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Story time! Here's how offline internet can help people that are technically "online"👇 (a )

· · Mastodon Twitter Crossposter · 1 · 9 · 3

Background: @iHarare@twitter.com is Zimbabwe's "loudest internet newspaper". They do news, classifieds, etc.

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They also maintain a Whatsapp bot. What, why? Basically in Zimbabwe most users can only afford ‘WhatsApp bundles’, a type of internet that restricts the user to just the messaging app and nothing else.

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Send "Hello" to their number and you get the following menu (notice #6):

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So yeah, you can browse @Wikipedia@twitter.com from within @WhatsApp@twitter.com. Or can you?
Well yes and no: iHarare's bot needs to connect to the wiki servers in the US, and international connectivity isn't that great or cheap. So they worked around it.

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They hooked their bot to local (offline) copies of Wikipedia and the Wiktionary (using Kiwix-serve). Query the bot, and it will fetch the answer on these copies. No international connection, all is served in Zimbabwe!

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What does it look like? Well, let's press 6 (wiki) and then 1 (Wikipedia):

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Today we are more interested in crumpets. Hopefully Wikipedia can deliver on that important staple of British cuisine. And of course, it does:

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Now you know how people without internet access can still access internet content.

If you liked this story, you can support our work here 🥰 kiwix.org/en/support/

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@kiwix it looks like the "ampersand" [&] is broken?

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