A social promise is a statement you make to other members of a community who have made reciprocal promises to you.
Social promises are not legally enforceable. But others may use them to assess your reputation in the community. A good reputation has been more valuable than gold for thousands of years. So be careful what you promise!
I took five years to write a book about this, so have given the topic a lot of thought and some experiment. The basic foundation is this. We play a game let’s call Blockchain Faith, the purpose of which is to have fun, make and reinforce friendships, provide solutions to collective problems without putting anybody “in charge,” and help users resolve their conflicts and preserve or restore their reputations when things go wrong as efficiently and as fairly as possible.
To play the game, you promise to keep your social promises, to put your promises (encrypted or not) in an immutable public ledger (where the SAFE Network comes in), and to not expect anybody to keep any social promise greater than your own. You can change your promises at any time by creating another record, but of course you cannot erase your first promise only nullify its continuing effect. As with any immutable record you bear the risk of what you record.
If interested in the details and how far the concept can go, you can read the book by the same title. You can follow general developments at www.vlda.org (my personal blog). I am COO of a non-profit 501c3, California Public Benefit corporation called the uRULEu Institute (www.uruleu.org) formed to research and teach self-governance.
Maidsafe feels like a great place to implement a social promise application. People here understand the important of scaleability and privacy over get-rich-quick. The go-slow, get-it-right culture fits the requirements well. Here’s hoping for a solid prototype app sometime in 2019! Please follow and comment here to support and encourage development of this application in the SAFE Network. Let’s build together!