The way forward is clear: information quality needs to be prioritized as we collectively redesign our internet to be more human-centric than profit-centric. For us, that can be expressed in an informational bill of rights:
- Finding trustworthy information needs to be easy and intuitive for everyone. The only adequate counterweight to advertising budgets is positive trust, consensually volunteered and intuitively centered in every interface and platform.
- All information needs to be traceable back to trustworthy original sources. Consumers of news, science, and art, just like consumers of coffee, have a strong preference for transparent supply chains leading all the way back to respected workers.
- Publishers need to be globally accountable for what they publish. Individual and collective reputation is the core of journalism as a business, but any other information brand or institution sustained by public trust works the same way.
- Small publishers, individuals, and non-commercial publishing need to be protected from the “censorship” of predatory big business. Opt-in networks and circuits needs to be preserved for self-publication, independent thought, and religious freedom beyond the reach of market forces.
- A transparent and public mechanism is needed to lock bad actors out of the mainstream of our information ecosystem. Sovereign local and national communities need to govern the standards of their own public spaces online and feel safe from what they define as abusive content.
- Make information warfare expensive again. The "pay to play" dynamics imposed by for-profit megaplatforms is toxic, but a sustainable alternative need to have its own viable business models and regulatory ideas interacting in an ecosystem. Making misinformation expensive is easier and more effective than making it illegal– and that requires a system where quality information is cheaper to publish than noise and lies. An economics of reputation and quality are needed, built on new technological foundations.