Encyclosphere

Founding Principles

The encyclopedia network we aim to create will be so potentially powerful—articulating what are the most credible views on every subject—that it is unusually important to ensure that the enterprise is as upright and incorruptible as possible. Therefore, the Foundation will declare from the outset that we are committed to the following principles.

  • Independence: We will not be beholden to any publisher, government, corporation, religion, or other organization. All our work will be done with nothing less than the general public service in mind. There will be no special favors done for big donors.
  • Neutrality: We will take proactive and extensive steps to ensure neutrality in all respects. As to politics, we will not favor the left or the right; as to religion, we will favor neither atheism, nor Christianity, nor any other religious attitude; as to popularity, we will not favor mainstream views over minority views; and we will not favor any nationality or language, with the standards explicitly designed to support fully international efforts from the very beginning.
  • Credibility: We strongly wish to support the most trusted and distinguished institutions and experts, from societies around the world, in their desire to communicate clearly to the public about what is known, and about which articles they deem to be most credible. This is why a rating system is necessary.
  • Free speech: Ordinary, undistinguished scholars will be able to post whatever they like to their article feed, just as anyone can publish a blog. Of course, app makers may judge the work of the public in whatever way they deem best. Ratings and category metadata should help.
  • Responsibility: The standards will allow governments, corporations, and others to identify to the public any content they regard as illegal (copyright infringement, privacy violations, sedition, hate speech, etc.), directing publishers in their jurisdiction to take it down. Of course, publishers in other jurisdictions will be able to ignore directives that do not apply to them.
  • Openness: Our deliberative work will always be out in the open and the standards documents will be in the public domain.
  • Decentralization: Our primary mission is focused on providing tools for a decentralized network of independent actors, not to serve as a central hub of activity. In this way, we want the encyclosphere to resemble older Internet networks.