From Fealty to Freedom

Continuing the discussion from Old Web Hub: Open Access to Old Web Content:

##The Lords of Cyberspace

The original idea of the open world wide web of information has transformed into a system of walled garden estates. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Etsy, EBay, PayPal, Amazon, Medium, Google and any popular publishing platform is, for the sake of this analogy, an estate unto itself.

Agreeing to the terms of service and finalizing the creation of an account is our oath of fealty to the lord(s) of the estate. In return they “protect us”. Well they protect themselves. Our data is supposed to be safe within their walls.

We are given a plot of land to cultivate. If done well our plots produce value for these lords. Their lands grow as new oaths are given. Our plots can produce goods that are consumable by the public. There are local markets where we can trade our goods. We develop friendships and families within the estates.

The lord has servants to help “protect” us as go about our daily business. Those servants have access to not only our public production, but our private barns and residents within the estates. We trust that the lord has hired his servants wisely and that none of these servants would take anything of value from our private dwelling places. Sadly this is not always the case.

Sometimes the lord finds the content of our production wanting. They might disagree with the types of crops we produce and till them under. We might find ourselves unable to go to the market. It might not be the lord himself that finds us wanting; they are not sovereign unto themselves, but have sworn their oath of fealty to the king. The king can take away their entire estate with the stroke of a quill, so if the king wants goods from your dwelling within your lord’s estates, the lord must comply.

##A New World - A New Oath

A new land has been founded and the laws around freedom in this land are sovereign. We are promised plots to farm, markets to trade in and free and open society to share ideas without fear. When we swear our new oath, there are two overarching agreements we are making. We will farm and produce while the sovereign (the network) protects all that produce within it. No politics against its citizen’s beliefs or actions. It’s very simple.

Becoming a citizen in this new realm wouldn’t mean much of anything if its sovereignty was at risk. It would be like any other estate out in cyberspace today.

##Migration Ideas & Case Studies

Those of us in this new realm are its ambassadors. We need ways to help those who are outside, be assimilated in. They have invested their lives in their unsafe plots of land. They have family and friends living inside these old estates. We can attempt to make the migration process easy and eventually seamless. So how can we do it?

A recent question about accessing old web sites from within safe led to a suggestion on how we might turn “walled garden” sites into forever open safe sites. This triggered an “aha moment” - which may or may not be good - you decide. Could we use a copy/download/sync utility to help migrate current old estate citizens to the new world?

###Safe and Secure Data for Everyone

The overarching idea of the Safe Network is “your data is secure”. Every app that we create should also hold this main idea as key.

##IDEA 1: Facebook to SAFE Social Network

We might as well start with the big one. Facebook has millions of users, all connected through layers of relationships.

###Copying & Protecting People’s Data - Who Can See What

It has been suggested that we can let users run some kind of plug-in or an app that logs on as that user that scrapes the data from the old estate. Anything that a user sees in their feed would be available for read. Their own posts, and only their own posts, would be editable.

When invited over, a new user might already have posts stored within the system by the scrapping app another user ran. Could the system see these posts as belonging to the new user and relinquish control of those posts to that user? That user’s friends could vouch for the new user account owning that data. Could require a consensus of friends or something.

Thoughts from @chrisfostertv below (paraphrased until wiki): We also have to consider if folks will even want to bring their old baggage over to this new realm. Perhaps it’s more akin to going through a border crossing with two gates: ‘Clean Start’ or ‘Baggage Handling’. Either one requires an information kiosk beforehand to fully inform the human of this fresh space. It’s like when you buy a brand new house; are you going to furnish it with brand new stuff or bring the old stuff?

We would probably need to handle multiple situations:

  • Say I wanted the fresh start. I can ignore the importing app, leave my posts orphaned and only my friends who could see them in the old paradigm would see them in SAFE.
  • Maybe I want to join the new paradigm without caring if it was connected to my new identity. I run the app and take ownership of the data that is mine.
  • Perhaps I have multiple identities and one of them is connected while others are not.

###Two Way Syncing

For a long while most people will be in the old estate. It would be nice for the users to be able to cross post new entries from one spot if they so choose. Some posts they might want kept in the SAFE system and not be posted to the old. If we decided to build something with this feature set it might be awesome. Imagine a way for people to invite others by offering them the content of these posts in the old system. “I’ve posted something I don’t want on an unsafe platform. To view it go here…”

##Your Turn

@happybeing: I suggest we turn this post into a wiki and go through each type of unsafe walled garden and ideate on what a migration might look like. I’ve started one here as an example. We can discuss it below this post and make changes as they are needed.


The social graph might be possible to migrate, the apps that traverse that graph maybe not so much?

Can I bring my apps that I invested so much time, money into? Will my social capital carry over?

This social media ecosystem runs deep, I dug right into when it first came into view and followed all the big gurus in the space.

One meme that stuck with me, was that your social capital will one day be worth more in monetary terms than your house…because you are an influencer (likely a gatekeeper)

I would suggest that migrating people from the old internet via their social graph will not be an easy task by any stretch and possibly not the most efficient way of seeding the SAFEnetwork with humans.

Will folk want to bring their own baggage over to this new paradigm…it’s like going through a border crossing with two gates ‘Clean Start’ or ‘Baggage Handling’ either one requires an information kiosk beforehand to fully inform the human of this fresh space.

You buy a brand new house, you gonna furnish it with brand new stuff or bring the old stuff…it’s a massive think piece for sure.

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I think I want multiple social graphs. One of them could be tied to my old life :slight_smile:

And I totally get your point… I’ll edit the OP to cover what you’re thinking until we can wikify it.

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Begs the question who has access to the big social graphs, they are at least being monetized for marketing purposes and I’d hazard a guess for NSA type snooping.

Wouldn’t be surprised to see them hacked and put on a public SAFE share at some point…a bit like Muckety

I edited a version of this into the OP. Please verify I did it justice and didn’t corrupt your intended idea.

All good…I’m not precious about ideas.

In the case of Facebook specifically, if someone hacked it they would “probably” want the value of that social graph for themselves or those they could sell it to. I doubt it would end up public where they would lose the leverage of being its gatekeeper. Maybe I’m wrong.



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I know I added a bit more color than was necessary for what we were talking about in the other thread @happybeing , but that’s just the way I roll (write :wink: ). I hope people think about it and talk below so we can continue the conversation and perhaps we can come up with a plan to eventually move forward…

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Indeed you did :slightly_smiling: I have no problem with that, though I prefer to read a more concise style personally - but often struggle to achieve it in my writing.

I can’t think about this for the time being though. Still too much distracting me for creative thinking I’m afraid. Hopefully others and yourself can continue to develop these ideas.

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