DWeb Principles


These principles define the values of a decentralized web based on enabling agency of all peoples. It is the basis for behavioral norms and mutual accountability.

These principles originate from members of the DWeb Community — those involved with and convened by the Internet Archive’s work on the decentralized web. These stand alongside other sets of principles that share or expand upon these values, in recognition that our efforts to build a more just and equitable world are interdependent.

01. Technology for Human Agency
  1. We stand for technology that enables the primacy of people as beneficiaries of the technology, by upholding their security, privacy and self-determination.
  2. We urge coexistence and interoperability, and discourage walled gardens.
  3. We value open source code as a fundamental building block of an open and inclusive Web.
  4. We aim for peer-to-peer relationships, rather than hierarchical control and power imbalance.
  5. Our technologies must minimize surveillance and manipulation of people’s behavior, and optimize for social benefits and empower individuals to determine how and why their data is used.
  6. We believe that multiple technical means will be more effective than a single technical solution to achieve ethical and people-centric outcomes.
02. Distributed Benefits
  1. We believe that decentralized technologies will be most beneficial to society when the rewards and recognition of their success, monetary or otherwise, are distributed among those who contributed to that success.
  2. If that is infeasible, proportionate benefit should flow to the community at large.
  3. High concentration of organizational control is antithetical to the decentralized web.
03. Mutual Respect
  1. We support and encourage clear codes of conduct to ensure respectful behavior and accountability.
  2. We expect participants to remain mindful of, and take responsibility for, their speech and behavior, by acting out of respect for others and respecting physical and emotional boundaries.
  3. We stand for open and transparent organizational practices, motivations, and governance, in a manner that actively pursues equity, mutual trust, and respect.
04. Humanity
  1. The objective of building a decentralized web is to protect human rights and empower people, especially those who experience systemic inequity and prejudice.
  2. We stand for people having agency over their own data and relationships, rights to free expression, privacy, and knowledge, as these are essential to human empowerment and dignity.
  3. We condemn the use of distributed tools for activities antithetical to human rights, such as human trafficking; sexual, mental, or physical abuse; and arms trading.
  4. We encourage building with harm-reduction in mind, and support the adoption of mechanisms that mitigate the potential for abuse, and consideration of those ‘not at the table’ — not connected, not users, and the disadvantaged.
  5. We encourage the development of tools and applications in many languages and forms, with a high degree of accessibility.
05. Ecological Awareness
  1. We believe projects should aim to minimize ecological harm and avoid technologies that worsen environmental health.
  2. We value systems that work towards reducing energy consumption and device resource requirements, while increasing device lifespan by allowing repair, recycling, and recovery.

Mai Ishikawa Sutton
John Ryan

Adam Uhlir
Allen “Gunner” Gunn
Andi Wong
Aya Miyaguchi
Brandon Wallace
Brewster Kahle
Cynthia El Khoury
Dawn Walker
Jay Carpenter
Jay Graber
Joachim Lohkamp
Karissa McKelvey
Kelsey Breseman
Mark Seery
Nathan Schneider
Nicolás Pace
Wendy Hanamura
Yisi Liu

Albert Ni
Merlin van Lawick
Paul Frazee


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