In the next 12 months, the Decentralized Social Networking Protocol (DSNP) is gearing up for its first-ever governance journey. Our objective is to craft a governance framework that not only aligns with our ethics and guiding principles, technological advancements, and that caters to the diverse needs of our community. We invite open-source enthusiasts and all interested stakeholders to join us in this exciting venture.

Setting the Foundation

We have formed a Governance Working Group (G-WG), chaired by DSNP Advisor Wendy Seltzer, and coordinated by Sarah Nicole, Policy & Research Senior Associate at Project Liberty Institute. This working group, comprising tech and governance experts from the DSNP advisor group, will set the stage for DSNP’s governance evolution. The G-WG will meet regularly, in between the DSNP advisors’ meetings, to foster collaborative evolution.

Members of the Governance Working Group

  • Wendy Seltzer (Chair, DSNP Advisor)
  • Sarah Nicole (Coordinator, Project Liberty Foundation)
  • Wes Chow (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Wes Biggs (Project Liberty Foundation)
  • Denise Duncan (Amplica Labs)
  • Harry Evans (Amplica Labs)
  • Erik Suhonen (Project Liberty Foundation)
  • Sara Wedeman (DSNP Advisor)

The G-WG published the DSNP mission and principles on earlier this year as a general statement on DSNP’s core values and foundations. It highlights our ethics and our principles of giving people greater agency over their data, providing people with a voice in the governance of platforms, and ensuring people can have economic stakes in their online activities. This first governance-related publication is open for public feedback to ensure alignment with the ongoing governance development.

DSNP Governance Framework

The development of DSNP’s governance is pursued in parallel to the tech advancements.

As governance “of” and “on” DSNP are intertwined. We emphasize both in our governance work while prioritizing first the “of”. The first iteration of our governance framework template will guide the development of the governance of DSNP: how does the protocol specification evolve in collaboration with all key stakeholder groups, while continuing to be aligned with the vision and principles of the project? The drafting phase will be made public through multiple channels such as the website or a public GitHub repository starting from mid-Q1. In parallel, the draft versions will be circulated among our advisors, Project Liberty Foundation (PLF), and other stakeholders for comprehensive feedback.

We eagerly anticipate community feedback and suggestions to enhance the framework. Public insights will be invaluable as we incorporate them into a more refined Version 2, scheduled for release in Q3.

Building DSNP Governance with Public Feedback

Once we have concluded the initial governance framework, we will publish broader governance forum documents. By the beginning of Q4 2024, we aim to publish a comprehensive guide that encapsulates the essence of DSNP’s governance, ensuring it resonates with the evolving needs of our ever-growing community.

We look forward to your insights and collaboration to play a pivotal role in shaping a governance framework. Together, let’s embrace progress and redefine the web and its social networking landscape. Stay tuned for updates and let’s make DSNP’s governance a collective success!

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