[discuss] Crowdsourcing the "Magna Carta" of the Internet

Harry Halpin hhalpin at w3.org
Thu Sep 4 06:36:42 UTC 2014

If folks are interested, I think the "bottom-up" process of
crowd-sourcing a "magna carta" for the Internet could help address some
of the problems with the "top-down" approach of WEF's Netmundial Initiative.


At the Internet Governance Forum this week in Istanbul, we’ve been
discussing how to answer the question posed by Tim Berners-Lee and the
World Wide Web Foundation at the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the
Web: What is the Web Web Want? How can a “Magna Carta” for Web rights be
crowd-sourced directly from the users of the Web itself?

A session on the Magna Carta (panel and Q&A) is part of the agenda this
week at IGF on Thursday 4 September at 10:00 CET in Room 4 and folks can
participate remotely over WebEx, IRC, and Twitter. Please tweet your
questions about the Magna Carta with #webwewant to Twitter or join the
channel #webwewant at irc.freenode.org. The session will be livestreamed.

W3C works on open standards so that people can create innovative
solutions to hard problems like this. We recently launched the Social
Working Group and Annotations Working Group to strengthen the Open Web
Platform for collaboration. On the panel, I’m wearing my W3C hat as part
of the D-CENT project, a Europe-wide project creating privacy-aware
tools and applications for large-scale collaboration and decision-making.

Here are a few ideas for questions:

 *   Could we overcome linguistic, political, and cultural barriers in
order to mobilize around issues of net neutrality and pervasive
 *   How can we design both a technological platform and social process
in a way that overcomes rather than increases barriers to inclusion?
 *   How can we get the participation of those who are disconnected or
otherwise excluded from the Internet itself, the majority of the world?

Here are a few of my thoughts: A Magna Carta for all Web users could be
directly crowd-sourced from the Web itself, yet open-source tools for
involving massive amounts of users in collaborative editing, discussing
controversial topics, and reaching consensus are still in their early
stages. We do have to address some challenges: How can we build more
effective socio-technological scaffolding is needed to let people engage
effectively in multi-stakeholder processes?

In this session, panelists from across the world will discuss and
compare their experiences in large-scale constitutional crowd-sourcing,
and will suggest best practices in order to extend these efforts in
designing participatory platforms to engage users in political
discussion and action. Ranging from W3C Brazil’s  Decálogo da Web
Brasileira (Brazilian Web Decalogue) to new technical platforms such as
those engaged by D-CENT, we hope to learn how to build from these
experiences  so that the Web Foundation can build not only the Web We
Want, but the world we want.

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