Re: Updates for the Grop [via Credibility Community Group]

Bob -  well saidÖ

There are, however, a variety of efforts that are ongoing in other places/forums about attempting to provide technology to address various aspects of the larger issue(s) raised here.

For example, I chair the Technical Working Group of the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (http://c2pa.org) which is working to deliver standards in the area of asset provenance.  The C2PA is doing its work in conjunction with W3Cís Media and Entertainment WG and a proposed PNG update (https://w3c.github.io/charter-drafts/png-2021.html), the ISOís JPEG Fake Media WG (https://jpeg.org/jpegfakemedia/), ETSIís ESI TC (https://www.etsi.org/committee/esi) and others.

There is also work going on from Google and Chromium to bring WebAnnots more natively in the browser that seem to align with some of your thoughts - https://github.com/bokand/web-annotations.  I suspect that if that work were to gain momentum, it could serve as part of the solution you envision.

And of course you have Verifiable Credentials and Decentralized ID work here at W3C and elsewhere to address identity requirements that are necessary to establish any form of trust.

Leonard

From: Bob Wyman <bob@wyman.us>
Date: Sunday, July 18, 2021 at 9:27 PM
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@hawke.org>
Cc: Credible Web CG <public-credibility@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Updates for the Grop [via Credibility Community Group]
Sandro,
Thank you for the clarification. I found it somewhat ironic that an announcement concerning leadership of the public-credibility group did not appear to be credible...

I also find it rather bizarre that there appears to be no focal point for discussion within the technical community of problems rooted in technology even though those issues inspire raging, and often ill-informed, discussions outside the community. At this time, it appears that the most commonly proposed "solutions" to the problem of credible online speech focus on various ways to restrict either our right or our ability to speak. It would be unfortunate if such solutions were to be imposed if there exist reasonable, but unexplored, technical alternatives that could address the problem. I suggest that our responsibility as a community extends beyond not only creating and deploying technology but also to doing what we can to ensure that others understand it and that technical solutions are developed to mitigate or eliminate problems caused by what we have done. Just as an engineer would feel responsible to address an unintended bug in some software, I believe the technical community should feel responsible to address, or at least understand, the unintended consequences of its work. If the W3C is not the proper forum for such discussions, what is?

Given an apparent absence of proposals for technical solutions to the problem, I suggest that this group should initially focus on trying to generate discussion of the problems, and the inadequacies of existing proposals, in the hope that a deeper and more broadly shared understanding might generate some useful ideas that could be explored in depth. Thus, I would suggest that an attempt be made to reinvigorate the W3C Credible Web Community Group Zoom meetings after over a year of inactivity. An hour or two of Zoom meetings every month seems like a small investment that might have significant impact. Along similar lines, I suggest that the Chair of this group should put out a call for fresh proposals in an attempt to flush out ideas that have not yet been fully explored or developed. Ideally, that call would be made as broadly as possible. I would like to see a news story entitled "Web Community seeks solutions to problems" rather than yet another story detailing a proposal for how Facebook, Google, or whomever, should improve their ability to decide what can and cannot be said in public forums.

My personal belief is that while Web Annotation has been discussed, it's potential, when combined with Credibility Signals, has not been fully recognized -- either as a means to address credibility or as a potential source of entrepreneurial opportunity. As an individual user of the web, I believe it should be a simple matter for me to publicly tag or annotate any visible resource or fragment as either credible or not, as true or false, etc. In essence, I suggest that the solution to bad speech is more speech. Others may observe that such an ability would simply create a cacophony of conflicting statements or claims. But, I am confident that we'll be able to develop tools to extract signals from the noise. If nothing else, such annotations might help those who operate formal fact checking systems by identifying which resources are controversial at any particular moment. Also, it should be recognized that when such statements are made about me, or subjects close to me, Web Annotations facilitate my exercising a "Right to Respond." Today, too much of what is said is protected from response by being on sites or in formats that don't permit comments or responses from those who have an interest in the truth or credibility of statements that are made.

It is my hope that either this group, or some other group more appropriate, will reinvigorate a technical discussion of these issues. What is going on in the world of politics and in the press does not appear to me to be leading us in a good direction.

bob wyman

Received on Monday, 19 July 2021 01:49:47 UTC