Why should corporations control our social networks and own our personal data?

Why isn’t the social network public infrastructure?

What if we could break free from the surveillance economy?

What if social networks didn’t extract value from people, but generated it for them?

Why do our relationships need a gatekeeper?

What if the social graph were as free and open as the Internet?

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Reclaiming the social graph for the common good is one of the greatest opportunities of our time.

Embedded at the core of every social network lies a complex digital representation of our online relationships known as the social graph. The majority of how we connect, learn, transact, contribute, and consume depends upon this little-known conceptual model—which means the social graph holds immense power. Yet our largest social networks are built on proprietary social graphs, owned by private companies who’ve become the de facto gatekeepers of our online interactions. In this balkanized system, corporations broker our relationships, exploit our personal data for gain, surveil our interactions, and control the information we see.

The time has come to build new, open source web protocols that are driven by transparency, trust, economic inclusion, and societal benefit. We believe an essential step in creating an Internet that works for everyone is a unified, decentralized, and universally accessible social graph protocol. A social graph built as shared public infrastructure would give people control over their own data, and help them derive direct economic benefit from the value their networks generate. With people, not corporations, in control, we can reclaim the social graph to serve common good over shareholder profit—and unlock the possibility for positive social impact at scale.

Our team has begun this work, but it is too ambitious and too urgent for any one group to take on alone. It calls for a global collective of bold thinkers and visionary builders, bringing together skills from many disciplines. We hope you will join us in rewriting the rules—and in taking back this essential part of the Internet for all.