The Tent Manifesto

Every user has the right to freedom of expression.

Free speech is a necessary feature of all open societies. Speech can not be free if communication is centralized or intermediated. Users must be able to say anything to anyone they want on their own terms.

Every user has the right to control their own data.

This includes who can access the data they create and how that data is later used.

Every user has the right to choose and change their social services providers.

This includes the right to negotiate reasonable terms of service collectively or individually.

Every user has the right to host their own social services.

All social service providers must be treated equally, regardless of the number of user accounts hosted.

Every user has the right to communicate with any other user, regardless of their service provider.

No service provider shall interfere with the communications of any group or pair of users, or exclude any users on the basis of their service provider.

Every user has the right to take their data and relationships with them.

User relationships, like content, belong to the user. When changing service providers, users have a right to transfer their relationships and data, and for those relationships and data to be forgotten by the former provider.

Every user has the right to choose their own name.

Pesudonyms, multiple accounts, and anonymity are an integral part of communications and must not be restricted.

Different users have different needs.

No single company, product, or platform can solve them all equally. The only ecosystems capable of serving these needs are protocol-based and decentralized. No user’s needs need be served poorly for others' needs to be served.

Communication must be decentralized.

Only decentralized systems provide protection from outside control. Decentralized systems limit the consequences of a single element failing. Centralized systems by nature limit what can be shared and by whom. In distributed systems, users have the power.

Communication protocols must be standardized.

All communication from spoken language to digital packets requires a basic set of shared ideas. Global communication systems require a greater degree of detail to be interoperable. These standards must be available to and extensible by the community of users in order to adapt to changing needs.

The internet is capable of more.

Closed and fragmented systems have stifled growth and change. An open social web will create a new generation of tools, services, and content impossible in today’s systems.

Conversations change the world.

Every revolution, whether political, scientific, or ideological began as a conversation. The rules, conventions, and ethics of communication can be determined only by those participating. Conversation is too important to trust to any third party.

We’re introducing Tent, an open protocol for distributed social networks. Everyone controls what happens to their content.