The mission of the W3C Credible Web Community Group is to help shift the Web toward more trustworthy content without increasing censorship or social division. We want users to be able to tell when content is reliable, accurate, and shared in good faith, and to help them steer away from deceptive content. At the same time, we affirm the need for users to find the content they want and to interact freely in the communities they choose. To balance any conflict between these goals, we are committed to providing technologies which keep end-users in control of their Web experience.
The group's primary strategy involves data sharing on the Web, in the style of schema.org, using existing W3C data standards like JSON-LD. We believe significant progress toward our goals can be reached by properly specifying "credibility indicators", a vocabulary/schema for data about content and the surrounding ecosystem, which can help a person and/or machine decide whether a content item should be trusted.
First, I want to apologize for the long silence. In April, I circulated a survey for working in six subgroups, and response was good. As things turned out, however, I didn’t do the necessary follow-up. Worse, I didn’t post anything about any change of plans. I’m sorry if that caused you any difficulty.
Going forward, I’m hoping a few people will volunteer to help me organize these activities. If you’d be up for this, please reply directly to me and let’s figure something out. Also, I’ve left the survey open so you can edit your previous response or fill it out now if you never did: it’s here.
On September 17th, at the next W3C TPAC meeting, we’re scheduled to hold a face-to-face meeting of this group. It’s in Japan, though, and only four group members have registered, along with 13 observers. I’ve decided not to make the trip, so we’ll need a volunteer who is there to set up and run the meeting with remote participation, or I think we should cancel. The meeting is at 10:30am Japan time, which is probably okay for folks in Asia and the Americas, but quite difficult for Europe or Africa. Bottom line: if you’re going to be at TPAC and might be able to run things, please talk to me soon.
From responses to the scheduling survey, it looks like Tuesdays and Thursdays 1pm US/Eastern would be good for nearly everybody. If that’s changed, or you didn’t fill out the survey before and you want your availability taken into account, please do so now. (If doodle won’t let you edit your old entry, because you didn’t log in, just add another entry with your name.)
I’m thinking we’ll start having some subgroup meetings in 2-3 weeks, depending in part on responses to this post.
A quick update on where things are with Credibility at W3C. If you’re interested, please join the group (if you haven’t) then answer this survey on how you’d like to be involved. Newcomers are welcome, not just folks who were involved last year, and please help spread the word.
Things in the works for 2019:
Evolve Credibility Signals into more of an open directory/database of credibility signal definitions, with filtering and data about adoption and research for each signal, when available.
Document best practices for exchanging credibility data. Primarily technical (json-ld, csv), but also legal and commercial aspects.
Revise our draft report on credibility tech, maybe splitting it up into chunks people are more likely to read, and with different section editors.
Have some general meetings, with presentations, to discuss various credibility-tech topics. This might include some of the signal provider companies or credibility tool projects.
Document how credibility issues fit into larger Online Safety issues. I’d like a more specific and concrete handle on “First, Do No Harm”.
Prototype a browser API which would support a market of credibility assessment modules, working together to protect the user in the browser. (See mockup.)
If you’re up for working on any of these topics, please fill in the survey. We’ll use that to help with meeting scheduling and general planning.
And of course, if you think the group should work on something not listed above, please reply on or off-list.
News for people not closely following the group: we’ve put together a report summarizing what the group has discussed, framed as a guide for people considering technological interventions around credibility, with recommendations for areas to standardize. The plan is to publish this next week as a “Draft Community Group Report”, get public comment, then do a “Final Community Group Report” by the end of the year. At this same time, we’re looking at transitioning to doing more standards work.
Members of the group are strongly encouraged to review the report this week — Monday at the latest — and let us know if they support publication (as a draft) or see a need for changes first.
Also, small changes keep happening as people make comments, so keep an eye on the changelog at the end.
If you have ideas for how data sharing could lead to a more trustworthy web, please fill out this survey . It’s anonymous, to try to help people think more creatively at this stage. I expect we’ll explore the submissions during part of the next few meetings.
Upcoming meetings will continue to be Wednesdays (10am PT/1pm ET / 6pm London) for now. Details linked from https://github.com/w3c/credweb. Being on camera during meetings is encouraged.
Currently the the doodle poll (which is still open) suggests a good meeting time is Wednesdays 10am PT/1pm ET. I know some folks are still working on the details of joining, but let’s go ahead and have an informal discussion meeting (no decisions) at that time next week (Apr 11).
I’m happy to report Google and Facebook have now expressed their plan to participate in this work, which signals to me we can now get this group rolling. They will also be helping fund my time and travel, and that of my co-chair An Xiao Mina (through the Credibility Coalition), at a level more commonly seen with a full W3C Working Group. This reflects our vision of this Community Group doing significant outreach, consensus building, and development of specifications and supporting materials.
Some items to look forward to in coming months:
Discussion of specific proposals for credibility vocabulary features
Regular weekly calls, for the main group and potentially sub-groups
Online discussion, in github issues and optionally Zulip chat
A face-to-face meeting, probably in Silicon Valley in June or July.
A charter, laying out our mission, deliverables, and operating process
For today, please:
Formally join this group, if you haven’t yet and want to be involved. If you work for a W3C member organization, this will involve an approval process within your organization, and sometimes this takes time.
After joining, stand by for an invitation to our Zulip node. This is an open chat system we’ll use for scribing meetings and for conversation that doesn’t fit github issues. We want to keep the group mailing list for important announcements only.
Expect we’ll start scheduling our first calls soon, when participating organizations have had time to select representatives