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Let’s peer review the Internet

A new site, Hypothes.is, aims to be a peer-review system for the Internet. It will be a distributed, open-source platform for the collaborative evaluation of information and will allow us to parse and critique words across the internet at the sentence-level through community peer-review.

Its creators say it will work as an overlay on top of any stable content, including news, blogs, scientific articles, books, terms of service, ballot initiatives, legislation and regulations, software code and more. All without the need for the site being critiqued to play any part in the process.

It is founded on 12 principles:

  1. Open – Open source, open standards.
  2. Work everywhere – To the extent practical. Without consent.
  3. Non-profit – Sustained by social enterprise.
  4. Neutral – Favor no ideological or political positions.
  5. 100% Community moderated – Bottoms up, not top down.
  6. Merit based – Influence based on track record.
  7. Pseudonymous – Credibility without public identity.
  8. International – By design.
  9. Transparent, auditable – In systems. In governance.
  10. Think long term – Infrastructure for 100 years? Or longer?
  11. Many formats, many contexts.
  12. Work with the best – Remain humble.

It’s a well-principled, ethical, useful and long-term idea. Just the sort of thing that someone will want to eradicate quickly…like WikiLeaks and civil unrest.

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