Contract for the Web

The Web was designed to bring people together and make knowledge freely available. It has changed the world for good and improved the lives of billions. Yet, many people are still unable to access its benefits and, for others, the Web comes with too many unacceptable costs.

Everyone has a role to play in safeguarding the future of the Web. The Contract for the Web was created by representatives from over 80 organizations, representing governments, companies and civil society, and sets out commitments to guide digital policy agendas. To achieve the Contract’s goals, governments, companies, civil society and individuals must commit to sustained policy development, advocacy, and implementation of the Contract text.

This is part of my “maiki reads up on what folks are doing to the web” kick lately. See The Mozilla Manifesto for more fun.

This is broken into 9 principles, here’s a great rundown, from Contract for the Web - Wikipedia

Contract for the web indicates principles 1 to 3 are for governments, 4 to 6 are for companies, and 7 to 9 are for citizens:[6]

  1. “Ensure everyone can connect to the internet”.[6]
  2. “Keep all of the internet available, all of the time”.[6]
  3. “Respect and protect people’s fundamental online privacy and data rights”.[6]
  4. “Make the internet affordable and accessible to everyone”.[6]
  5. “Respect and protect people’s privacy and personal data to build online trust”.[6]
  6. “Develop technologies that support the best in humanity and challenge the worst”.[6]
  7. “Be creators and collaborators on the Web”.[6]
  8. “Build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity”.[6]
  9. “Fight for the Web”.[6]

On the document’s website they provide details for each principle, so we’ll be reading those over the next few weeks.

Now… about this website…

The website for the Contract for the Web has this lovely message popup on visiting:

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can use this tool to change your cookie settings. Otherwise, we’ll assume you’re OK to continue.

The options are:

  1. Accept Recommended Settings
  2. Change your Settings

We’re gonna check what the World Wide Web Foundation thinks is acceptable settings in a moment, but first I wanted to point out this is a bullshit anti-pattern.

No one feels good about this action against the user, where they clicked on a link and now have some kind of business transaction with you. Bull. Shit. Anti. Pattern.

The settings box is actually very short compared to every other I’ve seen. Here’s a screenshot that almost, but not quite gets the whole modal text:

It says:

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can use this tool to change your cookie settings. Otherwise, we’ll assume you’re OK to continue.

Strictly Necessary

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.


On Off

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

And Analytics defaults to “off”.


This is like inception-level bullshit. Who the fuck opts in to analytics? Why is this an option?

Wait… wait, I’m gonna go look at…

Do these! Build online trust by not asking questions when you don’t need to, and stop co-opting design anti-patterns used by companies that sell user data. Support a user’s cognitive right to receive information, challenge the impulse to enter into a transaction.

Also, all your assets load from a third-party staging URL. :pfft:


Really looking forward to seeing what this group has put together…

Principle 1

Ensure everyone can connect to the internet

So that anyone, no matter who they are or where they live, can participate actively online

Okay, I agree. Of course, this is for governments, which is composed of people, so it’s good to keep in mind.

But there’s more! They have specific plans!

And they are kinda involved, so I’m gonna spend more time for each one, starting with:

  1. By setting and tracking ambitious policy goals
    • 1GB of mobile data costs no more than 2% of average monthly income by 2025.
    • Access to broadband internet is available for at least 90% of citizens by 2030, and the gap towards that target is halved by 2025.
    • At least 70% of youth over 10 years old and adults have Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills by 2025.

Okay… so many questions! I want to know how “ambitious” these goals are. Gonna try to figure out what the current numbers are…