Rome wasn’t built in a day, and one platform can only do so much. There are many broader conversations at play to build trust, data rights, and security-by-design into the infrastructure and architecture of Web3.0. Here are some topic areas we set out in 2020 that we are keeping track of, participating in, and hoping to contribute to directly with our own work. We think the map of the problem space holds up pretty well, and look forward to launching some kind of research digest in 2021.
- How can major news outlets but also local newspapers and community groups that do non-profit/community reporting build trust and authority? How can sponsored content, misinformation, and conflicts of interest be marked for maximum transparency?
- Relevant organizations: News Media Alliance, Nieman Lab, Knight Foundation
- Relevant reports: Knight Foundation, “Trust, Media and Democracy” (March 2019)
Trust in experts
- How can professional organizations and guilds of experts (professors, doctors, climate scientists, technologists) promote good information about which the specialists have reached consensus over and against misinformation pushed by industrial players with deep pockets?
- Example: The link between smoking tobacco and cancer, or the consensus around climate change, or around vaccination safety, are all cases where experts have been outspent with dangerous results.
Equity in Journalism
- How can small, local, and/or non-profit news outlets hold their own against larger players in an increasingly globalized and uneven playing field?
- Relevant organizations: Hearken, Nieman Lab
- Relevant reports: Center for Cooperative Media report (on Medium, March 2019)
- How are the funding models of digital journalism and publishing changing in this moment of global upheaval and reorganization?
- Relevant organizations: Nieman Lab
- What other technologies and platforms (such as “immutable publishing”) are under development or currently being adopted that build trust democratically, horizontally, or more transparently than corporate-run, opaque social media and reputation platforms? How can publishing made more censorship-resistant and safe for all journalists, including whistleblower, war reporters, and journalists working under repressive regimes?
- Relevant organizations: tactical tech collective, witness, sludge report, restoreprivacy
- Relevant reports: Reddit AMA w/editors of Popula and Drudge
Public Relations and Communications for Public-interest Groups
- How do community groups, co-operatives, and other non-incorporated or non-ownership-based social bodies publish, communicate, and do outreach in a world of increasingly privatized (and expensive) communications and technology platforms? How do we keep emerging communications technologies from disadvantaging groups with less access to capital but other kinds of social value and participation?
- Relevant organizations: Blockchain for social good, #DGov
- How can blind peer review be brought into the open-access world for the furthering of knowledge beyond paywalls?
- Relevant organizations: Scholarlyhub
Horizontal publishing and information sharing
- Are there completely decentralized or horizontal models for sharing information peer-to-peer? Where do they fit in the New Normal of Web3?
- Relevant organizations: humm, swarm, Nieman Lab Agg/Discovery group
- How can we ensure that the “identity layer” of the internet of the future is built with the right ethics and rights in mind?
- Relevant organizations: W3C verified claims working group, jolocom, Women in Identity