Outernet Project Decides How They Will Not Censor Information



    The creators of Outernet are conducting a rather aggressive PR campaign and, at times, make very loud statements about their goals. No less aggressively they edit content on the official website when current actions begin to go against previous statements. At the very beginning, they very strongly pressed that Outernet would be available on any device with Wi-Fi. A little later they stopped pushing it and made Lantern- alas, without a “flashlight” (or a set of satellite dishes and a bunch of additional equipment) Outernet “catch” is impossible. At that moment I noticed that there was a lot of emphasis on the fact that there would be no censorship in Outernet - this was often repeated on the official website. Now it is not repeated. One thing is alarming: right now they are pushing that Outernet will always be “free”. If you think about it, in the future everyone will most likely be waiting for a subscription fee for using Outernet (although, and I will mention it a little later, careful talk about possible "premium" content is already heard).

    So, more about how censorship is at the moment.

    Outernet developers publish draft “ The Outernet Broadcast ” on Google Docs"(Version 1.0). I was interested in the Outernet's Broadcast Standards and Goals section - goals and standards for Outernet broadcasts. And he says:
    At the moment, Outernet does not come up with original content, but simply broadcast already existing in electronic form. We are guided by the standards of journalism described in the Code of the International Federation of Journalists and agree with their message, even if this does not fully correspond to our situation.

    Outernet Content Related Goals:
    1. Education. Content should enable the user to become a more informed member of the community; content should help a person develop.
    2. True. Outernet - for the truth and for the right of people to the truth.
    3. Transparency. Content should enable the user to better understand how various organizations and structures influence his daily existence.
    4. Competency building. Content should give the user the ability to control their destiny and achieve their goals.
    5. Health and safety. Content should contain information that contributes to a healthier, safer, and, in general, a wonderful life.
    6. The quality of life. Content should directly or indirectly help a person improve their quality of life.


    Here are some common examples of what content doesn't fit in with these goals:
    • Immediate and clear threats. Content that is designed to intimidate or incites violent action.
    • Pornography. Although Outernet is not opposed to nudity (health-related materials, art, etc.), the topic of sex, which does not serve educational purposes, is not supposed to be part of Outernet's broadcasts.
    • Hate speech. Any content that oppresses a person or group of people because of their gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs, race, inferiority, or sexual orientation. In some countries, certain points are permitted and protected by the state as a right to freedom of speech, but this is not intended to be part of Outernet broadcasting.
    • Misleading information. Such information, completely unrelated to the facts, will not be broadcast.

    Original text
    At this time, Outernet is not an original content creator but rather a broadcaster of existing content available in electronic form. We have referred to the standards of journalism outlined by the International Federation of Journalists and agree with their tenets, even if they are immediately relevant to Outernet's current activities.

    Outernet Content Goals:

    Content that Outernet selects for inclusion in its broadcast should fulfill one or more of the following objectives:
    1. Education A work should enable a user to be a more informed participant in society and / or aid in moving them towards a higher plane of knowledge.
    2. Truth Outernet truth and for the right of the public to truth
    3. Transparency A work should allow a user to have greater understanding of the institutions that affect their daily life.
    4. Empowerment A work should give a user an enhanced ability to manipulate the course of their life towards their intended goal.
    5. Health and Safety. A work should provide the required information to lead a healthier, safer, and ultimately more enjoyable life.
    6. Quality of Life. A work should either directly or indirectly provide a means for a user to improve their quality of life.

    Here are some broad examples of types of content that do not fulfill the above stated content goals. These are meant for illustrative purposes only and are not outright bans on content.
    • Imminent clear and present danger. Any content that is designed to incite a violent action and is likely to imminently incite that action.
    • Pornography While Outernet does not prohibit nudity (health material, art, etc.), sex material that is not of an educational nature is not part of deemed a priority for the Outernet broadcast.
    • Hate speech. Any content that attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation. While viewed in many nations as a protected form of speech, such material is not a priority that Outernet's limited bandwidth should be allocated to.
    • Intentionally Misleading Information. Information that is willfully disregarding of fact will not be broadcast.




    In general, this means that information that does not censor does not comply with these principles will not be broadcast, even if the vast majority of users vote for it. And, by the way, Outernet plans a double barrier in the form of administrators and moderators who will consider / reject / accept user requests. There will be no automation, it seems, although a little earlier I had the impression that everything should have worked precisely automated: the user added content → other users voted → the vote ended in a positive / negative result → the content is published / discarded.

    I mentioned a little earlier about “cautious talk about possible“ premium ”content.” In the introduction of The Outernet Broadcast, paragraph 3. No pay wall ”describes that there is a lot of content on the Internet for which the user has to pay and it is mentioned that“ there is an option for those who want “premium” content on Outernet; it is described that it will be necessary to pre-pay for this.

    I will leave my thoughts beyond the scope of this article on how commercialization affects the transparency and veracity of the broadcast information and I will look forward to the next big update of the official Outernet website - I wonder what they will push on further. Accessibility has already been pressed, lack of censorship - too. It is interesting what will happen after they stop pushing for free information.

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