, as long as one brings along a cellar of salt and verifies anything that is to be used for anything other than water cooler one-up-person-ship.

Wikipedia, which is for network neutrality and against fast and slow commercial lanes on the internet, has what has been described as a complicated relationship with the issue, given that up until February of 2018 it had a program, Wikipedia Zero, to get carriers to exclude access to the free encyclopedia from data-use charges.

“We believe that as the world comes online, ensuring free access to important resources like Wikipedia is a social-justice issue,” the website argued back in 2014 before ultimately pulling the plug after getting pushback from activists.

But Wikipedia, which says it is definitely against fast and slow commercial lanes, also seems to have a complicated relationship with the facts surrounding the history of the net neutrality legal challenge.

In a bit of revisionist history, the “Net Neutrality in the United States” entry in the online encyclopedia, which relies on user input, says the net neutrality principles were first adopted in 2005 under Republican Federal Communications Commission member Kathleen Abernathy, the former Frontier Communications executive who is now an attorney with Wilkinson Barker Knauer.

Actually, they were proposed in a speech by FCC chairman Michael Powell in 2004 and as a policy statement, which a court ultimately ruled unenforceable, by his successor, Kevin Martin, in 2005. Abernathy was never chair, though she was a Republican commissioner in good standing from 2001 to 2005.

“I would not have minded being chairman, but that never happened,” Abernathy told The Wire. She was there, though, when the policy statement was adopted — and unanimously so — in August 2005, she confirmed.


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