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[liberationtech] Dave Winer calls for a Web Trust

Pranesh Prakash pranesh at
Wed Dec 15 02:56:08 PST 2010

On Tuesday 14 December 2010 03:49 AM, Rebecca MacKinnon wrote:
> Trusting corporations to manage this is obviously not a good idea.
> That suggests that we need a new kind of institution that is is part news
> organization, university, library and foundation -- that acts as a guarantor
> of best-possible freedom from corporate and government limitations.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand why this has to be so.  Why would a
trust be any better at guaranteeing freedom of speech than a
corporation?  It has the same disincentives (fear of costly lawsuits --
including from corporations and governments), while it doesn't have some
of the incentives (profit from people using the service).

> 3. It must cost money, so the *user is a customer* and is treated as one.
> 5. The trust must serve the bits exactly as they were published. *No
> advertising*. 

Online advertising in the form of things like Google Ads is actually, in
many ways, great for freedom of speech.  People can make money for
writing without being beholden to the advertiser since the advertisers
don't really have complete control over where all their ads turn up.
Google, being the middleman and not the advertiser, has less reason to
be concerned about where which advertiser's ads are being shown.

Also, it should not be forgotten that commercial speech is also speech
that deserves protection.

- Pranesh

Pranesh Prakash
Programme Manager
Centre for Internet and Society
W: | T: +91 80 40926283

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